This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
How does the world in general perceive Christianity these days? A few years ago, Rick Levin, a writer for a secular paper, visited a weekend Christian music festival and wrote an article entitled, “Chriastapalooza: 20,000 Christians Convene at the Gorge: God Doesn’t Show Up”. While I don’t know what, if any, agenda the author had in writing the article, in reading it I was both fascinated and disturbed by some of his perceptions. In the article, he writes:
“I have a difficult time locating any similarities between what Jesus says and does, and what the people – in particular the organizers – said and did... Jesus is a beacon of righteousness who leads the way through a dark world to eternal peace, love and eternal salvation; the Jesus of [the festival’s organizers] is a blue-light special, pointing you to the quick fix of a righteous bargain in the shopping mall of endless consumption.
These are two versions of Christ, and the premises they entail, are antithetical. They negate one another, leading me to a very unsettling, unpleasant conclusion about [the festival]: It was, in the end, a very un-Christian affair."
Mr. Levin was harsh in his criticism of the festival. Unfortunately, I’m afraid he wasn’t altogether wrong. He was unnerved by the vast consumerism evident at the festival, with musicians and speakers promoting their products. I find nothing inherently wrong with a gathering of Christians for the purpose of wholesome entertainment, worship and praise. I find nothing inherently wrong with artists and others promoting their Christian products. But, when the world peers into our subculture and most noticeably sees commercialism –and not Jesus – something is wrong!
An important aspect of our calling as Christ-followers is to point people to Jesus through our words, our behaviors and yes, even through our Christian subculture. Today, as individuals, let’s take some time to evaluate what our lives and words are communicating about Jesus to the world around us in order to make sure the message we send is the message we intend.
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1. Can you think of areas in your life where what you communicate to others about Jesus through your behavior and your words are not the messages you intend?
2. What changes are you willing to make in your life in order to more effectively point people to Jesus?
2 Corinthians 6:3; Matthew 23:25-28; Matthew 15:8
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