The Mark of a Life

BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

The founder of a church which gained worldwide attention because of their protests at the funerals of U.S. soldiers, homosexuals and celebrities, passed away several years ago. While only God can judge this man’s heart, his life did not reflect that of a true follower of Jesus Christ, but a life affected by hatred.

We are called as believers to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19, 20, Acts 1:8). Certainly, in the process of doing this some people will be offended and reject what we say (John 15:18, 19; 1 Corinthians 1:22, 23). However, while we share the truth of God’s Word and who Jesus Christ is, if we do this without love, then as the apostle Paul said, we are nothing more than a meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal (1 Corinthians 13:1).

Jesus’ life was defined not by hatred but by love. In fact, His love for mankind is what brought Him to this earth to give up His very life setting us free from our sins (John 3:16, 17). This is what drives us in sharing the truth of the Gospel message: love for God and a love for others (Matthew 22:37-39). We should not alienate non-Christians because of their sin (1 Corinthians 5:9-11), but rather seek to lead them to Christ and trust God’s Holy Spirit to clean up their lives.

As Christians we recognize the eternal reality that awaits every single human being who rejects Jesus Christ (John 3:18, 36) and lives a life contrary to His will (Ephesians 5:5). Therefore, if we are to be an effective witness, it will be displayed through selfless acts of love and compassion:

But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27, 28).

Time to Pray

I got up early one morning
And rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish
That I didn’t take time to pray.
Problems just tumbled about me,
And heavier came each task,
“Why doesn’t God help me,” I wondered.
He answered, “You didn’t ask.”
I wanted to see joy and beauty
But the day toiled on, gray and bleak,
I wondered why God didn’t show me,
He said, “But you didn’t seek.”
I tried to come into God’s presence;
I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
“My child, you didn’t knock.”
I woke up early this morning
And paused before entering the day.
I had so much to accomplish
That I had to take time to pray.
Author Unknown

Throughout the Day

indexby Bill Rudge

Early one morning my then five-year-old granddaughter, Caeleana, saw me on my knees by the couch preparing to pray. She exclaimed, “You are supposed to pray in the evening before you go to bed.”

I responded, “You are right. But I also pray in the morning to start my day and at noon in the middle of the day. And I pray at night to thank the Lord for that day.”

Caeley listened with wide eyes of interest so I continued, “I love you and talk to you throughout the day; so too, because I love my Lord, I talk to Him through prayer as often as I can.”

Her smile indicated that what I said made a connection. She understood.