Thursday, October 16, 2014

Your Behavior Matters

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

I’m a behaviorist at heart. Bottom line for me is, what do you do with what you believe? Take Scripture, for example. Some Christ followers assume that when someone affirms the authority of Scripture [inspiration, inerrancy, infallibility], they also submit to its authority. Trust me, that is not always the case.

Israel is a prime example. They held to a high view of the Torah, and often failed miserably in holding to its statutes and precepts. And so the apostle Paul made this accusation against them:

Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you [Romans 2:17-21; 23-24]. 

Paul’s exhortation to the Romans centered on the idea that Israel’s disobedience led Gentiles to blaspheme God. That is true in our culture too. Our Lord is often ridiculed because of the behavior [the sins] of His children. Believe it or not, you are the only “Bible” some people will ever read or know. As Paul told the Corinthian Christ followers, You are our epistle written…known and read by all men [2 Corinthians 3:2].

The purpose of this eDevotion is to encourage you to know, or remember, that the authority of Scriptures is not merely a doctrine of belief, it is something to be pursued and lived out—in our behavior. True, Christ followers will always be accused and maligned. And if it happens to you, make sure it is for righteousness sake, not for sinful behavior!

Keep your behavior excellent among the nations, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God… 1 Peter 2:12

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