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Graceful Perseverance: Living with Jesus

Posted February 4th, 2018 @ 09:02am

Welcome to this week's blog. This week I am touching on the reality of our Godly or not so Godly behaviors in private and in public places. How do we behave in front of others? Are we the same person in private? The bigger question for all of us is: If Jesus were living with us, would we behave any differently? I challenge all of us to become more aware of who we "pretend" to be in public, as opposed to who we are behind closed doors.

What amazes me, is that most non-believers and even Christians cannot comprehend that regardless of our behaviors in public or private, Jesus sees us in every situation. He knows our thoughts and our hearts better than we do. He is always with us, watching over us, and by our side regardless of what we think or believe. The validity of our behavior as Christians, and as witnesses, must be apparent even when no one is around.

If Jesus were in your home and sitting next to you while you were watching TV, would you still be watching the same television shows or would you turn the channel to something cleaner and less evil or provocative because Jesus is there?

If Jesus were a guest at your dinner table, would you behave the same way? Or would you be more diligent in prayer and more loving towards others at the table?

If Jesus could hear you and your spouse having a conversation, would that conversation be without vulgar language or disrespect?

Regardless of how you answered each of these questions pertaining to your private life, Jesus is with you always. He sees all the good things we do, and he sees our sinful nature as well. We cannot escape or pretend to be something we're not in the eyes of God. We can't manipulate, or be insincere in front of Jesus, because he is the Master of the Universe, the maker of everything. He is everywhere all the time. He sees us pretending to be the devoted Christians on Sunday morning in church. And He sees us leaving church with slander and vulgar language falling from our lips. He sees us with mocking and gossiping behavior, condemning and laughing behind others' backs.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye..." - Matthew 7:1-20.

We cannot be living with God on Sundays, but not Monday through Friday. He sees us pretending to be better than anyone else because we call ourselves Christians. By definition, the word Christian is more than a description of someone's beliefs and behavior, it's a combination of our words and actions being equally devoted to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. He sees all of it.

Examples of Christian behavior are woven throughout scripture. It is these examples that we are to live by. Jesus himself spoke in great length and in great detail of how we are to behave toward each other, towards friends and even enemies and persecutors.

Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children. - Ephesians 5:1.

Scripture tells us how Jesus lived his life here on earth, with accentuated love and compassion for all, including Christians, non-believers, the sinners, the evil doers, the corrupted, the lost, the forgotten, the homeless and those who were weak in their faith. Jesus lived out his life in a way that consummates the ideal example of what our behavior should look like.

To do good works means all the time. Not some of the time or only when we feel like it, but all the time, which means in both private and in public settings. It would be hypocritical of us to behave in a Jesus, Christ-like manner in public, and then in the privacy of our homes with our family and friends, behave the opposite of what is "holy and pleasing to God." I know I am always challenging my behavior in both public and in private. Probably more so in private because that's where many of us believe that no one will see us and if we fall short and break a commandment no one will know.

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? - Micah 6:8.

It is in the privacy of our homes where we can say or do whatever is pleasing to the flesh and not have to abide by the Christian behavior God has called us to do. We think we won't be held accountable for cruel and sinful behaviors because no one can see us. Contrary to this belief, God sees everything, everywhere, all the time. He sees our sinful nature. We don't answer to each other, we answer to the Lord above anyone else. He knows when we are not loving our neighbor as we love ourselves even behind their backs. 

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” - Matthew 27:37-40. 

Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us. True Christian behavior is surrendering our hearts and yielding our sinful bodies to Christ so that He might continue God's work through us and in us. What does this mean? Love your enemies, love the ones who have wronged you in your life and be a witness, a beacon of light in a dark world.

Blessings until next week,

Debra Pauli

Unstoppable Believer

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