Monday, November 7, 2011

A duck among chickens

Have you ever driven by something that made you say "Did I just see what I thought I saw?" After I drop my kids off at school I head to work down a back road that has very little traffic. It winds through a sparsely developed part of town where you will see broken down cars, run down houses and the occasional yard animal, not a dog or cat but something you don't typically consider to be a family pet.

This week I drove past a house that has chickens in the yard. Apparently the chickens are out foraging and that in and of itself is not unusual, what is unusual, or at least to me, is that there is a duck right there in the middle of the chickens. There were four chickens and a duck wandering around in the yard like a brotherhood or a fraternity. I have driven by this a few times and the duck is right there with them quacking his beak like he is talking to them. My assumption is that the duck thinks he is a chicken. There is an old saying "If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck!" In this case it is a duck, just don't tell him that, he thinks he is a chicken!

As I drove to work laughing to myself I thought about how many people in the church think they are Christians when in reality they are not. How many show up, sing a few songs, drop a check in the offering plate and leave thinking they are Christians. There are warnings about this in scripture.
Matthew 7: 21-23 - 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
II Corinthians 13: 5, 6 - 5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 6 And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.
So how do you know you are a Christian and not a duck among chickens? If we look at the professions of faith in the Bible one thing seems to jump out. What we see the lives of Peter, Paul, Zacchaeus and others was a transformed life. Paul persecuted the church before his conversion and afterwards he died for the church. Peter denied Christ and later he too died for his faith. Zacchaeus was a corrupt business man or tax collector. Once he saw the love and forgiveness that Christ offered him he immediately began to change his corrupt ways.

Another familiar passage that reiterates this thought is found in Galatians:
Galatians 5: 22, 23 - 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
The fruit is the evidence. The evidence that a tree is an apple tree is that it produces apples. If it never produces apples it may not be an apple tree. If you are not seeing or did not see a transformation take place in your life you may need to do what Paul said and examine yourself to see if you truly are in the faith. Examine the Scriptures to see who Christ claimed to be. You can really only come to one of two conclusions, either Christ was a liar and a deceiver or he was who he claimed to be, the Son of God who provided a way for sinful man to have a right standing before a Holy God. It may be time to ask yourself are you quacking when everyone else is clucking?

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