Imagine a community, a city, a place where men and women, boys and girls, enthusiastically wore a badge that said, “Christ Follower”. Then imagine even further what it would be like to live there if the reputation of these people who wore this type of identification was consistently individuals who were loving, joyful, generous, and kind. What would it be like for the other people in the area as they watched the Christ followers face challenges and experience loss? How would they respond to people who were gracious, unselfish and unusually full of mercy? It wouldn’t be heaven on earth but It would be a wonderful place to live, don’t you think? Perhaps miracles might happen regularly and the church would be more like the one in Acts.
As Paul wrote to the new believers and to the people that he loved so much, he often reminded them that now they were the representatives of Jesus. The reality was that because Jesus had gone to His heavenly Father, it would be up to His disciples to make God known through the message that they would spread and the joy that the Holy Spirit would give to them. He told them that others would know they were His followers because of their love for each other. He explained to them that they should be very careful to put off the “old self” and put on their new identity so they would enjoy all the benefits that are given to those who represent their Savior faithfully. He gave them great encouragement to love others as Jesus had loved them.
With or without a badge, here are some questions that a “Christ follower” might want to consider. How clearly and consistently am I presenting the values and character of the person that I represent? Do my speech and actions make having faith in Him more attractive or are they a deterrent to it?