By Rev Don Rivers
Have we taken the Lord’s name in vain? Are we Christ like? Are we acting and behaving in a way that would reveal to others the love that God has for them through Jesus? Being a Christian means just that, Christ like. Not calling yourself something you are not. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Sponsors make the racing world go round. We need them to support our racing program. We also need to represent them and promote their interests. Racing has a loyal fan base and that can be very beneficial to a sponsor who, in turn, pays for that opportunity.
What happens when we don’t represent our sponsor well? Or maybe we just don’t fit the profile. What would you think if a 16 year old started promoting Geritol? How believable do you think he/she would be? The best spokesperson is one who we can actually believe uses the product.
Let’s say we asked advice of a crew chief at the track and they had a certain decal promoting a certain brand of oil on their car. We then watched them put a different brand of oil in the race car. How likely would you be to believe the advice they gave you?
The same thing is true with Christ, when we claim to be Christian, Christ Like, we say that we have given our life over to Christ and are making every effort to live a life that reflects His character. My point is, sometimes we are not doing a very good job.
I remember watching an event and observed a man I know, he says all the right things and claims to be a Christian, but when I hear what others say about him and I watch the way he handles himself on and off the track I cannot help but wonder if he is a counterfeit.
When you have several officials, accompanied by a few State Troopers, follow you to your trailer after the feature and they would like to discuss your behavior, maybe there is some work to be done.
When other competitors comment that if you remain in their division then they will change divisions or race somewhere else, maybe there are things that need to be addressed. Listen to how James puts it;
James 1:22-25 (New Living Translation), But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror; you see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
You cannot be a Christian by just claiming to be a Christian that is not enough, we need to act like one. We need to be obedient to God. We need to change the priorities in our lives. Not an easy task when it requires changing the order of our live and putting the needs of others first. Most times in our lives our needs come first and when we have taken care of what we need then we look around to see if there is anyone else in need.
That is not the way God intended us to behave, if we think so then we are fooling ourselves. We can rationalize it all we want, but the fact is we care more about ourselves than others. We are counterfeit.
Take a look in the mirror or better yet, let someone video tape you and watch it back. Is it easy for other’s to see the character of God in our behavior? James says when you look in a mirror you should see what you claim to be. We shouldn’t be two faced, showing one face to people then turning around and showing another.
Many times we can behave properly when people are watching. It is a rare occasion that we behave poorly in front of others. Don’t get me wrong it does and will happen. I see it every day. That just indicates that we need more practice at doing what we ought to do and less practice of doing what we want to do.
We need to practice following the example Jesus set for us, we need to follow God’s direction. Even when it is not popular, attention getting, comfortable, secure; even when it is not what we want to do. We need to do it so that others will see the grace, mercy, compassion and peace of God.
As James says, if we claim to be Christians and do not live in obedience to God’s word we are fooling ourselves. Not only that the rest of the world is laughing at us also. They laugh because we are counterfeit. They reason we are no better off for knowing Christ. They can see our actions and reason we have not changed.
James also says, if we are obedient and practice following God’s direction we will be blessed. God’s favor will be on our lives. He will give us hope, peace, joy, a fulfilling future of things that matter, not of things that rust and fade away.
We need to be doers of the Word, not just listeners. Don’t think the world is laughing with you because you have sinned, they are laughing at you. Make every effort to live according to the name you have claimed, the name of Jesus. Are we Christians or are we counterfeits? Would the world be able to tell from the life we live?
Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.