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Live the Message!
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

Philippians 1:27

"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come to see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel."

Don't you love it when you meet people who live their gospel more than they preach it? Now settle down, I am not putting down the teaching and preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but let's face it---there is only so much preaching or teaching we can do. But we are a living testimony for good or bad at all times.

I was impressed by a report which appeared in the newspaper several years ago and then a few days later a follow-up story was given. A woman in Tacoma, Washington was on disability income and received less than $600 from the government. You can imagine how she had to scrimp to make ends meet from month to month.

One month, when her check arrived, she went to her bank and cashed the check. The teller gave her the cash of various denominations, including four $100 bills. She went from place to place to pay her monthly bills.

In one establishment it was discovered that one of the bills was a counterfeit. The people in this business knew her to be a woman of integrity and thus were sure she was not aware that the $100 bill was counterfeit. When she took the phony bill back to the bank, the manager indignantly said it could not have come from his bank and refused to replace it.

She notified the police about the counterfeit bill and they in turn passed it along to Federal authorities who in turn, destroyed it. This unfortunate woman was now missing $100 of desperately needed funds and those agencies and businesses who could have helped, refused to do anything in her behalf.

Word of the situation reached the local newspaper which ran it as a human interest item. As a result of the news item, there was an immediate flood of responses. Hundreds of dollars--far more than the original $100 was received.

When the newspaper contacted the woman, she refused to profit from the publicity. She would only accept the $100 which she had lost. She donated the rest of the money to several non-profit organizations who were helping others. That, my dear friends, is what living the gospel is all about. Something within this dear woman would not allow her to profit (even legitimately) from this circumstance.

As I read this wonderful story, I could not help but think that she taught more by what she did than what many others teach by what they say. It is not that we should fail to teach and preach, but our walk must be Christlike at all times. If we act or react in the same way the world behaves, what message are we sending?

Living the gospel is not getting by "under" the circumstances, it is rising above the circumstances of life. It is the life which is lived for the Lord as if no one else was around. It is the smile at a resident in a nursing home, the slowing down to allow some driver to slip in ahead of us, holding the door for someone, slipping a check in someone's pocket that you know needs help, mowing a neighbor's lawn when they have been laid up. We could go on and on.

You might ask: “What does this have to do with the gospel?” The answer is that it is the salt of the gospel. It can act to make people thirsty to know why we do the things we do. When they have seen the reality of the gospel in our lives, they will be more inclined to hear the gospel message which will bring them the hope of eternal salvation.

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil


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