January 21st follow-up

Living in light of His coming
1 Thessalonians 2:1-16
“What will our testimony be?”

I am guessing each of us has been to a funeral service. Typically during the service individuals will come forward and share some memories of the deceased person. In a way, those folks are testifying to what they witness about that individual.

For those of us who are followers of Jesus, one day our time here will come to an end. When that happens, I don’t want people to just say of me – “Oh he was a nice guy” or “he was a good friend”. I want them to speak of spiritual things they witnessed in my life.

Paul’s enemies seeking to discredit His message, attacked him and his message. They attacked the use of his time, they attacked his motives, they attacked the truthfulness of his message, they accused him of seeking to please people, and that he was only there for their money. When we are gone, what will be left behind will be our witness and what others will say about us (our testimony).

Will they say that we used our time wisely for the kingdom of God? No matter how long you live in your community, how long you are part of your church family, or how long you are in your current job, you have the opportunity to make an impact on the kingdom of God. If you are faithful to let His light shine through you, then you used your time wisely.

Will they say that you did the right things for the right reasons? We need to realize that we can do the right thing but for the wrong reasons. When you do the right thing for the wrong reasons eventually your true motives will surface or you will quit doing what you're doing. When we do the right thing for the right reasons, then it doesn’t matter how others respond.

Will they say that we were truthful with the gospel and transparent with our lives? Sometimes in our desire to see people saved, we may inadvertently convey this rosey picture of the Christian life. A life that is free from struggles with sin. A life that is free of hardships. When we do this, we may cause those new in their faith to question their choice when things don’t get better right away. It is also important that we are honest and transparent with our struggles. When we are honest about our struggles, it can give hope to others with theirs.

Will they say that we were focused on pleasing God rather than man? When our focus is on pleasing people rather than God, we won’t speak the truth of God’s word, nor will we stand upon it. In light of the culture we live in today, we must stand upon the truth of God’s word even if it doesn’t win us many friends or causes us to lose some.

Lastly, will they say the focus of our lives was on what we could give rather than what we could get? It is natural for us to focus on self. But the life of a follower of Jesus should be other’s oriented.

Every believer needs to consider both our rewards at the Bema seat of Christ as well as the testimony we will leave behind. Remember, Jesus is coming soon.
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