Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Circus is coming to town!

The circus is coming to town, the circus is coming to town! October is the big circus and fair month. I'm not sure why but it is, both the local fair and the state fair start next month as well as the circus in some towns. Why am I telling you this; this week I read a verse and I saw if from a different angel than I have in the past. It made me think of a certain aspect of the circus. The verse I came across Tuesday was Ephesians 4: 28

He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

In the past I have read this with the focus being on the fact that we are not to steal. I think that is the focus for most us us when we read this passage. But when I read it Tuesday I focused on the last part of the verse - that he may have something to share with those in need. Something that struck me about this verse is the radical transformation that Christ can produce in our lives. Most people, including me, would say that we need to stop stealing because it is wrong or we need to stop so we will not go to jail. However, that is not what this passage says. This passage says the man who is stealing must no longer steal but must work to share with those in need.

God has always cared for the poor and needy. Throughout scripture believers are instructed to take care of the poor and needy - Matthew 6: 1-3, Acts 2:45, and Acts 4:34. If God expects a former thief to take care of the needy what does He expect from us noncriminals? Are we giving as much to the needy as we do to our alma mata? Are we giving as much to the needy as we do the credit card company? Our lives should be so different from the non believers that they look at us like we were a circus freak. "Step right up and see the former criminal serving the poor and needy!" "Step right up and see the couple who were some of the worldliest people in the neighborhood now selling everything and holding Bible studies in their home!" "Step right up and see the gossiper who is now encouraging others to stay the course, to fight the good fight!"

God has a purpose for your life no matter what your background, no matter what situation you find yourself in. Are you willing to be a circus freak for Christ?

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