Inside Out

To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thess 1:11-12

This past summer I watched the movie “Inside Out” with my five year old grandson. It’s a story about an eleven year old girl who’s world turns upside down when her parents decide to move to San Fransisco. Through this difficult life changing event, her emotions take over and you see how anger, fear and disgust are wreaking havoc in her life.

In our political atmosphere in the last 18 months we’ve seen a lot of ugly exposure. The character of the candidates and their personal lives have revealed a salacious story of lies and immoral conduct.

Every profession has its hypocrites. Bankers steal money, athletes use drugs, lawyers fabricate evidence, politicians accept bribes, and doctors peddle narcotics. Human nature, being what it is, guarantees that we will find masqueraders in courtrooms, clinics, university lecture halls, federal offices, and even in churches that appear to be successful.

The apostle Paul reveals his hope and his prayer for the believers he had invested his life into. He was deeply concerned that their character would match their confession. Paul challenged them to walk worthy of their salvation in Jesus Christ. He upheld before them the very glory of the name they professed, and charged them to live in such a way that the splendor of Christ would be clearly seen.

Character reveals itself in the hidden things of everyday life as well as the dramatic things of public ministry—things like telling the truth when a lie would help you escape trouble, taking the blame when somebody else deserves it, not cutting corners on a job that nobody will inspect, or making unnecessary sacrifices to help people who won’t appreciate what you do anyway.

Character means living your life before God, fearing only him and seeking to please him alone, no matter how you feel or what others may say and do.

A pastor shared a story about looking to buy a house. He found one for a great price and it fit all of his “must have’s.” When it came time for the inspection it was discovered that the foundation of the house had several cracks. He thought it was just a matter of patching up the foundation but a friend of his who was a builder told him it would be a serious, costly mistake. After much debate and pouting he decided not to buy the house. Months later he learned that the new owners of that house were sinking lots of money in trying to repair ongoing leakage.

Robert Murray M’Cheyne wrote to his missionary friend is as true today as it was in 1840: “Remember you are God’s sword—His instrument—I trust a chosen vessel unto Him to bear His name. It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God.”

“O God, in these days when character no longer counts, help me to be that woman who cares about Your name and Your glory. Develop in me a conscience and conviction as I live this life worthy of the faith I profess from the inside out.”

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