Blog

The Living Evidence

I think all of us can occasionally plead “guilty” to reading Scripture with glazed eyes and a dull heart. I know I can. I think sometimes we become so familiar with a text that it loses its impact and wonder.

We can forget that this God-breathed text is meant to take us beyond the natural. And when we forget that, we miss out on some serious transformation. 

Take for example, how do you react when you’ve just been hit in the face with an ugly insult? Or someone unloads their anger on you? Does the truth of Scripture shape your response?

Is this instruction what immediately comes to mind and is this how you respond: 

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Prov. 15:1)

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called . . .” (1 Peter 3:8–9)

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19–20)

Really?

Do we let this truth shape our lives or do we yawn through those words and then go on our merry way unaffected? Do I believe that a soft answer, a gentle reply to an angry spouse, friend, or coworker, really can turn away wrath?

Do I really believe that I’m supposed to respond to insult or evil treatment in brotherly LOVE?  

Really?

Wait a minute, I have to “bless” the person who is being rude or harsh . . . Really? I can’t return their injury with a swift kick to their ego or at least place a creative jab on their pompous pride? At least let me raise my eyebrow a bit and give them the “you’re an idiot” facial response.

If I really believe that Scripture means what it says . . . I’ll live it . . . and if I’m living it, the transformation will be evident. 

What I fear has happened in the Church today, is that we’ve become so complacent in our approach to God’s truth that we no long tremble at His Word, and therefore we never leave the natural realm.

We look like everybody else.

Nothing supernatural happening here.

What an indictment.

Of all places where the supernatural should be seen, it should be seen in the transformed lives of believers. 

It should be happening in the most ordinary of days, in the most typical conversations, during a meeting at work, at the grocery store, in the market place, and in our homes. As a believer, we always have the opportunity to live beyond the “natural.”

Scripture should be shaping our every response. When it isn’t . . . our profession to know the Living God and live by His Spirit-breathed Word . . . comes off as a sham. Titus 2:5 calls it blaspheming the word. To profess to be a Christian but live without transformation causes the watching world to revile the word of God, rather than allowing them to see living evidence of the power of the gospel.

I want to live out the power of the gospel today by really living out what the Word says. I can’t do it in the natural, but by the power of His Spirit, I can live beyond the natural. I can be the living evidence of the gospel!

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

6 Comments

  • Carrie

    Oh, you and your eyebrow!! Haha!! So applicable and convicting. While scripture is so much more than a ‘how to’ book, it still ‘works’ in those tough situations – do we really believe our obedience to scripture will .’turn away rath’? I think sometimes we want to respond in love but think ‘that will never WORK’ as if God’s word owes something to our plans or goals in relationships. What I don’t consider is that even if my kindness isn’t immediately appreciated in a heated conflict, it might be considered down the road. Maybe being loving in this moment is going to turn away rath 5 years from now. If implementing this verse doesn’t get the desired ‘result’ (and I use that word loosely here) in that moment of conflict, we have no idea how the Holy Spirit will use that kindness in someone’s life to accomplish HIS purpose. My suspicion is that more often than not, it works in the moment tho. ;-). I don’t even try sometimes bc on some deeper gut level, maybe I don’t believe it … Yikes.

  • Justin Schalow

    Two of the worst enemies of todays Christian: Complacency and Apathy. We tend to forget that as professing Christians our faith is on display at all times, that is if the gospel truly has the life changing power that it claims. To the world we must walk out the life changing power of Christ in every faucet of our lives, to fail to do this, is devastating. However, we all fail as we are sinful beings. But the mark of a true indwelled believer is the spiritual maturity to recognize the sin in our own lives, cry out for forgiveness and turn away from it. Lately I have been in fervent study through the book of Acts and the first century church. Your post brings to my mind the endurance of the Apostle Paul exhibited through beatings, stonings, imprisonment, and even persecution as the sought to spread the gospel to the gentiles. Paul reacted to every situation in love, remembering the high purpose to which he had been called. He constantly kept his mission foremost on his mind and counted all else as loss. We as Christians are called to this same high purpose (Matt 28:19-20) and must be deliberate about the furtherance of the kingdom and witness we leave for those who are looking on. We are being observed, there is no question of that and every word we speak we will one day give account for as we stand before the Bema Seat of judgment. Wonderful insight Mrs. Wagner, thank you much for your thoughts. I needed these wise words today.

    What a Savior!

    -Just

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Carrie ~

    Thanks so much for your honesty and sharing your heart! I’m challenging to give some sincere Colossians 3 kindness to your “fierce” friends and see what God does!! 🙂

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Beverly ~

    I LOVE how God is faithful with His timing! Thankful this ministered to you today 🙂

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Justin ~

    So good to hear from you! Loved reading your insight on this:

    “Paul reacted to every situation in love, remembering the high purpose to which he had been called. He constantly kept his mission foremost on his mind and counted all else as loss.”

    So TRUE! Hope all is well with you and your family. The Lord brings you all to mind often. So grateful for how He is using you!