P. Samuel Manohram
There is a desperate need for spiritual illumination in today's materialistic world, where ungodliness is more acute than ever. The spiralling downward trend in ethical and moral standards is unprecedented. Morality is at its lowest ebb. Many are becoming lovers of self, lovers of money, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, disobedient to parents, unholy, and haters of what is good.
Lukewarm Christians are no different from the world. Can't we feel our Lord's heartache as He looks at the compromising Christians, let alone the unsaved millions, for whom He suffered and died and rose again triumphantly to give them eternal life?
The Lord Jesus told His disciples: "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matt.5:16). This is a challenge for us to stand for Jesus as His soldiers, to make His truth known to people without compromise. We are in a spiritual battle against human ideologies and beliefs that are set up against God.
The apostle Peter said, "Keep your behaviour excellent among the unsaved" (1Pet.2:12). We are called to reflect Christ's light to those who are in spiritual darkness and to influence them with the divine truth. Philippians 2:15 says, "That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world."
The Lord Jesus has come into the world so that all who are in spiritual gloom have an opportunity to receive spiritual light. We who have received that light are to be in the world without belonging to it. Our desire should be to walk continually with the Lord so that we are effective and useful for Him.
A Christian ought to be a living sermon. God bestows His best blessings on those who put Christ first. He who offers God the second place offers Him no place. When we claim to be Christians, we are saying to the world that Christ is our Saviour and we are following Him. It is a great privilege to be identified with Christ and a great obligation to live up to His name.
Caring For Perishing Souls
D. L. Moody said, "We are the living epistles of Christ, known and read by many men. If one man reads the Bible, one hundred people read you and me. If we do not commend the Gospel to people by our holy walk, we will not win them to Christ. Much will not be accomplished by sermons, if we do not preach Christ in our lives as well. Let us be ready and have our lights brightly burning so that others may see the way and not walk in darkness… If we only lead one soul to Christ, we may set a stream in motion that will flow on when we are dead and gone." The godly man Chrysostom said, "One single man inflamed by holy passion could change an entire neighbourhood. This has been proved."
How Do We Care?
Let us begin with prayer and maintain that attitude through the day. Pray specifically for those who have not experienced Christ. Inspire other believers to join in at least once a week. This is the minimum God expects of His children. Of course, we must reinforce our prayers with Christ-like compassion which would draw people to Him.
God has chosen us to be His agents to proclaim His message of divine light to the world. The unsaved have no other way of knowing Christ except through our living testimony. Our words and deeds are not to be for our glory but for God's glory. Our testimony should cause others to glorify God by their willing surrender to His authority. God gives us His light, not to hide it but to let it shine through our godly conduct. This is our sacred duty and responsibility as Christ's followers.
Let me conclude with a short prayer. "Our Heavenly Father, to Thee I submit my whole being, a vessel emptied of self. Fill me with Thyself, Thy light, Thy love, Thy life, that these Thy precious gifts may radiate through me to all I meet and work with, revealing to them the beauty of Thy joy and the serenity of Thy peace which no power can snatch away. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen."