“They said, ‘wear it proudly,’” my husband mused with a laugh as he tossed a button on the counter. There’s a lot of controversy and conflict over a multitude of causes and campaigns. We seem to be drawn to showing an outward sign of what we support, and it’s not only buttons. Our vehicles don bumper stickers and our clothes often say what we stand for. My daughter’s water bottle is covered in stickers. The one at the top just says, “Jesus.” Do all the things we do to show what we stand for rightfully represent what really drives us? Do our lives express our beliefs before the swaggy slogan on our t-shirt?
Psalm 34:14 implores us to “turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” God is good. Jesus is peace. “The invitation here … is to experience the goodness of the Lord,” Moody Bible Commentary explains of Psalm 34:8-14. “The best life, the most blessed life, is available to the man who takes refuge in Him … This is not a promise of prosperity, but the principle of God’s more enduring provision for the man who desires life and loves length of days in which ‘life’ and ‘length of days’ signify the quality and quantity of life with God.”
My daughter proudly proclaims her source of goodness and peace on her water bottle. Do we wear Jesus as proudly as we wear pins and cover our possessions in stickers?
Peace, in the original Hebrew, means “completeness, soundness, safety, prosperity, quiet, contentment, friendship, etc.” The peace that surpasses all understanding. It’s impossible for us to find and foster this kind of peace through any person, policy, or prosperity. It comes only from God. We receive it through Jesus Christ. We come to the Father through Him, alone. The Spirit of the Living God lives in us from the very moment of our salvation.
Following Christ changes our perspective on prosperity, policies, and people. We learn to love as He loves us, and it truly does change everything: our motivations, goals, reactions, and priorities. We never become perfect people on this earth. Following Christ offers us comfort in that we don’t have to be. Our Father in heaven is proud of us. He loves us, as we are, right where we are at. He’s not waiting for us to fix ourselves or pull ourselves together. Only He who knit us in the womb can mend and stitch our hearts.
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God’s will for our lives is for us to live them to the full, as Jesus died for. He is our Healer, Provider and Deliverer now just as He was for His ancient people coming out of Egypt. He hasn’t changed, nor has His love for His children – for us. The apostle Paul wrote, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
We often support causes and campaigns that benefit our lives. There is no greater blessing, no more powerful benefit, than following Jesus. We can search our entire lives for sources of happiness. Each one – each bumper sticker, button, yard sign, even vote – are not what our hope is based in.
The original Greek translation for all that you need, “meant having enough but also often applied to the virtue of contentment,” NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible explains. We wear our support for Jesus long before we put a sticker on our vehicle or wear a shirt that proclaims Him or a button that supports Him. Those things are the sprinkles. The frosted cake beneath it is our faith in Him, the genuine Jesus we know and love, who changes our lives forever, for good. We wear that out into the world by the way we follow Him.
“Christians who give generously should know that God is able to provide generously for them in return,” Moody Bible Commentary explains. “Because giving Christians constantly receive given resources, they are delivered from hoarding and able to give even more.” Christ followers are protected from hoarding by generosity, letting go of what God provided in the first place, and trusting He’ll continue to provide for us. It’s absolutely not a guarantee of wealth for Christ followers. Rather, it’s an expression of our knowledge of faith in, trust, and obedience to God. We wear our faith out into the world as we follow Jesus.
Psalm 1:1-3 says:
Faith doesn’t promise us prosperity as the world considers it. “Such a tree blesses people and animals with its unfailing fruit and shade,” the NIV Study Bible explains. The buttons, yard signs, and stickers – they represent something deeper in our hearts. When we follow Jesus, the fruit of our lives reaches into others and blesses them!
Through us, God loves others. We get to be a part of His plan, workers for His Kingdom. It’s all about winning hearts for Jesus. Because when we support something enough to “wear it proudly”, we’re probably talking about it, too. Wear the worship concert t-shirt, and talk about it. Throw your church’s sticker on the back of your car, and invite people there when they ask what it is. Wear it proudly. Our faith, our life, our love … Jesus. Other people notice our faith without it, but when we’re all in with Him, we really do want to wear it proudly. Gear up and get out there. We’ve got people to love in His name.
Moody Bible Commentary. Copyright 2014. Moody Publishers.
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Meg, freelance writer and blogger at Sunny&80, is the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” and “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” She writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. Meg earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University but stepped out of the business world to stay at home and raise her two daughters, which led her to pursue her passion to write. She has led a Bible Study for Women and serves as a Youth Ministry leader in her community. Meg, a Cleveland native and lifelong Browns fan, lives by the shore of Lake Erie in Northern Ohio with her husband, two daughters, and golden doodle.