When the inside shows up on the outside

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the post blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

As a youngster, I developed a love for mysteries, drama and psychological thrillers–think Perry Mason, Alfred Hitchcock and of course,  The Twilight Zone.

[Spoiler alerts] There is an episode of The Twilight Zone entitiled “The Masks”, where a cantankerous, wealthy elderly man, Jason, receives a visit from beautiful family, his daughter (a constant complainer and hypochondriac), son-in-law (who is greedy and loves money), granddaughter (who is vain and always in the mirror), and grandson (a sadistic bully). Jason knows his family and who they really are, despite the outward show they display.

The Masks | Photo: CBS

Jason is dying and figures his family is just hanging around for the money, so he tells them in order to inherit, they have to wear these speciality and very ugly masks –that are supposed to be the opposite of their “true” (what the family portrays to others) personality. After a small protest, the family dons their new temporary faces to be worn until midnight. Daughter gets a worried coward-looking mask, son-in-law gets a miserable-looking miser one, granddaughter gets a hideous-self centered face mask and grandson gets a twisted buffoon face.  Jason also gets in on it and wears a skull mask.

As midnight approaches, Jason passes away and his family is excited that the money they wanted was finally theirs! As they remove the masks, they realize, in horror, their actual faces have PERMANENTLY conformed to the grotesque shape of the masks! The only one not effected was Jason, whose face looks peaceful and serene.

Now of course, the story is fictional and has no scriptual basis–it got me to thinking, though.

In our very virtual, social media intense, “scripted reality” show of a world we live in, on the outside we can appear to be whoever we want. What if God turned us inside out and made our faces into who we really are on the inside? Who or what would we resemble?

Would it be the face of a bully, a tyrant? Would your face show hatred or scorn? Would it be worried, fearful or anxious face? Would your face be gossipy, cantankerous? Lazy and uncaring? Or would it be wearing a favorite TV show, music, or the social media site where the most time is spent? Or the face of practiced (willful, repeated and intentional) sin?

Or would it show the fruit of the spirit–love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance? (Galatians 5:22), as we yield to God and walk in the Spirit rather than in the flesh. Would there be evidence on your face of spending time with God in prayer (I Thessalonians 5:17), fasting (Matthew 17:21), and study? (Psalm 1 and 2 Timothy 2:15). Would it reflect the joy of the Lord being your strength? (Nehemiah 8:10). Would it be a face that read, “I was glad when they said unto me let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1), or I love God and keep His commandments (I John 5:3).

Let me be clear, I am all for keeping the temple beautiful and maintained properly–in fact, I Corinthians 6:20 reminds us to glorify God (versus ourselves) in our purchased bodies. We also must remember that as the outer man perishes, the inward man is renewed day by day (I Corinthians 4:16). As we yield to God, He tranforms us into His glorious image.

That’s who we want to be inside. Just like Jesus.

Jesus is coming back for the inward man, BCU Family. With His help, let’s fervently and consistently strive for perfection (maturity in Christ) on the inside, so Jesus fervently and consistently shows on the outside.  Amen? Amen!

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Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

Do you act like a Christian?

 

Hey there Family,

Recently, my mom was telling me about someone who was trying to erroneously “get her way” by telling my mom she was not acting like a Christian. Mom quipped, “I’m not supposed to ACT like a Christian, I’m supposed to BE one!” We laughed, but she makes a good point.

Let’s define the meaning of a Christian from the Word of God. People were called Christians or followers of Christ in Antioch after Saul and other assembled together for a year and taught many people (Acts 11:26). Besides the necessity of water baptism in Jesus name and the gift of the Holy Ghost for salvation (Acts 2:38-39), and other important areas, the disciples also lived what Christ taught them–among other things, having a prayer life, using gifts/talents to God’s glory, and how to love and treat others. Notice they LIVED what Christ taught them, rather than ACTING what Christ taught them.

When you act like something or someone, it’s a role. You are the character for a certain amount of time, in certain circumstances, at a convenient time or place, when people are watching or listening. When we act like a Christian, we do things out of fear of the lack of/reaction we will receive. Thus, we risk being an enabler (like always giving money to that able-bodied, non-motivated to work relative or worse—-boy/girlfriend), or you interfere with the law of sowing and reaping. So if Junie keeps getting speeding tickets and you pay them, when will he learn to drive carefully? He needs to learn there is a consequence to bad behavior. HE pays the tickets.

Conversely, when you are/being something, it’s part of who you naturally. So in the case of Jesus living down on the inside via the Holy Ghost, He shows up on the outside consistently. Sure, we will have our days where we are not perfect, but in our desire to please Christ and live more like Him, we will not practice willful sin.

Moreover, while Jesus taught us how to love and treat others, this does not give the general population carte blanche to get whatever-they-want-when-they-want-no-matter-what-and-you-better-like-it-because-that-is-what-Jesus-would-have-you-to do. Seriously? Not so, Family!

In Matthew 4:1-11, the enemy temped Jesus three times, did our Awesome God do what the devil told Him? NO. Jesus did not answer the Pharisees regarding the authority He had, because they demanded it of Him (Matthew 21:23-27). Need an “earthly” example?  What about Simon who offered the apostles money in exchange for the being able to lay hands on people for them to be filled with the Holy Ghost? (Acts 8:12-21). Rather than give in to Simon, Peter rebuked him so sharply that Simon requested prayer for protection! (verses 22-24). See what I mean now?

Bottom line: With the help of the Lord, we cannot allow any and everyone to take advantage of our Christ-like nature to “keep the peace” or be “humble”. Now when the Lord tells you to do something, you of course follow His command. But be sure it’s the Lord talking and not guilt or fear–this is where prayer and being in tune with God’s voice will come in—remember HE wants us to make the right choices. This is where we start to BE more like Him.

Thanks for reading and God bless you MUCHO!

BCU

Spiritual PSA: What is in you comes out of you, any act has a limited shelf life,  will eventually who you are will surface. It is better to get Jesus down on the inside and let His spirit direct your paths.