by Fleta Mathews

“…as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”  (Romans 6:4b)

At this happy Holy season, new life is popping up all around our little corner of the world!  Nothing delights quite like the wonder and beauty of springtime!  For those of us who claim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, our FOCUS now is on the RESURRECTION. We look and long for His Second Coming…the soon return of our Lord.  What a renewing, reviving hope it brings!  While these are encouraging thoughts, Rude Reality may startle us if we take a
close look at the ways of our walking in the world.  She will force us focus on our fumbling, faltering Faith as it is perhaps or is possibly seen by a WATCHING, wounded, skeptical world. What a condemning thought!

Glenn preaches a sermon called, “How Is Your Faith?”  What a disquieting question!  Does our daily living really reflect our firm faith in Jesus Christ, or is it a resounding rebuke for our failure to “flesh out” what we say we believe?  Someone who studies human behavior so aptly stated: “What a person says he believes and what he actually does, may not necessarily be the same.”  Is this what James 1:8 describes?  “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

If we are stable, single-minded children of God, we should have our feet firmly planted on the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ.  By His indwelling Holy Spirit we have power to truly walk “In newness of life.”  Exactly what does that mean for us?  What does it require?  And how does it look to a WATCHING, wounded, skeptical world?  Do our ways at work on Monday match our words of worship on Sunday?  Do they reflect His saving, sustaining Grace?  Or is it as “sounding brass” for our failure to walk In His Steps as Shelton writes in his classic book by that name?  Do we really ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” in all our attitudes and actions?  If we do ask, just what are we doing?

Let us not be “hearers of the Word only,” and not doers.  If we are, James compares us to a person who looks at himself in the mirror and right away forgets what manner of person he was.  He continues to tell us if we are not forgetful hearers, but diligent doers of the Word, we shall be blessed in our deeds.  Pure religion (faith) and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”  (James 1:27)

May we faithfully do all these things through Jesus Christ Who gives us enabling strength.  Then Christ will be lifted up and receive the honor and glory due His name.  Why?  “That in all things He (Christ) might have the preeminence.”  (Col. 1:18b) “… to the glory of God the Father.”  (Phil. 2:11b)