Thursday, August 1, 2013
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When you play high school football, you learn to play another game too. It's called Impress the Coaches. Of course, the coaches decide who plays, who starts, who sits. All summer long players show up for weight lifting in this steamy, hot weight room. Now, they come three times a week. Why would guys want to come and sweat and strain? Because the coaches are there. You can't help but ask how many of those fellows would show up if, well let's say the coaches suddenly announced they were taking a week off, "Fellows, you keep coming. We just won't be here all next week, okay?" I have a feeling the attendance would really go down in the weight room.
One day back when my boys played football, there was a lot of football equipment that had to be moved to the school. Again, it was a hot, humid summer day. The coach needed volunteers. It's amazing! A lot of guys showed up to carry equipment! Of course, the coaches were going to be there and would notice who helped. Right? If the coaches weren't there to watch, how many guys would have been hauling equipment? I don't know. How many guys would lift on those hot days? How many players would run an extra lap? See, the real athlete works out whether anyone is watching or not.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When No One's Watching."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Philippians chapter 2, and I'll be reading verse 12. "My dear friends," Paul says, "...you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but how much more in my absence." Now, that's a description of authentic Christianity. This is the real deal. He says, "You are obeying the Lord whether I'm there to look at you and see you or not." Oh, I'm sure that they would like to impress their spiritual leader. Look, we like to impress ours. But he said, "It doesn't matter if I'm there or not. One way or the other, you continue to do what God tells you to do."
You know, that's the real test of how much you love Jesus; what you do when there's no one there to see you except Jesus. We're always on our best Bible behavior when the pastor's around, or when our Christian friends are around, or any Christian we want to impress favorably. That shows how important those people are to you. It doesn't tell you too much about how important Jesus is to you.
The way to find out how important He is to you is the way you act when He's the only one watching. Are you into His Word when there's no one there to impress? Are you on your knees when there's no one there watching? Are you sexually pure when no one will probably know what you've done except Jesus? Are you unselfish? Are you loving with the people around you when there's no one around that will know possibly? Do you watch, do you listen to, do you do things that you wouldn't ever do if you had other people's eyes on you? Well, Jesus is looking. Jesus is watching. He knows. He's there.
Does your family see the same Christian that the church does? Do your coworkers, your clients, your customers, your fellow students, your teammates? Take a good, honest look at the private you. Are you faithful to Jesus when there is no one there to impress? That's the real you!
The way you live when there's no one watching is the way you can tell how much you really love your Jesus.