46 “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Nathanael asked him. “Come and see,” Philip answered. (John1:46 CSB)
There are times that no matter what good is said about us others will question. If we are not known, positively, by our actions then we will be judged by them. Even then, we may find it difficult for people to accept us. Especially when we come from a place that is not seen favorably.
We are expected to be a product of our environment as much as by those we associate with.
Even as Christ went about teaching he was judged by both where he came from and by the company he kept (tax assessors, prostitutes, the lame and leperous). Yet, his actions among these began to speak louder than who he was with.
Even so, he was despised by the leaders for these things.
We must be more than the sum of our environment and our company.
35 A good person produces good things from his storeroom of good, and an evil person produces evil things from his storeroom of evil. (Matthew 12:35 CSB)
The question before us today is “what does our storeroom house?’
Well, to determine what is in your storeroom, take a look at what you are selling.
What are you portraying to others? What do they believe of us based upon our words, deeds and actions? Do these things come from a place of goodness or not? Are our motives altruistic or are they self serving?
What are we building up in our storerooms? Are they full of good thoughts and good deeds or are they full of only what we profits us?
We all spend our days selling a product. The product of us. We like to think that product is good and attractive. But we only need to look at the storeroom to know.
20 Then Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshiped, 21 saying:
Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will leave this life.[a]
The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
22 Throughout all this Job did not sin or blame God for anything. (Job 1:20-22 CSB)
“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing, it was here first.” This quote has been attributed to Mark Twain and whether he said it or not, it fits perfectly with Job’s statement about how we come in and leave this world.
In today’s entitlement society it is believed that just because we are here we are owed something. Be that a living or the clothes on our back. Naked we came and naked we will leave.
However, we can be assured that through belief and faith that God wants more for us and he is preparing great things when we arrive in our heavenly home.
But what we do with the dash between the dates in our lives is what will matter most. What we do from one naked moment to the next….
35 So don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised. (Hebrews 10:35-36 CSB)
Confidence is something that is typically readily evident in meeting people. The idea is that people either have confidence or do not. However, I do not believe that is true. Too often I think quiet or introverted people are viewed as lacking confidence. This is not the case.
It is easy to confuse extraverted bravado as confidence and too often this form of confidence fails quickest.
I have known many strong and confident people who had a quite confidence. Not something they had to display because it seeped from everything they did and said. They did not need to be pointed out because their actions, words and deeds spoke for them.
In fact I believe quiet confidence to be the strongest.
7 If my step has turned from the way,
my heart has followed my eyes,
or impurity has stained my hands,
8 let someone else eat what I have sown,
and let my crops be uprooted. (Job 31:7-8 CSB)
We have a choice, actually many choices. We can make good choices or bad choices. We have free will and the ability to make our own decisions in this life.
But what do our choices lead us to?
Are they improving our life or the lives of those around us? Or are they simply setting us up for someone else to take advantage of what we have done?
Our steps must be guided by the Spirit and our wisdom for decision making supported by scripture. Without these two things we are not setting up for our best life. We may be uprooted and others may gain the profit from our labor.
We must strive to be the best version of ourselves possible.
12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been suffering violence,[a] and the violent have been seizing it by force. (Matthew 11:12 CSB)
We witness a lot of violence in the news each day and it has been so, to a greater or lesser extent, since the dawn of man. We are a violent people since the fall. This became evident early on with Cain and Able.
Sometimes violence must be met with violence, but until such time we must endeavor to be peaceful. We cannot pepetuat the violence we see. Our first action should be to act in love. Seeking to reconcile and not perpetuate the hate and disconnect we see acted out in society.
This is not the path Christ came to bring others into heaven.
3 When I observe your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you set in place,
4 what is a human being that you remember him,
a son of man[a] that you look after him? (Psalm 8:3-4 CSB)
When we are faced with the grandeur of God’s creation all around us it can seem difficult to imagine he cares for us. We are but a grain of sand on an endless beach.
Yet, all this he did for us. His creation was put in place for mankind and then he redeemed us through the sacrifice of His Son.
That we are, each of us precious in his sight is a wonderful thing Something almost beyond comprehension.
And He has made each of us unique, to serve a specific purpose and fulfill His plan on earth.
Never let the world or people make you think you are anything but precious and unique.