Friday, October 31, 2008

#14 Mistaken Identity

"If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are
not of the world...the world hates you." John 15:19

Have you ever been driving down the road and thought you saw one of your
friends in an approaching vehicle? I have had this happen more times than I
can recall. There was actually one time that I had been looking for a
particular friend and I could not find him. This was way back in the dark
ages-early 90's-before cell phones were so common. I know there are a few
of you who remember those days. Back then we had to leave a message and
just hope and pray that we could find someone in case of an emergency. I
really needed to find my friend so I decided to go look for him. I drove
over to his house and no one was home. I went by where he worked and he was
not there either. I finally decided to go look around town where we would
hang out with some of our friends. When I got near the hang-out I met his
car. I began to wave wildly in an attempt to get his attention and I even
flashed my lights trying to get him to look my way. No matter what I did he
did not even look toward me. So I whipped my car around and to try and
follow him. I was able to get right behind his car. I got really close to
him and flashed my lights again and waved my arms at him. We finally came
to a stop light that had a turn lane so I could pull right up beside him.
When I got up beside him my heart sank. The guy that I had been following
and trying to get to stop was not my friend after all. The car was the same
by all appearances, but my friend was not in the driver's seat. In fact, it
was not his car at all. Boy did I feel like a fool. The guy driving the
car said some words to me that I dare not repeat and he took off spinning
tires when the light changed. I simply drove away slowly trying not to draw
further attention to myself. I decided from that point on that I would make
real sure next time before I followed someone trying to get their attention.
Praise the Lord for cell phones so we can find those that we seek.

As I think this evening about mistaken identities, I wonder how many of us
are mistaken for someone else. What I mean more directly is how many of us
profess to be one thing, but the way that we live our lives says something
totally different. There is a song by Christian recording artists D.C. Talk
that says in the very beginning, "The greatest single cause of atheism in
the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk
out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving
world simply finds unbelievable." I have to be totally honest with you all
this evening and admit that there have been times in my life where I did not
live in such a way as to honor Jesus by my actions. During those times it
would have been very easy to have mistaken me for someone who did not have
Jesus at all. Friends, we are living in a time that we need to be about our
Father's business. We are living in a time that requires us to solidify our
relationship with the Lord Jesus so that we are not swept away in the
deceptions that this world will receive. I think it is time that each of us
examined our lives and asked the question, "Am I truly ready for the coming
of Christ?" For many of us the answer would be a resounding "Yes!" For
others I think the answer would be one that we hope no one would hear. But
the hour is not yet passed where we can come to the Lord. There is still
time for us to get our act together so that we stand out from those who live
their lives only for the pleasure of the moment. I do not mean that we
should want to stand out so as to draw attention unto ourselves. I mean
that we as Seventh-day Adventist Christians who love the Lord should stand
out in our efforts to bring the three angels' messages to a dying world.
Each day thousands go to the grave without the hope of anything beyond the
temporal pleasures that this world has to offer while we sit upon a mountain
of life-giving truth. I pray that we would each resolve in our hearts to
not let another day go by without us living completely for the Lord Jesus
Christ. If you are among those who faithfully walk with the Lord each day
then find those in your midst whose day you can brighten with a word of
encouragement. Some of you may say that you don't have the talents to do
much for Jesus. Friends, please realize that if Jesus calls us then He WILL
equip us to do His good pleasure. May it never be said of any of us that we
are mistaken for the world. May it be said of us instead like it was of the
disciples; that we have been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).

Dear Father God,
As we lift our hearts and minds toward heaven tonight, we praise You for
being the awesome and mighty God that You are. You are the sovereign of the
universe and You are worthy to be praised. As we bow before You may we
realize just how awesome it is to be able to live our lives totally for You.
I know Lord that many of us have not been as faithful as we should have been
and we need to stop playing around and live for You in every aspect of our
lives. As we surrender to You just now, please give us that blessed
assurance that You hear and forgive us of all of our transgressions (1 John
1:9). I pray Lord Jesus that You will give us the courage to live for You
openly and unashamedly, and we long for the day when You will place Your arm
of love around us and say, "Well done, good and faithful servant...enter
into the joy of your lord" (Matthew 25:21). In the name of our Lord and
Savior Jesus we pray, Amen.

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