Join Me for Tea on Thursday

Come in out of the cold and grab your favorite blend. Let’s have a few moments together and just chat.

As I was reading Scripture the other day my eyes fell on three pivotal words: what really matters.

For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. Philippians 1:10 NLT

In another translation, those three words are summed up into one single word: excellent.

 so that you may learn to recognize and treasure what is excellent [identifying the best, and distinguishing moral differences], and that you may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ [actually living lives that lead others away from sin]; Philippians 1:10 Amplified

It’s no secret that we are living in a time where division is more commonplace in lifestyle than it is in mathematical applications. It has become a way of identifying who is with or against your philosophies, preferences and practices.

And yet, the Apostle Paul reminds us (as he did the new believers in Philippi) that we are called to live based on what really matters – because that is the more excellent way.

We can insert our current (yes, I used that word because we are a fickle people) persuasion, our latest banner and our ride or die motto into the equation to eliminate those whom we consider less desirable. But as a Christ-follower, are we subtracting from our lives those who most need to see Jesus (the Living Word of GOD) for the sake of making a statement?

Maybe for just a moment in time … we can set aside our differences (hey, I prefer a good bowl of pho over traditional chicken noodle soup — and if you don’t know what pho is, Google it and go experience some) just long enough to pause and pray over what really matters.

The Apostle Paul was writing to a people new in their faith in the Lord Jesus. They were living in a city (climate) that was polytheistic and very ungodly. Paul was cheering them on to remain firm in their faith even in the face of opposition.

Maybe we’re looking cross-eyed at the one sporting tattoos from head to toe because it makes us uncomfortable. Maybe in the back of our minds we’ve judged the ones living in the tent cities thinking that they should just get their act together. Maybe we’re silently holding accountable the ones fighting addictions and can’t understand why they just don’t quit. Maybe we’re blaming the the ones who don’t look like us or speak like us or dress like us for just being different from us because it challenges us to remember that Creator GOD made them in His Image as well. Maybe we’re choosing to associate with only those whose church affiliations are identical to our own because it keeps us comfy and cozy and speaking Christianese is just easier.

However we elect to slice and dice it … it always comes back to what really matters. Because that is the more excellent way.

When we see people on the other side of our front door, do we look at them with the eyes of Compassion that Jesus did? Are we living out the truth that He gave us while He walked among us to show us a more excellent way? Jesus, the Son of GOD, showed us the Perfect way. He called out the Pharisees for adding hardship to the people of their day by demanding that they live complicated lives — a lifestyle that was never meant to be. In that mess and confusion, people became distraught, disillusioned and forgot Who GOD really is and that He loves us as we are. Broken and imperfect people living in a broken and imperfect world, He wants to heal and restore us — back to Him.

Can we pause long enough (warning: it might require swallowing a humble pill) to show that more excellent way by redirecting some of that energy into being an open invitation to experience Jesus to a dying world? You and I just might be the only sermon some people will ever listen to. You and I may be the closest thing to church community that some folks are willing to hover around. You and I may be the only example of Christ that some will ever see. How difficult do we want to make it for those outside of Christ to enter into a place where they want to be in Christ?

So, again I ask … what really matters … to you today?

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary

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