My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.   They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.                   John 17:15-16

I’ve heard the question raised: “If you were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Think about it, would the way you live your life, your actions, your lifestyle be enough evidence to show you were a follower of Christ? Sometimes, like in the following story, our actions point another way.

A man was being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy boulevard.  Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman hit the roof, and the horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection with him. As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched,
fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping the guy off in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘What Would Jesus Do” bumper sticker, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday School’ bumper sticker and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car.”

Ever catch yourself in this kind of situation? The truth is, our actions too often reflect our worldliness. In his letter to the church in Rome, the apostle Paul encouraged the fellowship:

 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.          Romans 12:2

As we travel through this Lenten season of self-denial, is there some worldly way, a way not in accordance to the will of God, that you need to give up. As the hymn writer said,  “Take it to the Lord in prayer.”   When we do, Jesus can transform our thoughts and actions and we will know the full resurrection power of Jesus in our lives.    Praying for your (and my) Easter transformation.

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Jeff