Football. I'm sure that we all have someone come to mind when we think of the sport. Perhaps a friend, family member, or yourself. If someone is really into football, what can you expect from them? Well, you can expect something along these lines:
-They watch it and know how the game is played.
-They'll talk about it and be able to understand and defend certain ideas and plays.
-Perhaps they play/played it themselves.
-They might have jerseys, hats, posters, bumper stickers, flags/signs, etc. with their favorite player's number/name/team on it.
-Maybe they even have something autographed by their favorite player.
These are just a few examples, but the point is when someone is serious and passionate about something, it shows very obviously. It doesn't take long to figure out what someone is truly passionate about.
The same is true of Christianity. I'm sure we can think of someone whose Christianity doesn't just spill into their lives, but is their life. Take a moment to think about this person. Why did he/she come to mind? What makes that person so obviously a child of God?
Now to do some serious self-examination. As Christians we are to be the light of the world (Matt. 5:14), we are to shine, and shine brightly. How are you doing with this? Is your light shining brightly in your every day life? Can those around you see it clearly? Is it a beacon to all, or just to those we know are accepting of it?
As Christians we are to love, and to love everyone, not just those who are easy to love or those who love us in return (Matt. 5:44-48; John 13:35). How are you doing with that? Do you go out of your way to do good to those around you? Do you love and pray for those who dislike you, or those who attack you for shining God's light upon the darkness in their lives (John 3:20)? Is Christ's love being shown to all you come into contact with?
We must understand that the light we are to be is not like a light switch. It's not meant to be turned on only when we're around those of the same faith, and then turned off when we're around those of the world or those we fear we might offend (Eph. 5:8-13). That light is always supposed to be on and at its brightest, regardless of what others might think/say/do (Matt. 5:11, 12; Matt. 10:34-39; Matt. 11:6).
To live daily as such a light, we must first put off any hindrances, anything that might keep us from shining (Heb. 12:1; Eph. 4:22-32; Rom. 6:1-11) and let us put on the love and attitude of Christ (Col. 3:12-17; 2 Pet. 1:5-11; Rom. 13:14; Eph. 6:10-13) and let us walk in the light (1 John 1:7). Let us be constantly, consistently, and diligently striving to be the light of the world. Live in such a way that even those who do not know you will be unable to deny that you are truly a child of God.
Be strong and of good courage (Josh. 1:9) and press on toward the goal (2 Tim. 4:8)!