For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.  Matt 6:21

Someone once said a title is like a stamp. You can stick it anywhere but the value of the stamp doesn’t guarantee the contents of the envelope. In a Biblical encounter, Jesus highlighted the idea by calling the religious leaders of His day white-washed tombs—loaded with dead men’s bones. He knew their hearts were dead to Him, and He even mocked their external outfits or “stamp” as phony as well.

Many of us call ourselves “Christians.” I’m sorry to admit that I made a mockery of the title Christian by calling myself one for over forty years. Let’s be reminded that Satan and the demons are believers in Christ, and that Judas was a disciple of Jesus. This should make it obvious to us that a label just isn’t enough; we need the right contents.

The Apostle Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” (1 Cor 11:1) Jesus admonished us to follow Him.  So family and friends, may I challenge us to qualify ourselves more thoroughly these days if we choose to call ourselves Christians.  Below is a modern day story that has the elements of what it means to be a real Christian:

Several years ago, a preacher from out-of-state accepted a call to a church in Houston, Texas. Some weeks after he arrived, he had an occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, “You’d better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it.” Then he thought, “Oh, forget it, it’s only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a ‘gift from God’ and keep quiet.”

When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, and then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, “Here, you gave me too much change.” The driver, with a smile, replied, “Aren’t you the new preacher in town?” “Yes,” he replied. “Well I have been thinking a lot lately about going somewhere to worship. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change. I’ll see you at church on Sunday.”  When the preacher stepped off the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, held on, and said, “Oh God, I almost sold your Son for a quarter.”

With minds renewed by the Word of God, our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read.  This is a really scary example of how much people watch us as Christians and will put us to the test!

Edwin Luis Cole once said that a person’s true position and condition can be discovered by looking at their date book and their check book.  Where one spends their time and money speaks volumes about our Christian walk.

So family and friends, let’s stay focused—and remember: We carry the name of Christ on our shoulders when we call ourselves “Christian.”  Let’s watch our thoughts, they become our words. Let’s watch our words; they become our actions. Let’s watch our actions; they become our habits. Let’s watch our habits; they become our character. Let’s watch our character; it becomes our destiny.

May our week be more pleasing to the One who deserves not only our intimate fellowship, but as critically… our true followship as well!

Romans 12:2; Phil 3:14-17; Luke 9:57; John 12:26