2Cor. 6:2 “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
James 4:14 “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
Two principle ideas are put forth in these passages. One, today is all we have. Now is the best time to decide to live for God. Two, we have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Our lives are short and that brings urgency to today.
Millions of dollars are spent and earned to help people combat procrastination. Companies and individuals enroll in educational programs designed to help people overcome the traps of putting off things that should be done today. Personally, I have serious doubts about the return on investment of such programs, but it does speak to our collective recognition and need to fix a problem. You’d think if we all knew it was a problem that we’d get busy fixing it, but alas – we’re too busy putting off the fix. People often choose to do what they want rather than what is needed.
Of the 1st century Christians Luke was inspired to write, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” (Acts 5:42)
Daily they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. Let that soak in. Not a day passed without them doing these things.
Could it be that the success we often so admire of the 1st century Church resulted from that type of daily dedication? Could it partially explain our present day lack of success in spreading the gospel?
It also points to an answer to our posted question, “How can you make a difference every day?” The best way for a Christian to make a positive difference every single day is to mirror Christ by behaving like a redeemed person and by sharing the gospel of Christ.
Teaching is both active and passive. Active teaching happens when we sit down with somebody and review scriptures together. It happens when a public speaker addresses an audience and delivers teaching from the scriptures. Passive teaching happens when others see the choices and decisions we make. It happens when others witness our vocabulary, our restraint, and our conduct that is obviously unique. It happens when people daily see us behave kindly toward others. It happens when they see how we dress, how we talk, how we behave and when they see us refuse behaviors that are commonplace to others.
For a moment think of public teaching. The speaker delivers a sermon based on the Gospel. A week later he does the same thing. On the third week he speaks, but his speech is worldly and he is clearly not speaking according to the scriptures. When he speaks on the fourth week, what are you thinking?
Are you thinking of the first two Gospel-based sermons he delivered? Or, are you thinking how odd it was for him to use worldly language in that third sermon – and wondering why he’s now given an opportunity to deliver a 4th sermon? You’re thinking, “He shouldn’t be allowed to preach!”
All of us would be thinking the latter. Why is this man still allowed to preach publicly? We don’t care how excellent or scripture-based his first two sermons were. He’s clearly not a man who lives by what he preaches. We’ve witnessed speech and behavior that don’t mirror the Gospel that he preaches. We immediately recognize that inconsistency. The odd man out sermon is the one he delivered using worldly speech. It’s the one that stands out in our minds. It’s that sermon that determines our view of the speaker.
Why do you think it’s different with passive teaching? Why do people think they can behave like Christians one day, but neglect it another day – and expect people to still see Christ in their life? It makes no sense, but too often it’s how some Christians live.
Others will immediately spot the inconsistency in your life. It will jump out as clearly as the worldly worded sermon of our illustration.
The daily difference we’re commanded to make requires our daily commitment to be Christ-like. It demands that we watch what we say, what we do, where we go, how we dress and how we behave. That’s how you can make a difference every day in your life and in the life of everybody around you.