The nurse held out her hand with the surgical instrument. The surgeon reached out and grabbed it without even looking at it. The patient before him was a young man. A young man in desperate need of a new kidney. But just as the surgeon was about to get started, he glanced at the tool in his hand. It was filthy. Dried blood clung to its surface. There was even a little rust on the one side. He would not be using this instrument. Instead of healing this young man, this instrument would likely cause infection, making his immune-compromised system fight a fight it was unable to fight.
Alistair Begg used this analogy yesterday in a very challenging sermon. The topic was how to prepare ourselves to tell the world about Jesus. And his first main point was this: We need to be a clean instrument. Just as a surgeon would desire sterilized instruments to perform surgery, so God would desire clean instruments to share His message.
What a challenge! Am I clean? How does the world view me?
When people think of me do they think of someone who stands boldly for Jesus? Or do they think of me as someone who will compromise my standards to be popular? Is it obvious I am a believer? Or does the conversation about me when I am not there include sentences like: “I think she is saved…I know she goes to church…She says she believes…she was ‘saved’ at camp when she was 10, but…”
Saying we are believers and acting like it are very different things. And in order to truly be useful to our Heavenly Father we need to live what we say. We need to be different. We need to continually endeavor to be like Jesus. In how we love. In how we spend our time. In standing up for the Truth.
Let’s face it…it is not our words that prove we are a clean vessel, it is our actions. Words without actions lead to a confused and angry world. All of these people say they believe Jesus died for them…but they are not living differently than me. They go to church on Sunday, but they cheat on their taxes on Monday, listen to rap music filled with filth on Tuesday, wear clothing that does not leave much to the imagination on Wednesday, lie to get their own way on Thursday…you get the idea? It leads to confusion and anger because we are saying we believe God and the Bible…but we are not living like it. The worlds asks…why does it matter? Why would I need Jesus? It is a good question. One that should never have to be asked.
I pray that today we would consider what we look like to a lost world. I pray we would reflect on how effective we can be for Jesus in our current lifestyle. I pray that we would be salt and light in a world that needs Jesus desperately (Matthew 5:13-14).