The Norman Transcript

December 28, 2012

Being a Christian is more than wearing a label

By Barrett Vanlandingham
The Associated Press

NORMAN — Now that winter is officially here as of Dec. 21, we will definitely see some changes in the weather. Obviously, the drop in temperature and chances of snow do not happen because of the label of winter, but rather because God created this season to be this way. God also created a plan for Christians to follow. But just like the seasons, Christians do not change their behavior just because they have a new label. People change in response to their realization of the depth of the love of Jesus.

In 2 Corinthians 5:14 the apostle Paul says, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.”

Paul further explains that Christians are not to live for themselves, but instead for Jesus whose selfless act on the cross gives us hope today.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17) Paul explained this concept of self-sacrifice repeatedly to new Christians in the first century. His message to the church in Galatia echoed his letter to the Corinthians.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).”

So what does this mean to us as Christians? We have a lot of work to do. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

There are people (yes, even here in Fort Gibson) who will never know about the love of Christ unless you show it to them through your attitude. Yes, inviting someone to a worship service is a good thing. But perhaps the best way to introduce lost souls to Jesus Christ is to be a light to those around you the same way Jesus became a light to the world.

Christ’s love is available for all people. And it is Christians whose job it is to plant seed. You may never know the impact of a kind word or a good deed. But in a world where Godless people continue to make decisions contrary to God’s will, it is becoming more and more important for Christians to get out of our pews, out of our comfort zones, and share God’s love to those who many may have written off as unreachable.

May God bless us all this week in spite of our unworthiness, to humbly wear the name Christian as we put our faith into action. Have a great week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or barrett@ftgcc.org.

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