How to Honor Christ with Our Actions

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SUMMARY

What’s the main ingredient in a turkey sandwich? Turkey, right?

What are the main ingredients in a BLT? Bacon, lettuce, and tomato—equal parts, equal billing.

If you were to take a cross section of a sandwich, the name you would call it would be the most visible and obvious ingredient(s).

Although there may be other ingredients involved, such as pepper, dressing, cheese, or pickles, the universal law of sandwich-making states that the name of a sandwich is determined by the quantity of the ingredients.

What I’m trying to get you to think about today is the cross section of your life. If you opened yourself up and took a look inside, what would you find? If we are honest with ourselves, the ingredients may not fit the label.

It’s easy to call oneself a Christian, but extremely difficult to actually be one. I lay this out for you so that you can self-reflect on what it means to be “Christian.” What does a Christian life look like?

Being a Christian doesn’t just mean going to church or reading the Bible every once in a while. In fact, the only true Christian, in the sense of a perfect imitation of Christ at every moment, is Christ Himself.

“In that sense there are no practicing Christians, but only Christians, who, in varying degrees, try to practice it and fail in varying degrees and then start again” (C.S. Lewis, Answers to Questions on Christianity).

Nobody is saying that you should start dressing like Jesus, growing a beard, or becoming a bachelor. That would be silly. What Christians are called upon to do is to strive for God’s will in every act and feeling, to ask oneself, “What would He want me to do?”

Since none of us are perfect, we practice and fail in varying degrees. The key here is “varying degrees.”

Honor Christ by Asking:

  • What does the cross section of our life look like?
  • What is today going to be like while it’s still today?
  • How are we going to reflect the reality and the truth of who Christ is?
  • How are we going to lessen ourselves and reflect more of Christ throughout the day?

Here’s your challenge:

Whether it’s the beginning of the day or the end of the day, ask yourselves, “What does the cross section of my life look like?”

I know we all lead busy and stressful lives—family, friends, career, to-do lists, ourselves. But, a Christian goes through life with something else on the mind—a much more powerful point of view.

A Christian takes the time to listen to the still, small voice of God at every moment. And in these moments, we honor Christ in our actions and a new life begins to emerge. Those moments turn into something new, “into a new little Christ, a being which, in its own small way, has the same kind of life as God; which shares in His power, joy, knowledge and eternity” (C.S Lewis, Mere Christianity).

A photo posted by Todd Phillips (@todphil) on

Make that your life today.

Until we talk again, Live Passionately, Give Generously, and Impact the World for God.

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TRANSCRIPT

Hey this is Todd Phillips, your online pastor and personal life coach talking about focusing on the right things.

When I first got married to my wife, Julie, we had gone on our honeymoon and just got back to our apartment, and we affectionately called it the envelope. It was like really, really, really, really thin. It was two stories and like two feet wide.

Anyway, we moved in there, it was our first place to live and I remember this like it was yesterday. I was laying on the couch, I was watching TV, the TV was on the other wall across from where I was in the living room. And it was so close that I didn’t even need to use the remote. I could just reach over and change the channel.

So anyway, I’m watching television, Julie comes down right in between me and the television to go into the kitchen. And she says, “Hey Todd, listen, would you like me to make you a sandwich?”

And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, this is the first time my wife has made me a sandwich. This is great.” I said, “Yeah, I’d love to have a sandwich.”

And so she said, “Well, what kind of sandwich do you want?” And I said, “Well, I’d love a turkey sandwich.”

So I told her what kind of sandwich I wanted, and she went into the kitchen. And before I go any further, I want to say, this is something that a lot of, I didn’t know this, but a lot of women don’t know that there is a universal law of sandwich making. And here it is, it’s very simple, and guys, you’ll probably going to totally recognize this when I tell you, but here it is:

The name of a sandwich is determined by the quantity of the ingredients.

That’s it. That’s the universal law of sandwich making. So, for example, peanut butter and jelly sandwich—the reason they’re both in there is because it’s equal parts equal billing on the name. A bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich—equal parts equal billing.

So when I said “turkey sandwich,” based on the universal law of sandwich making, I had a certain sandwich in my head—bread, turkey, bread.

