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Centuries, Cultures, and Christ

When I read about yet another official in a place of public trust being found guilty of wrongdoing, my first inclination is to despair. I think, “People are worse than ever before.” Then I get it all back in perspective. It’s not that people are worse—the news coverage is just better.

One writer said about youth, “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners and contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love to chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their household. They no longer rise when the elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize their teachers.” So what’s new? That was said by Socrates in 400 B.C.

People are basically the same in all ages. No better, no worse. We do have better coverage today. That means that almost all evil is immediately known by everyone. The cumulative effect of this can be overwhelming.

The thing that makes a difference in people is not the centuries nor even our cultures. It is Christ. He alone is able to break through all the pressures and patterns and make us new people.

The Bible says, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). When people commit their lives to Christ, they are changed. When enough people are changed, our world will be changed.

Apart from him, the coverage may get better, but the character will stay the same.

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

Living Consistently

Philosopher Sidney Harris said, “It is easier to be a ‘humanitarian’ than to render your own country its proper dues; it is easier to be a ‘patriot’ than to make your community a better place to live in; it is easier to be a ‘civic leader’ than to treat your own family with love and understanding: for the smaller the focus of attention, the harder the task.”

Christianity is the same way. It is easy to talk about being Christian in broad generalities; it is extremely difficult to practice Christianity in our daily lives. This, however, is precisely the challenge that we all face. The apostle Paul wrote, “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27). The word conversation means “behavior, lifestyle, or manner of life.” God expects us to live a life that is consistent with the faith we profess. We are to walk like his children and live according to his will.

One of the greatest hindrances to the spread of Christianity today is the inconsistent lives of Christians. In order for a person to come to Christ, he/she must climb over examples of people who do not practice what they preach.

It is increasingly more difficult to tell what and who people are today. Nobody ought ever to doubt who we are. We are the people of God. We are citizens of a heavenly kingdom. We are the followers of Jesus Christ. Now we need to live lives that are consistent with that fact. 

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