As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him, and reflect His glory even more,” (2 Cor 3:18).
I once dreamed of walking down the Main Street of a beautiful city. The storefronts along each side were filled with beautifully dressed mannequins, musical instruments, and other luxurious items.
It was a fantastic dream, until I decided to enter one of the stores for a closer look. To my surprise, when I opened the door there was nothing there, not even a floor, only what appeared to be a big, deep, dimly lit cellar, charred and black.
In shock, I quickly closed the door and stepped back out on the sidewalk, and there again was this beautiful storefront.
The point is that it is not what's on the outside, but the inside that counts with the Lord. What are our real intentions, where is our heart concerning our love and dedication to Him?
Jesus once said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness (Matt 23:27).
If not careful, we will find ourselves resembling that of whitewashed tombs and storefront Christians; wherein on Sunday morning, our life reflects our faith in Jesus, and the rest of the week, a lifestyle resembling that of the world.
Sadly, the world recognizes a hypocrite. It has been said, "If you want to know how a Christian should act, ask a sinner." It is disappointing that this storefront Christian is probably the last person the unsaved will approach for Spiritual guidance.
"The Blind Man and the Lantern," by D.L. Moody"
"I remember reading of a blind man who was found sitting at the corner of a street in a great city with a lantern beside him. Some one went up to him and asked what he had the lantern there for, seeing that he was blind, and the light was the same to him as the darkness. The blind man replied— "I have it so that no one may stumble over me." Dear friends, let us think of that. Where one man reads the Bible, a hundred read you and me. That is what Paul meant when he said we were to be "living epistles of Christ, known and read of all men." I would not give much for all that can be done by sermons, if we do not preach Christ by our lives. If we do not commend the Gospel to people by our holy walk and conversation, we shall not win them to Christ." D.L. Moody
A Christian is to look like Christ at all times. The Apostle Paul says: "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit," (2 Cor 3:18).
A new Christian is to put off the old self and put on the new. To put on the new man means to put on Christ, to attempt to live the way He did; to emulate Him, and to live according to His Word, (Col. 3:9-10).
The Christian walk is an ongoing, lifelong process that takes effort, patience, and concentration. It is our day in day out walk with the Lord that brings honor to Him, and that is our purpose.
We are to honor God in every aspect of our daily lives. As Christians, we represent Christ at all times. We are not only to tell others about Him, but also to exemplify Him in all our actions and speech.
We are to let God change our features so that we are more like Christ. As Jesus looked like the Father, we are to look like Jesus.
When we surrender ourselves to Him and allow Him to do what He wants in us, we are then imitating Christ - doing the will of the Father; trusting in Him, honoring Him, and loving Him with all our strength.
Our transformation, from storefront Christians into Christ-like people, begins in our relationship with Jesus.
Perhaps the most beautiful experience through all eternity is to be at one with and to share the loving intimacy of the Father and the Son.
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus..." (Col 3:1)