So that’s kind of what was in my head. So Julie goes in there and starts making noises that are associated with sandwich making that I’ve never heard before. I’m mean I’m talking about jars, tops of jars being tossed off onto the counter, silverware, I mean all sorts of strange noises. And I figured to myself, well the bottom line is she’s making herself her own sandwich, and she has my sandwich taken care of.

Well, she came around the corner and she had two plates in her hand. She was coming into the living room to sit with me so we could have our two sandwiches together. When she came around the corner, I saw on the plate, there was an entire head of lettuce in my sandwich, there was what looked like a whole tomato cut up into several slices, and ranch dressing or salad dressing or something like that. I mean based on what was in there, that was a salad sandwich and I’d asked for a turkey sandwich.

Well I sat down and I said, “Honey, where’s the turkey?” And she said, “It’s in there.” And so I opened up the top of the sandwich and there was a single see-through slice of turkey at the very top of the sandwich.

It was the very thing that I wanted the most, and I was finding the least, right. You know those bags, those packages you buy at the grocery store in the refrigerated section where there’s forty see-through slices of the turkey, or of the meat, right. She’s convinced that makes forty sandwiches. And I’m convinced that’s a single sandwich serving.

So anyway, we get back here and I’ve got a single slice of see-through turkey, it’s what I find least in the sandwich. And so I asked for a turkey sandwich, she brought me a salad sandwich. 

It was two completely different perspectives on the same thing.

Look, when you look at a cross section of that sandwich, it really was a salad sandwich based on the ingredients. Now, you may be listening to this asking, “Well what’s the point, Todd?”

Here’s the deal. AS Christians, I want us to think about this. As Christians, if like the sandwich, we were to take a cross section of our lives, and we just opened it up and looked inside our lives. We call ourselves Christians—Christ-followers, right. But for some of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, the actions, the lifestyle of a Christ-follower, is what we find least in our lives.

So we call ourselves Christians, but an honest review, right, an honest look at the cross section, shows something very different.

What I want to challenge you with today is this: if you are a Christ-follower, if you call yourself a Christian, if that’s a label you place on yourself, and you wear it proudly and you wear it with conviction, we really do need to do self-checks in our own lives. All of us need to do this.

And it’s not something that we do once a month, or every year at Easter, it’s something that we should do every morning when we wake up, right.

We should ask ourselves:

  • What does the cross section of our life look like?
  • What is today going to be like while it’s still today?
  • How are we going to reflect, if someone looks at the cross section of our lives, how are we going to properly reflect the reality and the truth of who Christ is in us?
  • How are we going to lessen ourselves and reflect more of Christ throughout the day?”

So that’s a challenge to you today. Whether you’re seeing this at the end of the day or the beginning of the day. If it’s the end of the day, prepare yourself for tomorrow—wake up in the morning and just ask the question, “What is the cross section of my life going to look like at the end of the day?”

Can I do things, can I say things, can I serve people, can I pour out in such a way that by the end of the day, when I take a look at the cross-section of my life at the end of the day, what I find is Christ, right.

That’s the way we’re going to impact the world, that’s the way we’re going to change the world in Christ’s name, that’s the way we’re going to be able to take our lives and our lifestyles, and transform not only us, but those around us, with the truth of Jesus. Think on these things.

Let me close this with a passage—this is out of Philippians, chapter 4. Paul, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, says this to the Church at Phillipi, he says this, “Finally brothers,” near the end of the letter:

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure,whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Every morning we wake up, regardless of what happened the day before, we have a fresh opportunity, right, to let the cross section of our life reflect Jesus. To think on things that are loving, and praise-worthy, and God-centered, right, and others-centered, so that our lives can reflect the grandeur of Christ.

Make that your life today.

Until the next time, LIVE PASSIONATELYGIVE GENEROUSLY, and IMPACT THE WORLD FOR GOD.

[after video]

 

Hey, it’s Todd. Did you get something out the video you just watched? I really hope you did.

I mean, that’s my passionto give you something that can be applied rightly to your life, right now.

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I hope you’ll let me do that. I hope you’ll allow us to be on this journey together. See you soon!


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