Saving your hearers

In the Royal Palace in Belgrade, I had the privilege of honoring the memory of King Peter II. His body has been returned to Serbia from the United States.  At the start of World War II, the former king fled the Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia. He never returned because the Communists invaded and took over his country at the end of the war. He died in exile at the age of 47 and was buried at a Serbian Orthodox Church monastery in Libertyville, Illinois. He is the only European monarch laid to rest on U.S. soil. Crown Prince Alexander has been working for nearly a decade to have his father’s remains returned for a final resting place. He knows it is what his father wanted.

As I entered the Chapel within the Royal Palace where King Peter II’s body rests in preparation for the funeral, I was overwhelmed with grief at the sight above me. I noticed a mural of Jesus on the ceiling.  As I stared up at the artist’s work, the realization of what was before me, sickened me. There were rifle shots in the forehead and heart of my Savior. When I asked about it, I learned the Serbian communists were responsible for the damage to the mural. My heart grieved for the hatred of mankind to viciously and maliciously fire shots at a depiction of Christ.

Now, more than ever, we have to become the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. In a world working diligently to destroy our Savior, we have to be more forceful; more enthusiastic; more outspoken; in order to drown out the sounds of those who oppose Him.

1 Timothy 4:12-16, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

Do people hear the Word of God when you speak? What about in your conduct, on a daily basis, is God reflected in your actions? Do you love others as He has asked us to love? Do you honor Him with faith in His ability to lead your life? Is your heart pure?

Reread the scripture in Timothy and talk with God about what you need to do to fulfill His wishes in your life. Are you watching your life? Not only will you save yourself in doing so, but those who hear you as well.

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