ODJ: watching

June 19, 2013 

READ: Matthew 5:1-16 

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father (v.16).

Watch me, Mum!” On any given day these words resonate through our house as our children seek to entertain us or attempt a new skill. Sharing moments of accomplishment with those who believe in us and stand ready to encourage our next endeavour is a beautiful thing. Lately, as my husband and I are going through a test of faith in our ministry lives, I have become aware that God is calling me to act in such a way that I can say to my children, “Watch me.”

One of the enemy’s greatest lies in the midst of tribulation is the idea that we’re alone. This false sense of isolation brings temptation on several fronts. We can nurture the wrong idea that God has somehow abandoned us to walk through a spiritual desert alone (Psalm 94:14; Isaiah 43:1-2). We can also incorrectly believe we are the only person who has ever faced such a situation (Ecclesiastes 1:10; 1 Corinthians 10:13). Finally, the enemy can get us so inwardly focused that we forget how our actions affect those around us.

Jesus knew the world would be watching those who claimed to follow His name. Prior to His challenge of being a light on a hill, however, Jesus spent a great deal of time talking about kingdom values, some of which centre around suffering and loss (Matthew 5:3-4,10-12).

When we face hardship in our lives, even moments of injustice, we must be aware that God and “a huge crowd of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1-3) are watching us. We remember this truth not because we fear failure, but because it encourages us to press on in the power of the Holy Spirit. He allows us to walk through any place in life in a manner worthy of the cross (Ephesians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:10-12).—Regina Franklin

After reading1 Corinthians 4:10-16and 1 Peter 2:19-24, consider both what it means to follow andto be someone who lives out the truth of Jesus. 
Why is our first response to a challenge usually one of frustration or dismay? How does the knowledge that others are watching you transform hard situations into opportunities for God’s greatness to be displayed?