If you had the opportunity to write your own eulogy, what would it say? What would you want to be known for? What is important to you? And how do those qualities show up in your everyday life?
If we asked those same questions about the Apostle Paul, we could refer to Acts 17 for the answers. In that chapter, Paul travels to Thessalonica, on to Berea and ends up in Athens. But along the way, he encounters a series of issues and people. How he deals with each group and each situation reveals his character. In a way, they give us some great notes on how to build our own spiritual reputation.
He wasn’t afraid of what mere men could do to him. His presentation of the gospel was fearless and yet he used reason and careful explanations. How he communicated was as important to him as what he communicated.
The keynote to the chapter comes in 17:6 where Luke tells us that Paul was turning the world upside down for Christ. His reputation went before him. Paul was not rude, but he was not timid. He knew that the most important news to share, in any town, were the details of the life, death and burial of Jesus Christ.
Paul wasn’t following the crowd. He didn’t live like the world and his message was definitely counter cultural. He proudly swam up stream. Some ridiculed him. Others rejected his message. But some received his words. Some were persuaded.
This week is a great opportunity for you and I to consider our own reputations. Are we known as children of God? Do we speak and act like His kids?
Do our family members know whom we serve? Is our neighborhood aware of our stand for Jesus? Do the folks in our office or place of business know that we are followers of Christ? And if they don’t, why not?
Are we committed enough to search the scriptures for the words of life? Are we brave enough to share them with others? Can we share the gospel with passion and leave the results up to Him? How is our spiritual reputation? Does it need some work?
Let’s get at it….and start turning our world upside down for Christ!