A quick, random thought...
So, it's Cavs time again! (Or should I say it's NBA Finals time in case you're not a Cavs fan?! :)) There are lots of conversations, lots of marketing products - shirts, banners, anything you can put a team mascot on! An analogy came to my mind as I was driving down the road and saw the Cavs symbols on things on people's property. (So...take this blog as jus that - an analogy and not me bashing supporting and cheering on a sports team :))
We place signs and banners in the front of our houses for maybe 1 of 2 reasons - or both. One, we want to show support and cheer on a particular team. If we are supporting local teams, the players may see and sense the intended rally behind them...of course, I don't know a whole lot of Cavs players who will be passing through Holmes County :) Or two, we want to let other people know that there's a fan inside. We want to declare sides, announce who we are rooting for, displaying our loyal support.
This made me think - what do we as Christians, as followers of Christ, as a member of team Jesus, do to display or announce or declare there's a believer of Christ inside?
Deuteronomy 6:4,9 - "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts...Tie them as symbols on your hands; Bind them on your foreheads;
Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates."
Consider Joshua - a dedicated, bold, humble servant of God who cared enough to submit to God's voice and was up for the challenge of leading the Israelites in God's Truth - he voiced the truth straight up!
At the end of the book of Joshua, he put out a choice for the wishy-washy, for those who lived on the fence, for those who may have been half-in. He basically told them, "Look - it's time to pick - time to take a stand - time to reveal your intentions and heart - time to choose." More accurately, he said, "Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fore-fathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:14-15
This last verse has become familiar to many as it can be found on wall-hangings, clocks, mugs, shower curtains, banners and more.
Joshua declares much in this verse. Beginning with the word, "But", signifies that what he is about to say differs from what he previously said. Then he specifies his own stand, making clear that, "as for me and my household", speaking decisively. Basically the "but" draws the distinction between those who worship other gods...and him and his household. He is boldly saying that he and his family choose to live differently. "WE WILL SERVE THE LORD" - as opposed to the other gods. Period. No room for conditional wishy-washy options. It's decided. Joshua and his household made the choice. They are all in.
What would it look like if we drove down the street and could visually see the banners on the front porches of those who have decided to serve the Lord? How DO we express and declare what who we believe in "on the door-frames of our houses and on our gates"? How can passerby's know we are a follower of Christ?
God through Scripture reveals His desire for His children to not keep our love for HIm sercret. He reveals His thoughts over and over on the topic of being wishy-washy. He wants us to choose Him. Period. No fair-weather fans. He wants us to be all in. We are to loudly declare in Truth and love the beauty we have in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
When we claim and declare that we are a follower of Christ, we can be assured of being on the winning team! Victory has been won! I Corinthians 15:57-58 - But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Take a moment to consider - how do YOU declare and announce your loyalty to God? How can people know who you belong to? What banner are you waving?