Challenge Central: a CBC devotional
by: Pastor Alan Rietberg
I wonder if these words have ever been said to you: “you’re just like your father” or “you’re just like your mother” or “you’re just like _________” (fill in the blank).
Our characteristics, qualities, or abilities are always being viewed and often compared to someone else—sometimes good and sometimes not so good!
What people see in us not only reflects on us personally, but also on our family, the people we hang around with, and it may impact the viewer as well.
Let me clarify.
On my way to church this morning there was a ‘slow poke’ driving in front of me. I had time to go around them and pull into the church parking lot, but it probably would have made that person slow down while I made the turn.
What would they think about the church and Christians because of my driving? ran through my mind, and would the extra 5 or 10 seconds gained be worth the negative opinion they might form? I chose to be patient and stayed behind the ‘slow poke.’ But it reminded me of other situations in which we find ourselves almost daily. What about the way we speak to people? The jokes we tell? The patience or short temper we demonstrate? The work ethic we show at our workplace etc.?
How does all of this reflect on our allegiance to God and HIS nature? What things do our children pick up from us that are indicators of our true heart of worship in all areas of our life to the Saviour?
In a magazine article that Gord Knight passed along to me there was a sobering statistic. It said “A father’s religious conviction was the primary factor in determining if parents’ religion will be carried on by their children. If the father is non-practising and the mother is a steady church attendee, only 2% of their children will become regular worshippers and 37% will attend occasionally.” It carried on saying “It’s vital that a father fulfill his responsibility to set an example of spiritual faithfulness that his children will want to emulate.”
This brings me back to the point: “You’re just like…”
What conclusion would someone come to about the depth of our heart-dedication to Christ, based on what they see in our day-to-day life?
Someone may say “I don’t care what people think, or that’s my business, not theirs.” This is a ‘me focus’ rather than a ‘God focus,’ a reflection of the ‘old nature’ we are to be putting off, rather than the ‘new nature’ we are to be adopting.
Ephesians 4:21-24 in the New Living Testament says:
“Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God — truly righteous and holy.”
A few verses later in Ephesians 5:1 we read: “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children.”
When we become a Christian, we willingly relinquish control of every part of us to our Saviour. Even though we are not perfect, we should aim in the direction of becoming more and more like Jesus in every area of our life because He is working in our hearts.
“You’re just like your Father…” should be a wonderful compliment we’d love to hear because it means that our Father God is continuing to work in our lives and other people are noticing it and are drawn to the Saviour. Matthew 5:16 (NLT) says, “Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
In conclusion, can those around you see the ‘family resemblance’ between you and your heavenly Father?