Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Church Devotion: Trying to be a Christian

Acts 10:2         Cornelius and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.

I read somewhere this morning about a woman who was being questioned about her beliefs by a police officer. Each time she was asked “Of what religion are you?” she answered, “Trying to be a Christian.”

This frustrated the officer. “You must belong to a church, a denomination, a sect or a cult, so tell me, what is your religion?” Again the woman simply answered, “Trying to be a Christian.”

From what I have read about the centurion Cornelius in the Book of Acts, he was trying to be a Christian without even knowing of Christ. He was a devout person who believed in God, shared his beliefs with his loved ones, prayed to God on a regular basis, and gave regularly to those who had genuine needs. Isn’t that what we expect of Christians? Cornelius was trying to be as faithful to God as he possibly could, and this is why God gives him a special vision and draws him into the Christian faith.

Today, we will all have opportunities to witness to the effectiveness of Christ’s presence in our lives. We may be asked to pray for others in need; we may even be required to help them financially. The hope is that we will all try to be Christians in whatever situation, event, or issue that we face. It won’t always be easy, but it will always be the right thing to do.

Questions for personal reflection

How do I display my faith in Christ to other people? Dare I try to be a Christian in all things today?

Prayer:            Lord Jesus Christ, we say that we follow You with our lips, but we frequently fail You with our deeds. Help us this day to practice and display our devotion to You by trying to be real, genuine, and sincere Christians in our world. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to pastor@erinpresbyterian.org.

Today’s image is a collage of four of my 2013 Pentecost drawings. If you would like to see a larger version, please click on the following link: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8124/8656938896_929e837c59_c.jpg

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