Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Somebody's Watching Me

2 Corinthians 1:3-6 (AMP)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercy) and the God [Who is the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement), Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God. For just as Christ's [[a]own] sufferings fall to our lot [b][as they overflow upon His disciples, and we share and experience them] abundantly, so through Christ comfort (consolation and encouragement) is also [shared and experienced] abundantly by us. But if we are troubled (afflicted and distressed), it is for your comfort (consolation and encouragement) and [for your] salvation; and if we are comforted (consoled and encouraged), it is for your comfort (consolation and encouragement), which works [in you] when you patiently endure the same evils (misfortunes and calamities) that we also suffer and undergo.

As I was reading this passage today in the Amplified version of the Bible, I began to think not about suffering and times of trial and affliction, as is the context of this passage, but the fact that as believers of Jesus Christ, others are watching us. I was reminded of an old song from my childhood called, “I Always Feel like Somebody’s Watching Me”. Now, I don’t remember at all what the song was about. I am certain that it had nothing to do with being an example to those who watch us. But it reminded me that my life is being watched. I’m being watched most definitely by at least three pairs of little eyes, my kids. They watch my life, my attitudes, my demeanor, and my reactions. They see me at my very best, and at my very worst. Others watch me as well, such as my unsaved loved ones, coworkers, and fellow believers. That’s why it’s so important to that we live our lives in a way that glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ.

That means in the good times as well as the bad. I know that the recurring theme of my blog is valleys and trials. We tend to write and speak about what we know, and hey, it’s what I know. Here, the apostle Paul speaks of his own afflictions for Christ’s sake. He first makes it clear that we as Christ’s disciples will experience suffering. Look at the fifth verse: “For just as Christ's [[a]own] sufferings fall to our lot [b][as they overflow upon His disciples, and we share and experience them] abundantly, so through Christ comfort (consolation and encouragement) is also [shared and experienced] abundantly by us” (AMP). We will go through times of affliction and distress. Yet, in those times, we can be assured that the Lord will console us and encourage us. Why, we can simply look at His example. “…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). That is what Paul did.

Yet, Paul realized that the believers in Corinth were watching him. Undoubtedly, he knew that they were watching to see his reaction to his own distress and hardship. He gave them a great example, and here he expounded on that. Verse six speaks of his trials and afflictions as being for their good. But he told them in effect, “If I am troubled and afflicted, it’s for your comfort and encouragement. And if I’m comforted in these trials, it’s for your encouragement as well!” In other words, he was saying that the Corinthian Christians can rejoice and be encouraged, because if Paul can endure the trials and suffering, so can they.

Friends, we must remember this important fact. We will be watched. That goes for situations such as Paul wrote about here in 2 Corinthians 1, or making sure that we are living our lives in a manner that is worthy of the Gospel of Jesus. People are watching us, and our reactions to life’s circumstances can make or break their trust in Christ. So let us be mindful of those eyes that maybe upon us, watching our lives, so that we might show them the nature of Jesus Christ. God bless!


Henry Haney said...

Good word today Pastor Jeff. Television preachers have (for the most part) sold the world a bill of goods saying that all suffering is from the devil and we should simply rebuke it with positive confession.

Your message today (straight from the Word) shows us that even our sufferings and trials are an opportunity to glorify God. Paul wasn't ashamed of suffering- he saw it as an opportunity.

You're so very right- somebody is always watching you. On a lighter note- It's funny you mentioned that song because I used to have it on a 45 record (remember those?). I can't remember who the lead singer was, but Michael Jackson sang the chorus...(ok, I had better stop now since I mentioned Mike :))

Blessings Bro.

michigan preacher said...

I knew someone must remember that song. Yea, I remember, ol' Mike sang on it. No wonder I can hear him singing it! How can I forget 45s? My wife still has some. Anyway, yes, from hearing "Christian Hollywood", you'd think we're in legue with the devil or something. God bless!