Wednesday, February 19, 2014
This Wasn’t Done in a Corner
Acts 26:25 But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking the sober truth.
Acts 26:26 Indeed the king knows about these things, and to him I speak freely; for I am certain that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this was not done in a corner.
Paul was speaking before Agrippa and Festus, sharing his testimony. It is at this time that he shares his Damascus road experience and the transformation that he encountered as a follower of Jesus Christ. The hope that he had found in Christ was exuding from him. Festus thinks that Paul is crazy but then Paul reminds the rulers that they have been witnessing all these things about which he is speaking. The followers of Christ are not living out their faith in secret, but instead are actively engaged in ministry, reflecting Christ to the world. Paul knows that the leaders have been watching and seeing that this is genuine. It “was not done in a corner!”
What makes us nervous about living out our faith today? Are we worried about what people around us might think?
Those earlier believers didn’t shrink from their faith. As they experienced the transforming power of God’s Holy Spirit working in their lives they began to live as reflections of Christ. They were known for their generosity, love for one another, and love for humanity. No one had encountered people like them before and they were not afraid. How do you think Paul was cared for while he was there in Caesarea? The followers of Christ openly cared for him day in and day out. Nothing was being done in a corner. The authorities of the day had personally been witnesses to the activities of these followers of Christ.
What a challenge for Christ followers these days. I think there are times when we become too concerned about being offensive to the person next to us. However, I’m not too sure that these early believers were offensive, but instead were simply genuine and consistent in the ways in which they lived their lives. What would happen today if all of God’s followers embraced a life of influential love on a day to day basis? What if we would simply ooze with the love of Christ? What if people experienced a church in which the people loved and cared for one another and there were no needs among them — and then they reached out to those within their community and met their needs as well? There would be no need to live out our faith in a corner because the bright light of faith would shine through these acts which reflect Christ.
Our spiritual lives should not be lived out in a corner but instead should be visible for all the world to see. Just as Moses could not hide the shekinah glory of God when he came down from the mountain so we should not be able to hide the reflection of Christ in our lives. It shouldn’t be possible to function in the corner. Our neighbors, and the church neighbors, and the community in which we live ought to know that we are followers of Jesus Christ.
Lord, may I live out my faith in such a way that you are reflected to the world around me. Amen.