5th day of Advent December 7th, 2017 Matthew 12:33
"... a tree is known by its fruit."
Lots of people hear it because so many people say it: "I don't go to church. Those people are hypocrites."
In the last few years, more than a few people close to me have challenged me about the work of ACrossMission and my silly mindless faith. "Not Yet Christians" visit a church, or attend a wedding or funeral and they hear fine words. But what do they see? What do they experience? One hurt and broken young person (who had just stormed out of service in disgust) asked that if the 600 people 'in there' actually lived the words they were singing and dancing to, wouldn't the world 'out here' be different? A fair question. The answer IS "yes."
How do people know that we are Christian? What evidence do 'they' have of 'our' faith or the nature of 'our' heart? Jesus said, "By their fruits, you will know them" (Matthew 7:20). The only way someone can see our hearts and learn our faith is to be confronted by the love infused evidence lived in 'our' lives. We are to reflect Jesus, the Light of the World - a mirror does not provide a reflection by describing - it silently acts and moves as truth is reflected.
This is NOT a call to silence! In addition to reflecting Jesus we are commissioned as His teachers, witnesses and ambassadors to speak love in the ultimate Word of Life. So we must speak.
This is not a suggestion that salvation can be earned. A Christian's acts of love reflect a joyful thankful heart. WE ARE FORGIVEN!! We are saved from despair and destruction. We are loved. The joy and gratitude overflowing this truth have this effect: we can't help but love others abundantly, even radically! Our works are simply an outward evidence of our inner joy and transformation in Christ.
Our lives will reflect Love completely - in thought, word and deed. If we live Love, God is honoured and praised. If we live Love, then the truth is heard - we are His people, He is our God and Love abounds. In living Love we realize God's promise and our Hope!
God provides us with abundant opportunity to Live Love. God allows us to freely live our acts and deeds. They WILL know us by Love and they will know Love by how we live.