The great evangelist Billy Sunday, used to make fun of the term “worldly Christian.” He said, “Why to talk about a worldly Christian makes about as much sense as talking about a heavenly Devil.” While it is possible for a Christ-follower to fall away from Christ for a season, it is impossible for a Christ-follower to follow Christ and consistently look, live, talk and act like the world. It might be for a season but if there is a relationship with Jesus Christ, there will be conviction and misery in that lifestyle; not contentment and joy. As the old saying goes, “If something looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is a duck.” John was addressing this when he wrote the epistle of 1 John. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15).
It all comes down to having possession of Christ as well as a profession in Christ. Many people have experienced a “profession” in Christ but never obtained a possession of Christ. Paul said, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). If a person is trying to follow Christ and stay in the world, they will find it will either be one or the other. God AND the world cannot coexist. There is only room for one and all of us must choose. Just as Joshua challenged the Israelites, God challenges us today. ”Choose this day who you will serve.”
The year was 1501. There was a block of flawed marble that lay untouched in the cathedral for decades. Two sculptors attempted to make something of it before it was offered to Michelangelo. When Michelangelo looked at the block of marble he did not see what it couldn’t be; he saw what it could be. For three years he labored on the marble until finally the project was finished. The end result was one of the greatest sculptures of all time . . . the sculpture of David! The masterpiece of David is a picture of what we can do in the lives of others if we can simply see what so many others have missed. It is our privilege to be God’s instruments to sculpt the lives of others. We must be willing to look past what we see on the outside to look deep inside to see not what they are but what they can be.
When Samuel was picking the future king of Israel (David), God said, “For the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7). Deep inside everyone is the potential for something great. Just like that block of marble, there might be flaws but you have to look past the exterior and see the possibilities. When a sculptor looks at a block of marble, they obviously see what is but also what can be.
Years ago, my 9th grade teacher taught us a saying that has stuck with me all these years. It goes like this . . . “I am only one, but I am one. I can’t do everything but I can do something. What I can do I ought to do. And what I ought to do, by the grace of God I will do!” See what’s possible. Allow God to use you to make a difference and shape a life.