Read: Romans 12:1-2; Titus 2:1-10; 1 Peter 2:5-12
A week or so ago, we were putting in the garden. We were planting seeds that day. It was decided that my husband would make the hills, and I would scatter the melon and cucumber seeds. I don't usually help with the planting, but this time, I did. What amazed me all over again is how small the seeds are. As I placed them in the dirt, trying to space them and not plant them too deep, I wondered if any of them would come up. The good thing about planting the seeds in hills is that it makes it easier to know where they are so we don't step on them. We do the same thing in other parts of the garden, placing stakes or little fences around the newly planted seeds to protect them from being squashed. Guess what? Some of them are up!!
I love how the Bible speaks of God's Word, picturing it as a seed, Matthew 13:1-9; Matthew 13:18-23. What an honor it is to plant little seeds of God's truth right where the Lord has placed each of us. I often have as much trepidation when I share God's truth as I did the day I placed the tiny seeds into the garden. I wonder if the seemingly small seeds of truth that I am privileged to share will take root in someone's heart? Will another person who loves Jesus be able to water the seeds? Then I remember, it is God Who makes not only melons and cucumbers flourish, but also seeds of His truth grow, 1 Corinthians 3:5-8. Praise Him! He is the one Who is responsible for a fruitful harvest. If only we could "build a fence" around the truth that we share so it wouldn't be trod underfoot. The good news is that our changed lives provide such a fence.
Yes, it is still God Who supernaturally makes people new, John 3:3; however, Titus reminds us that by our transformed lives, we can show the beauty of a life lived for Jesus. Our changed lives can be a way that God uses to keep those who don't yet know Him from stomping on His Word.
In Titus 2:1-10, Paul gets very practical. His exhortations to men, women and slaves, when lived out picture lives that are very different than how the world lived. The lifestyle the apostle described was meant to cause others to want to know the One whose disciples live honorable and peaceful lives. Peter says something similar, exhorting us to live such upright lives that those who don't yet believe will have nothing contrary to say about us. He reminds us that we used to live in darkness, but now we have the honor of demonstrating what God is like through the lives that we live. Romans 12:2 sums it all up by challenging us to not conform to the world's way of thinking and acting but rather to be transformed by allowing God's Spirit and Word to continually renew us. Our outward actions are showing more and more of Jesus' character as we cooperate with the Holy Spirit's leading and enabling.
In second Samuel 12:12, we read the very sad words that David through his adultery and murder of Uriah, had showed contempt for the Word of God. Another translation says that his actions in this case, had been the cause of God's enemies to blaspheme Him. In either case, David's action didn't make it easier for those around him to see God or admire His Word. His actions didn't magnify God. Instead, it could be said that David's actions opened the door for others to stomp on God's Word.
Lord, help us to live in a way that Your Word will be honored, either now or on the day when You judge all men.