"… Live as children of light for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth…"
Key point: Our task in the church is to proclaim Christ as Lord, His character, righteousness, peace, and joy, all by the Holy Spirit. We are also to stand against sin, as positive examples and catalysts for transformational lives! This will effectively be the catalyst to build quality, lasting, and effective relationships. We are to showcase our personal identification and relationship to our Lord and Savior!
We are called to stay away from the sins of the world that are dark and foreboding; we are called to keep our focus in the Light of our Lord. In this way, we can be the living examples of what Christ does for us. If we seek what is dark when we are saved, we forsake so much. Why do this to ourselves and others? Remember, we are His children, so let's seek how to please Him and live worthy lives instead of playing in the darkness. We can shine a light so people will realize that sin is foolish and shameful. We can be used to wake people up from their evil so they can have a transformed and meaningful lives, too. As leaders it is essential that we are careful how we live and make sure it is Christ-like, not worldly--not unwise and foolish. Christ is the One who is to stimulate our hearts and minds, not the substances of worldliness. We can be people who worship Christ, who are filled with the Holy Spirit and are grateful. Then, we can encourage and inspire others to be their best for His glory.
What we exemplify and teach is to have great joy from our commitment to God (Nehemiah 8:10). It also means we are to seek His power with delight, for the overcoming of our sins, for the courage to witness, and for the job of ministry, even to people we do not like. This joy means radiant joy, which will overflow from us to the others around us! This Joy becomes sealed in us as we mature in the faith and as we are filled with His Word (John 14:16-26; 16:12-15; 17:17; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; Col. 3:15-16).
What we exemplify and teach is that we exhibit, not just lead praise and celebration of our Lord in unity with willing, loving hearts! Real worship and music are never a show; rather, they are responses of our love giving praise. We as a congregation are the performers, and Christ is the audience. Real, authentic worship is to be inspired by who Christ is and what He is doing in us. It is not about form or function or type; it is about our hearts showing our love to Him (Mark 14:26; Acts 16:25; Eph. 5:19; Heb. 2:12).
We should be clear on this: a healthy Christian is one who has joy in their hearts, who puts aside the malicious traits of an evil sinful nature, and embraces others in love. Our need is to bow to His Lordship for our betterment and growth! This will keep us going on the right path through that dark, foreboding jungle of the pandemonium of life! What comes out of love is the release of our feelings of desire, pride, betrayal and hurt.
Being thankful also helps us to see joy and hope, and to forgive and live and have joy by which we display God's goodness. Without gratitude, we are ungrateful people--ingrates; this is an insult to God. As a result, we will live a self-inflicted, miserable, hopeless life, no matter what we have or could have; God's goodness that is to be shown through us is veiled by our very own contempt.
© 2016 R.J. Krejcir, Ph.D., Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development www.churchleadership.org/