Most of us as older people catch ourselves doing something or saying something that reminds us of our parents. For example, I have a strong interest in cars. My father was a class A auto mechanic. He liked to tease people and so do I. Now I did not set out to be passionate about cars or want to tease people, rather I unconsciously imitated my dad as I saw him act this way time and time again.
During our formative years we usually take on some of the characteristics of those around us. Just as we are shaped in some ways by our family members as we grow up, we are spiritually shaped as we spend time with godly Christians, study the stories of God’s people in Scripture and, above all, read the stories of the Good Shepherd again and again as recorded in the Bible. The attributes and habits of the Master and His followers will gradually become ours in these ways.
Just as we are personally responsible for the content of the letters we write and mail to others, we are responsible for the content of our “letters” that people read each day. They must see how we deal with life’s alternatives. For example, people need to observe how we cope with adversity. They should see how we give glory to God in spite of living in daily pain emotionally and physically. We may sing the hymn Amazing Grace as beautifully and frequently as we wish. What is required is for believers to live amazing grace, to draw strength from the many great and precious promises of the Bible.
It is a little understood truth that people professing faith in Jesus Christ are to be seen as open letters or epistles to be read by everyone who sees them. We are to consider our wonderful privilege of being platforms for biblical truth.
It seems obvious that living Scriptural truth is a much more powerful message than a sermon preached in the house of God, far removed from the struggles of daily life. I say this as a preacher with 56 years experience (in 2022).
Preaching is a sacred ordinance of God, and we must publicly proclaim the Word of God in obedience to the Lord’s command (2 Tim. 4:1-2). In one way or another all of us are to make the Gospel known.
What do people read about our Father in heaven when they see your life each day? Today, may you preach a living sermon for the glory of God and the blessing of those around you who read your message of the grace of God in Jesus Christ.
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.
I’d rather one would walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear.
Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear.
The best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds.
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it if you’ll let me see it done.
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
The lectures you deliver may be very wise and true.
But I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do.
I may not understand the high advice that you may give.
But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.