Whenever I visit my mother-in-law in South Carolina, I spend a lot of time watching westerns on satellite TV. You can literaly watch all day if you want to. I used to watch all the hit western TV shows as a child like The Rifleman, The Big Valley, Rawhide, Bonanza, etc. There are also some good old cowboy pictures as well which my father-in-law particularly enjoys. These shows usually have a couple things in common. There's a villain and then there's the good guy. Sometimes the villain actually enjoys looking for a gunfight. He walks into the saloon with his ten gallon hat cocked to one side, his six-shooter strapped on and waits for someone to cross him so he can challenge them to a gunfight. Maybe he was just mean. Maybe he was having a "bad day". Maybe he just wanted to prove he was the fastest gun. He targets his victim and stands up. The crowd in the saloon begins to part like the Red Sea. He approaches his prey and yells "Draw"! The slightest movement by his sacrificial lamb triggers an automatic reaction in this incorrigible human. He fires before his victim can even raise his gun. Unfortunately, many believers behave the same way towards others. If we're having a "bad day", we're quick to take it out on someone. Have you ever been so irritated that you're just waiting on someone to say something cross to you so you can let them have it! It's like walking around with a loaded gun and an itchy trigger finger.
What? You forgot the fries in my order? Pow!!
You cut me off in traffic? Peoww!!
Oh no you didn't say that to me! Pop pop pop!
Even in this financially and emotionally turbulent time, we who carry the image of Christ must work hard to be the examples we were redeemed to be. When a Christian acts like the villain in the western, we actually come off looking like Barney Fife and misfiring. We look and feel awkward because our minds have been changed since we put on Christ. The work of the Lord mentioned in 1Corinthians 15:58 is not just working in the church. It's work and labor just to keep from doing what your flesh feels like doing. It's work not to let circumstances and situations move you and get you off course.The Apostle Paul faced uncertainty on his way to Jerusalem, not knowing what was waiting for him there. Would he be beaten again or killed, he didn't know. His response was:
"But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God". Acts 20:24 (KJV)
Let's not let things move us off of the path of God. Let's let our lives testify of the grace of God. Besides, we are the marketing department for the Kingdom of God. Work the word and keep this on your lips: "None of these things move me."
Copyright 2011 by Fredrick F. Nicholson all rights reserved
Fredrick F. Nicholson is a worship leader at New Life Interfaith Ministries which has two campuses, in Bessemer and Birmingham Alabama. You can read his blog @ http://fredrickfnicholson.wordpress.com