While driving to an appointment I stopped at a traffic light and happened to look to my left. A prominent sign welcomed people to Northwest Portland on what at one time was a nicely landscaped plot. But whoever had planted and carefully constructed an image meant to greet people had allowed the site to fall into disrepair. Trash littered the ground and it looked like it had been sometime before anyone had tended to the plants.
I’m glad that a community purchased nice vegetation and an attractive sign welcoming people to their city. But if they don’t “tend to the garden” an eyesore and poor impression of their town is the end result for anyone paying attention.
Psalm 69:6—Do not let those who put their hope in You be disgraced because of me, Lord GOD of hosts; do not let those who seek You be humiliated because of me God of Israel.
People formulate their opinion about what we represent by what they see. For example if I tell people I am a follower of Jesus and I have a trashy mouth I potentially turn people away from wanting to know Him. The same holds true for a quick temper, for selfishness, for a critical attitude and for a myriad of other things.
The pastor who gave the sermon in the church we are attending wore a white t-shirt in front of the thousands there to hear him. Did he consider before choosing his wardrobe that he represents his Savior? I seriously doubt it. The casual northwest culture is not concerned with dressing before God but rather with feeling comfortable. And therein lies the problem—where is the sense of reverence that ought to govern the way we live? God gave Moses specific instructions about making the garments the priests were to wear and established a strict dress code for coming before His presence. He did this so Israel would constantly be reminded that they served the King of kings, and not some carved idol. While we are not governed by Mosaic laws, we serve the same awesome Lord. Our appearance matters not so that we would draw (or not draw) attention to ourselves but rather bring honor to Him.
Lord please don’t let me be sloppy in the way I live. Don’t let those who are searching for You trip up because of me. Don’t let my sign be compromised. Do help me to be conscious of You and willing to consistently work at keeping my life attractive so that You are honored.
The Indians observed that many nominal Christians were guilty of wicked acts, and assumed that all white people were alike.—John Thornbury “David Brainerd” in Five Pioneer Missionaries
©2013 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)