Have you ever seen something that makes you a little uncomfortable because it ultimately challenges your faith? Then, this is for you.
The kids and I were recently at the store (you know, the one with a million locations that begins with a W and ends with mart). As we were returning to our car, they spied a car parked a few spaces down.
There was nothing particularly exciting about the car itself. It was dark blue, seemed to be kept in great working order and definitely was fulfilling its purpose as a means of transportation. But that’s not what was drawing my kids to this car.
They were drawn to the series of handmade signs with Bible verses that seemed to be covering most of the available space on the outside of the car.
Of course, the kids were curious and they asked me about a thousand questions about why those signs were on that car, and why that person did that and who would see that car and read those verses. And, honestly, I had very few answers for them.
I didn’t say it to my kids, but, in all honesty, that little judgmental part of me started to rise up too. I wanted to think this is crazy, it’s something I’d never do and there’s no way that I would ever do that to my car.
But I’ve had a few days to think about it since then, to wrestle with the part of me that’s uncomfortable and judgmental. Now, I’m going to choose to see it this way:
- The person who drives that car has a connection to God. Obviously, it’s a deep connection. The verses that appeared here aren’t the ones that everyone knows. Some work went into finding them and to connecting with them and to the author of all scripture.
- The person who drives this car thought that the connection with God was so important that it had to be shared with other people. And I don’t know anything about that person’s life or what they do to be able to say it. I see the evidence on the car in the parking lot. It’s a visible and outward sign of that inner connection with God.
- That person is devoted to following God. Each sign is handmade and handwritten and that person took the time to carefully write in each word of those verses.
- That person took action. Maybe there was some morning when this person woke up and decided that this was the day to put that belief in action. He/she set out with a plan and chose a way to do it that is consistent with who they are. Then, that person put the time and energy and effort in it to bring this God dream to reality.
- This is purely speculation on my part, but I’m guessing that this action has led to conversations. How could it not? Those conversations probably range from “Why did you do this?” to “that’s so awesome that you did it.” The car itself is a rolling conversation piece. (Here I am writing about it and thinking about God — so, mission achieved).
At the end of the day, the driver of that car is making an outward statement about something that is going on at the heart level. I’m not saying that you or I have to put Bible verses all over our car to do that, but how are we doing when it comes to giving an outward sign of our inner connection to God?
If you ever are in the mood to get your “toes stepped on” in scripture, then spend some time in the Book of James. The evidence points to this book as being written by James who also happens to be the brother of Jesus. (For a moment, just imagine how much it would take for your sibling to convince you that they are the actual Messiah!)
Maybe it is because James lived up close and personal with Jesus and had a chance to see the way Jesus approached life. And, now James shares those truths — some challenging truths — with us. It’s a book that directly confronts such things as the words that come out of our mouths, the ways that we show favoritism and the way that we live out our faith.
In James 2:14, we read this verse: “My brothers and sisters, what good is it if people say they have faith but do nothing to show it? Claiming to have faith can’t save anyone, can it?” (NIV). He goes on to add at the end of Chapter 2 that “faith without works is dead.”
Seeing the car that won first place at the church “sword drill” makes me think about the challenge of that verse: How am I taking the faith that I say I have and showing it to others? Maybe you find yourself in the same boat (or in this case, car).
So let’s challenge ourselves to show it by:
- Connecting with God (devotion).
- Helping others to find that connection with God (Love and evangelism).
- Being devoted to following God (Commitment, discipleship).
- Creating a plan and taking action (Mission, ministry, evangelism)
- Having conversations with others about it (Witness, ministry, evangelism)
Well, you get the picture. I saw someone who had the courage to put Bible verses all over the car. Can’t I — can’t we — find an action that we can take, that is consistent with the person God made us to be, that shows the world our love for God? What if I could drop the things that are holding me back — my pride, guilt, experiences, etc. — to help another person held back by the same things to have a chance to experience God?
Now, go. Take action!
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- Everyone has a story to share — including you!
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