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Our Lives Today and the Last Great Day

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Our Lives Today and the Last Great Day

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Every year at the Feast of Tabernacles we make a big impact on the local communities. As we converge by the hundreds into the cities God has chosen to place His name, these communities can't help but notice our positive influence. But this positive influence isn't limited to the festival seasons. As individuals we are to be positive examples to those we interact with—every day of every year. Our lights should not only shine at the Feast, but at all times. Even though they do not understand the light now, the day is coming when they will understand. And God will bring our examples to their minds. Ambassadors for Christ When God chose ancient Israel, He wanted them to be a positive example to the rest of the world. In the Millennium, physical Israel will be the model nation for the rest of the world. Today, God's Church is made up of what Paul describes as spiritual Jews and the Israel of God (Romans 2:28-29; Galatians 6:16). We are to be exemplifying God's way of life. Why? As humans we don't want to just take someone's word—we want proof! God is using us as His proof. From Genesis to Revelation, God has chosen tens of thousands of people to be His witnesses. You and I are among those God has chosen. In 2 Corinthians 5:20 we read, "Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us…" The original Greek word translated "pleading" means, "to invite, to exhort." Yes, God is calling people through our examples! He is using us to encourage others. Yet most will not recognize that invitation in this lifetime. When Christ lived on the earth, most did not recognize who He was (John 1:5). And not only was Christ a light, He was a great light (Matthew 4:16)! So we should not be surprised when others mock us. They simply do not understand. But even though they are presently blinded, God still wants us to be powerful witnesses to them. A People Full of Good Works Christ tells us to let our light shine so people can see our good works (Matthew 5:16). As God's people we must have good works. That is part of our calling! People in the world need to see God's way of life in action. And one of the most powerful ways they will see this is through us. We have God's Holy Spirit, and when others interact with us, it may be the closest contact they will ever have with God in this lifetime. As ambassadors for Christ, we have huge responsibilities to properly represent God. We shoulder the responsibility of being model employees. As Good Samaritans, we are to help those in need when we have opportunity. We are to comfort others. Our lives should reflect God's way of give. We should be willing to share our possessions with others, especially when they are in need. God wants to see us taking care of others, just as He is taking care of us. We are to be rich and zealous in good works (1 Timothy 6:18; Titus 2:14), show a pattern of good works (Titus 2:7) and show our faith by our good works (James 2:18). When people in the world interact with us, are they glad when we arrive—or glad when we leave? Do we cheer people up or make them feel bad? Remember, we represent God, and they will remember us in the second resurrection. God wants our examples to encourage them, not discourage them. A Transformed People One of the most obvious things people will notice in us is our change of lifestyle. Many friends and relatives will see the results of God's Spirit in us. The changes will be unmistakable, and will be for the better. This will be a powerful witness when their eyes are opened to the truth. We no longer talk like others, we have strong morals, and we have a strong sense of right and wrong. Our honesty and self-control will surprise people. Our humility and patience will be obvious. Our respect for God and authority will be noticed. Of course, all of these desirable traits are the result of God's Spirit in us. The world does not understand what is changing us, but they do see the change in us. Just as those who knew Paul marveled at the change in him (Acts 9:21), so do others marvel at the change in us. Ironically, they don't want our "crazy" religion, yet they like the good things they see in us. They can't put the two together—that this religion is what makes us the way we are! Another powerful witness is that you and I—the weak of the world—have become the good examples we are. It is another miracle of God, that He can transform the weak to confound the mighty (1 Corinthians 1:26-29). Yes, God has called the weak now to help the strong later. The Day of Visitation God will make Himself known to every single individual who has ever lived. To most people that time will be at the second resurrection. But to a select few—people like you and me—God has made Himself known already. And whenever the spiritual veil is removed, people will understand and remember our good works. Peter writes, "Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation" (1 Peter 2:12, emphasis added). God has used some of us when He called others. And when these people learned the truth, they did glorify God in their day of visitation! These people saw the positive examples, which helped them turn to God's ways. Think of the thousands of people each of us interact with in our lifetime, then multiply that by the thousands of saints God has worked with over the past 6,000 years. The day is coming when God will visit these 20 to 60 billion people. When their eyes are opened, God will help them remember us (Ephesians 2:7). And then they will glorify God. By our examples, it will be easier for them to embrace God's way of life. Neither the weak nor the strong can say God's way is too hard, since God's Spirit helped the weak (you and me) overcome Satan and human nature. These people will remember the good works the saints showed toward them. They will remember the transformation that "crazy" religion brought in the lives of God's people. They will learn that God's Spirit can change them too. We will be the proof that God's way works. Just as we are presently surrounded by a cloud of witnesses of those who have gone before us (Hebrews 12:1), we will be part of the witnesses that surround those in the second resurrection. Yes, God has called you and me to help others become sons of God. Our positive examples today are seeds that will take root and blossom at the Last Great Day. And on that day of visitation, many will understand the truth, remember us and glorify God. What a day it will be! UN