THE INCREASE: Be the change - Pastor Ted Winsley

All too often we look to our pastors to create changes in our lives or communities, but nowhere in Scripture does God say pastors are the only ones He’s calling into ministry. Each one of us is called to live a life of ministry — on mission for Christ in our workplace, home, communities and churches. Our role as Christ-followers is to be just that: following and representing Christ!

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that You have sent me.” — John 17:20-21

Jesus’ prayer shows us that we were meant to be in the world but not of it. People should see God in us everywhere we go and in everything we do. Our lives are to designed to show people the message of the Gospel without us having to even preach it. Our lives are on display for God’s glory.

There are three distinct words that contribute to the word “glory”: image, impact and reputation.

We need to realize that as God’s children, His image is in us — His glory is actually indwelling in us! We need to keep God’s image evident in our lives so we do not change.

“Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it — not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it — they will be blessed in what they do.” — James 1:23-25

We need God’s image to remind us who we are in Christ, no matter where we go. If we’re not allowing God’s image to be revealed through us when we go into the locker room, on the field, in the club, or even in church, we will forget who we are. When we don’t allow God’s image to overtake our lives, we will experience spiritual amnesia when adversity hits.

God’s glory is for God. He gave us His image to impact others for Him. He requires change from each of us, change to become more like Him. He’s looking for restoration within this world. Wherever we go, we are to be the change.

“At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, ‘Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ The words ‘once more’ indicate the removing of what can be shaken — that is, created things — so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” — Hebrews 12:26-27

As you grow deeper in your relationship with Christ, He will reveal things about your character that are not from Him. When we understand His impact and glory is inside of us, it will cause the things within us that are unlike Him to shake off. In the presence of His glory all other things will fade away until only the things that cannot shake off will remain — His glory.

God’s glory is on display in our lives for the sake of others. He puts His reputation in us so that those who need to change will see the changes we’ve made, and be prompted to make similar changes. The key is to allow God’s glory to overwhelm and impact us so that His image is displayed within us. His presence in us will remind us of His unshakeable character, leading us to become more like Him while bringing others to see and receive Him to be the change in their own lives.

Pastor Ted Winsley, Philadelphia Eagles chaplain

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