2000-12-18 - It's A Wonderful Life
Ephesians 5:15,16 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
During the Christmas season it is common for TV networks to broadcast the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life." It is one of the true Christmas classics in theater. The premise of the movie is that the lead character, played by Jimmy Stewart, gets to experience what the world would be like if he did not exist. He gets a chance to see the difference he has made on his community.
It is really a very interesting story line. Have you ever thought about the impact you have on those around you? If you take a moment and think of all the people you interact with on personal and superficial levels, it really is mind bending. There are people with whom you have contact on so many different levels. That contact, even when superficial, effects them.
This being true, it is so important how we conduct ourselves. Can you imagine what the impact on our towns, our states, nation, and the world would be if we lived up to our high calling to be faithful children of God? Just a few faithful Christians, working within their communities, could literally change the world. Our calling is Holiness. We are reminded of this is 1 Thessalonians 5:7, "For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, by in sanctification."
Paul also begs us in Ephesians 4:1 to, "walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called." He knew the impact a faithful life could have because he was part of a group that was experiencing it first hand. He knew that if there were more people like him, who were, "diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace," (Ephesians 4:3) that the influence of the cause of Christ would be magnified.
The book of Ephesians is a great place to learn what it means to be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1), watch our tongue (Ephesians 4:29), and throughout the entire book it teaches us how to walk with Christians, and as Christians, in unity. This is much of the task of living in the world as a Christian. Seeking to live as followers of Christ in the world can be a difficult thing, but it is also our calling.
As ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), we represent Him and our faith to a world that is dying in sin. While it is true that just by existing we do have an impact on those around us, can we have more of an impact? Can we have a deeper impact? The answer is yes.
The method to increasing our impact on those around us is to seek to become more and more like Christ. One thing becomes clear when we look at the life of Christ in Scripture and that is that people were drawn to Him. As we become more and more like Christ our influence and usefulness to His cause will also grow. This also is part of our calling as Christians: to influence and leave a mark on a society that needs to experience the love and healing message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,