Why do we care so much about what people think of us?
Look around you, everywhere in in culture, and at yourself. Most of what we wear, do, and say is to put off some kind of image wether you want to admit it or not.
As a christian, who desires to shine brightly for God, this is an even bigger question. Studying Chapter 6 of Acts in the bible, blew my mind today. Pastor Richard spoke about the martyr stephen .I have heard this story many times before, but Jesus just opened my eyes to something new and huge.
”Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. 9Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.”- Acts 6
Stephen is a prime example of an authentic christian. A true worshiper of Christ. He was doing what God called Him to do and yet was fully present in the culture, yet living on mission- worshiping Jesus with everything he did. Isn’t that what us christians always strive for but never seem to reach? Well at least for me.
“Stephen wasnt just present in the fallen world, he was worshiping Jesus in it”Richard Cimino
We were created for that very purpose, to worship the True and Living God with our lives. Stephen worshiped in how he served the widows the of the church. He was worshiping Jesus in every aspect of life. Being an authentic christian means we are on mission , worshiping Jesus, and living a gospel centered. ( I dont know about you but when I read that in the sermon notes- I knew I fell short of all three.) We as christians should be focused SOLEY on JESUS- who he is and what he has done for us. and we are called to share that message. BUt why dont we? Why do we seem to hold back? Why do we ( me included) fall short of this consistently? This struggle is rooted in one basic thing- FEAR. Fear of man
” If we are afraid of what man or woman might think about us because of what we have to say about Jesus- we have exalted them above Jesus. When we desire to please or appease- we have made that person the object of our worship instead of Jesus. THAT is idolatry…
The fear of man is one of the greatest weapons Satan( the God of this world) has to keep us from living a true gospel life. “
I dont know about you, but when I heard this, God hit my heart. Wow.
” God has remedy for our fear and for that idolatry. Its not a methodology, or a program. THe gospel promises to transform us from the inside out. The transformation begins with who he is.”- Richard Cimino
“Jesus must become more beaitful than our idols”- Tim Kellar
WE need more radicial christians in this dark and fading world. We need to stop this idoalrty, drop this fear, and shine brighter than ever before. Get into the word, thirst and hunger for it. Most importantly, get to know our Great wonderful God better, deeper. I think we have lost this- God is awakening us! Wake up sleeper.
“The Word witness is translated from the Greek word martus. It is the word we get martyr from. Before stephen was a martyr he was a martus ( a witness). Before he died for Jesus, He lived for Jesus. Persecution doesn’t make one a martyr, it only prove who already is martus. ”