January 2, 2013
If you saw our previous post, we talked about how the Apostle Matthew was a despised tax collector until he was radically changed by Jesus. He invited fellow hoodlums to dinner at his place so they could see Jesus’ mercy and grace with their own two eyes, just like we can do as Matthews through My Hope with Billy Graham.
That being said, we’re going to look at being a Matthew through a different pair of glasses: what a Matthew is NOT.
Rewind: I’m going to presume that you’re American. I’m also presuming your interest in My Hope with Billy Graham means you’re a Christian. That makes you and me “American Christians.” Unfortunately, the connotation behind that label is becoming more negative by the day. Perhaps it is attributed to the fact that corporately, we are very far from the example set by Matthew in the Bible.
The Proof is in the Facts*:
Our American Christian report card looks something like:
N for Needs Improvement
D for Does Not Meet Expectations
F for FAIL
Wake up Call: Moms, when you hit an a-maz-ing sale that saves you major $$$, do you keep it to yourself OR share with your best friends pronto?
College kids, if you’re in the know on a HUGE concert of a favorite artist coming to town, do you keep it a secret and only get a ticket for yourself OR tell all of your friends ASAP?
Men, if you go fishing and catch the biggest fish you’ve ever seen in your life, do you lay low and stay humble OR is that the one Facebook picture, group text and mass email you share all year long?
Examine: When it comes to Jesus, do you do the same? If we want to see our communities changed, this answer must equal the answer to each of the 3 questions above. Now is the time to quit demonstrating what a Matthew is not. It’s time to turn the statistics around, and tell our country about the indescribable love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ!
* Research from: George Barna and the Barna Research Group, Southern Baptist Life Commission, Josh McDowell and Campus Crusade for Christ, Focus on the Family, Church of the Nazarene Research, Evangelical Covenant Church study, The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion