The Right Reputation

   I recently started reading and studying the book of Joshua in my personal daily devotions. Joshua starts out with God putting Joshua in charge and taking the place of Moses after his death. The Lord spends the first chapter encouraging Joshua to have courage and not to be afraid. In chapter 2 Joshua gets to work planning victory for the children of Israel. Joshua decides to send two men over into the land of Jericho to spy out the land and do a little reconnaissance work. When they get there, they find a harlot by the name of Rahab and she puts them up and gives them a place to stay. We all know the story of how she hides them and then gets them to promise to spare her and her family’s life. But what really spoke to me was how she knew the men. In verse 9 she begins to tell them that she knows of their reputation and respects them and desires for them to spare her and her family. It’s interesting to see the reputation that the children of Israel already have in the land.
   What does this world know about you? Do you have a Godly reputation that will help you point others to Christ? Too many times we go to an extreme with our reputation. There are those who want the world to see their standards and convictions and leave little to no room left for the grace of God and then there are those who show no signs of being born again as there is no change in their life. The scriptures tell us that a false balance makes God sick so how do we balance it out? Studying the reputation of the Israelites will help us a little bit.
    The first thing Rahab told the men that she knew them by was the miracles of God. She informed them that she had heard how God had dried up the Red Sea. Can this world look at you and see the miracles of God or do they see the works of your own hands? Understand that it is nothing more than an absolute miracle that a loving God would die for you and love you enough to want to spend eternity with you. Being saved from Hell is nothing short of a miracle. When the world looks at us they should be able to identify the goodness and the grace of God. They should see that God can take even the lowest of wretched sinners and give them a brand new life in Christ Jesus. Nothing else in this world can provide such a benefit!
    Something else Rahab knew about them was their actions while in the wilderness. She had heard how that they had slain two kings of the Amorites. These men were already known in the land for the victories they had already been given in the wilderness. Can this world see victory in your life? Often times all we can see are the extremes as I mentioned earlier. Some will have no change at all in their life therefore leaving the world to wonder what victory is even being talked about or there is the other extreme with those who are so focused on their standards and convictions that it almost seems they never have any victory at all. Where is the balance? How does the world see whether or not a child of God has victory in their life? Probably the most familiar way for this world to see victory in the life of a Christian is by the attitude and spirit of the christian. If you must brag about how Godly and spiritual you are and are always pointing out everybody else’s sins then don’t expect the world to see any victory in your life. If you truly are Godly and spiritual, then your attitude will portray it more effectively. Looking at the attitude of many Christians today
one would think they were either mad or just really didn’t care. I know the book of Titus says that we are to be a “peculiar people” but God didn’t stop there as many preachers do in our day. He goes on to tell us that we are to be a peculiar people “zealous of good works.” It is becoming more of a rarity to see Christians doing good works. I often see videos and read stories on facebook about people “paying it forward” and I sincerely thank God for those individuals, but God’s people should be the ones out doing these things more. We have an obligation to tell and show this world that Jesus loves them, died for them, and wants to save them. We often look down on sinners and those who are less fortunate than us and it has become more common for God’s people to walk around with their noses stuck in the air. There was once a day in this country that if you said you were a christian it meant good things. Now if you say you are a christian people think twice before doing business with you. What happened to God’s people doing great things to show the love of God to society? It won’t hurt you to buy a tank of gas for a stranger at the gas pump or a cup of coffee for the guy behind you in line at the restaurant. God’s people have become a selfish crowd and that reputation has bled over into the world and now it is harder for the world to see Christ because of the reputation of the christian. We all know that good works can’t save us, but it doesn’t hurt for the world to see a Christian who genuinely cares about them as a person.
     I don’t want this world to see the works of my own hands because I am indeed the ultimate failure. Instead, I want them to see how that a loving God gives me victory and the strength to make it through another day. I want them to see how that God can take a nobody headed nowhere and turn them into a somebody headed somewhere who wants to tell everybody about Somebody who loves them! I want them to see that Jesus does care and that He is able to do exceedingly more than we could ever ask or dream of! I have days where I am defeated and days where I am discouraged. I am not always the cheery smiley christian I should be but I do try to face the day with a smile on my face and an attitude that says “even though the world may be falling around me, I can still smile because I know Jesus cares for me and is gonna meet my every need!”
    So what does the world see in you? Do they see someone who is always defeated or do they see a victorious child of God? Can they look at you and see the works of an Almighty God or do they see the works of your own hands? When my heart pumps the last ounce of blood and my lungs push out the last breath, I want to be known as someone who cared about sinners. Someone who desired to tell others about a God who died for them, loves them, and wants to save them! May we strive to have a Godly reputation that will allow this world to Christ instead of the christian. 

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