“You look at things only on the basis of appearence. Those who say they belong to Christ must recognize that we belong to Christ as much as they do…As the Scriptures say, ‘If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.’ When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.” — 2 Corinthians 10:7, 17-18
You cannot read the gospels without being impressed with the reality of Jesus. His life and His words said the same things.
He taught His disciples to deny themselves, take up their crosses and follow Him. Of Jesus we read, “For even Christ did not live to please Himself” (Romans 15”3).
He taught that whoever would be great must become a servant, and He said, “For I am among you as one who serves” (Luke 22:27).
He taught His disciples to keep the commandments, and He said, “I have kept my Father’s commandments” (John 15:10).
He urged His disciples to pray in secret, and He sent the crowds away as He departed into a mountain alone to pray (Matthew 14:23).
He told His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they were empowered by the Holy Spirit to evangelize. Jesus Himself did not enter His ministry until after His baptism, when the Holy Spirit in the shape of a dove descended upon Him; then Jesus, full of the Holy Ghost, returned from the Jordan to minister (Luke 4:14).
Jesus practiced what He preached. He was “for real.” Are we? Think with me about three main areas of our lives where we especially need reality.
First, we should practice reality in our speech. There are so many eviden ces of unreality in our speech; deceit, injurious words, exaggeration, cutting criticism, and hypocrisy. Even our silence on certain subjects accuses us of unreality. Are we genuine in our speech? Do the things we profess to believe really hold us? Are we totally persuaded?
We say that Jesus Christ is Lord. But is He really Lord? Does he control our time, talents and money? We urge people to start the day with God. Do we? Are we following in the steps of the Lord Jesus, the master soul-winner?
Second, we must practice reality in our thoughts. The real Christian is the person through whom Christ is thinking. The mind of Christ has no time for selfish thoughts, proud thoughts, impure thoughts, or dishonorable thoughts. We are told to think about things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report (Philippians 4:8).
Third, we must be “real” in our spiritual development. Are we more like Christ than a year ago? Is God’s truth having its way with us? Are we experiencing greater achievements in our prayer life? Are we stronger in living righteously and in serving mankind? Are we involved in God’s program of world evangelization?
It takes time to develop reality. If we look at all Jesus said about hypocrisy it will move us to act. We must cultivate a deeper walk through sincere and passionate Bible study. We must yield continuously to the Holy Spirit, who will guard our words and thoughts as we seek reality.