WE MUST LIVE RIGHTEOUSLY
I Tim 2:2 “That we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” God wants us to be godly people, holy people.
A preacher wrote, “the ugly part of me sure showed his beastly face the other night. I was driving on a two-lane road that was about to become a single lane. A woman in a car beside me was in the lane that continued. I was in the one that stopped. I needed to be ahead of her. My schedule was, no doubt, more important than hers. After all, am I not a man of the cloth?
“So I floored it. Guess what? She did too. When my lane ended, she was a fender ahead of me. I growled and slowed and let her go ahead. Over her shoulder she gave me a sweet little bye-bye wave. Grrrr.
“I started to dim my headlights. Then I paused. The sinister part of me said, ‘Wait a minute.’ Am I not to shed light on dark places? SO I PUT A LITTLE HIGH BEAM IN HER REARVIEW MIRROR.
“She retaliated by slowing down. To a crawl. This woman was mean. She wasn’t going to go beyond fifteen miles per hour. And I wasn’t going to take my lights out of her rearview mirror. Like two stubborn donkeys, she kept it slow and I kept it bright.
“After more unkind thoughts, the road widened and I started to pass. Wouldn’t you know it? A red light left the two of us side by side at an intersection. What happened next contains both good news and bad news. The good news is, she waved at me. The bad news is, her wave was not one you’d want to imitate.
“Moments later, conviction surfaced, ‘WHY DID I DO THAT?’ I’m typically a calm guy, but for fifteen minutes I was a beast!”
Brothers and sisters, is that you? Are you a beast at times? At home? At work? At Wal-marts? While driving or shopping?
We can be pretty good people at church most of the time, but God is very much interested in how we act and react outside the church.
I Pet. 2:12 “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds (and your good life) and glorify God…”
Max Lucado tells this interesting story about his encounter with a prophet. “I wanted breakfast. I got a prophet. I went to the deli to order some breakfast. For a couple of bucks you can get all the eggs and sausage you can handle… A prophet had the same idea. He was short and thin – a wispy fellow with cropped, unkempt hair, and a bushy, red beard.
“By the time I got there, he was already ordering his food. Meticulously ordering his food. ‘Do you serve a breakfast taco with no meat? Just potatoes and eggs? Is it salted? How many potatoes?’ The deli lady lifted the pan so he could see.
“Maybe he wanted to be sure he got his money’s worth. Maybe he observes a religious diet. Or maybe he was just picky. I couldn’t tell. But I could tell that he was polite, painfully polite.
“As someone was preparing the prophet’s food, a second worker appeared. He thought the prophet hadn’t been waited on and asked if he needed help. ‘No, I’ve been helped. But since you asked, may I ask you if you are a believer in Jesus Christ? I am his prophet and I am sent to you.’
“As the prophet was about to leave, he turned to the deli lady and said, ‘I bless you in the name of Jesus Christ for your kind assistance.’ And he caught a glimpse of the deli man and said to him, ‘I bless you in the name of Jesus Christ.’ He didn’t say what for. Perhaps a generic blessing.
“As I was about to leave I bumped into Lawrence. Lawrence is a friend from my church. Bumping into Lawrence is no small matter. He’s an ex-pro football player. Everything about Lawrence is big, and everything about Lawrence is kind. A strong hug from Lawrence can last you a week.
“And that’s what he gave me…a good hug, a warm handshake, and a genuine question about my well-being. Not much, just a couple of minutes of kind concern.
“As I was leaving, I was struck by the contrast of the two encounters. Both the prophet and Lawrence are followers of Christ. Both are unashamed of their faith. Both love to carry a Bible. Both like to bless people. But that’s where the similarities end.
“One wears sandals and a robe, and the other wears tennis shoes and jeans. One dresses like Jesus, BUT THE OTHER ACTS LIKE JESUS. One introduced himself as an ambassador for Christ; the other didn’t have to. One stirred my curiosity, but the other touched my heart.”
If we want to change America for the better and all people for the better, we must live righteously or holy lives but without presenting a “holier-than-thou” image. We must kill the “beast” within us.
On January 20, 2017, we will celebrate a new day in America as Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence are sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States of America at the 58th Presidential Inauguration, once again establishing a government of, by and for the people, as we, the people, Make America Great Again!
Leading up to this historical event, Manly Training will post a daily blog that outlines how it is that we, the people can make America Great Again.
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