What good is it to look to be something on the outside, if the inside is all wrong? We see people that claim to be christians, but their actions dont agree. I hear people use language christians dont use. I see people wear things christians dont wear. I see people do things, and go places christians dont do,and go. The worst one in my opinion is to look holy, but be something else.
It is easier to mislead people if you look the part, than it is if you dont. If you were listening to music, the message could be great, but if the music is no good,the listener will turn it off before the music starts. The music is the first appearance. If the music is good sometimes people will ignore the message behind it. We need to not only have good music (appearance), we also need to have a good message (be holy inside).
Jas 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Jas 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
Jas 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Jas 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
Jas 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
How can we tell dirty jokes, or talk about someone else when 2Timothy says "shun vain and profane babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness." It does not say it will cause ungodliness. The ungodliness will increase. That tells me that the ungodliness was there already.
How are we to reach lost souls, if our souls are not where they belong? We need to start with letting our lives speak for themselves. We can reach the world without participating in worldly activities. We dont need to reach the drunkards by sitting with them in a bar. We need to reach them by taking a stand on a salvation that we have found, and letting the spirit transform our lives, and letting it be seen. There have been more people see a change in me since I found christ just by my living habits.
If you would notice, when you go out to eat, when you bless the food before eating, strangers that dont even know you will notice you pray over the food, and will get quiet at tables around you until you are finished with your prayer. Your friends also notice when there is a change in the way you live your life.
Tit 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
Tit 2:8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
Rom 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
The bible says nine times," Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself." I dont know anybody that dont like theirself. When we have people come into our churches, welcome them. Dont act all HOLIER THAN THOU. We cant reach anybody with an attitude that we are better than them. We are supposed to love thy neighbor, so show them some love. Be kind and curteous. Act like your glad to see them. Who knows, that might be your next best friend. I dont know of any time in the bible when Paul was not welcomed by "THE CHURCH". HE WAS A MURDERER. He was going to kill all of the church that he could before God spoke to him. I've never seen anybody come into our church with intentions to kill anybody.
Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Eph 5:7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Eph 5:12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
We also dont need to let ourselves get involved in gossip. You have know idea who you are effecting if you start talking about someone behind their back. The persons listening may have their whole opinion based on your gossip.
Jas 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
Jas 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
Jas 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature and it is set on fire of hell.
We need to keep our tongue under control. It can do more damage than other part of the body, and I mean worldly body,and body of Christ.We need to be the whole body of Christ. Act as if you are thankful for the church, and what god has done for you. Dont tear down the chuch in the middle of building it. Let your life, and your attitude be a testimony of its own. Reach out to those around you. Reach out to the new people coming in. Work as a church body, and not individuals in your own will. Lets let our outward appearance and our inward commitment, and desires fit Gods will and plan for our lives, and those around us.