Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28) Paul and his ministry partners declared publicly, in speech and in writing, the praises and glory of the name of Jesus Christ, but the word proclaim also can mean to show by giving an outward indication of something. In this day and age, the silent witness of how we live our lives is often as important, if not more, than the words we speak. I pray none of us are afraid to speak the name of Jesus in public, but I pray also that
“The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130) Some view the bible as a random list of dos and don’ts we’re expected to obey for no other reason than, “God says so.” Others agree, but feel the blood washes the dos and the don’s away rather than our guilt for breaking them, and view the bible today as being a warm fuzzy book full of hope and promises of salvation, healing, protection from harm and our enemies, and promises if we have enough faith, we’ll be given every desire of our heart. Eventually, these latter “Arm Chair Christians”
“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) This gem comes to us when God sends Samuel to anoint a son of Jesse to be king instead of Saul and doesn’t tell Samuel right away which one. Samuel sees the good, kingly looks and height of the eldest, and thinks this must be the one God has chosen to be king. We do this today.
“ For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” (Romans 12:3) “Don’t think too highly of yourself. The bible says so. ” We’ve probably heard that on someone’s lips at some point. It’s true, to an extent. Pride is a sin and humility is a virtue. But that’s not the whole picture here. For starters, we can find ourselves guilty of thinking very highly of ourselves for thinking very lowly of ourselves.
“Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” (Romans 15:2) Yikes! Whatever happened to you can’t please everyone? Okay, lay some context on me, please: We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written,”The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” (Romans 15:1-3) Ah, there, Paul is continuing his discourse from Romans 14 on the varying convictions in the Body and saying we should