Stand On It | Devotion #5: Chaplain Award
Noble Baird | Community Center Director
At times, it can be hard to look back at our past, let alone talk about it with others. For some of us, we are ashamed of our past and not too proud of the things we have done. Yet, there are others who look back and are not ashamed, but at the same time, there may have been some wasted opportunities. Then, there are some who look back and can confidently say they had no regrets. If I am honest with myself and you, I fall into the first category, ashamed and not proud of the things I did. For years, I attended church and Christian school. It included going to chapels, Bible class, and then serving on Sundays in the children’s ministry. However, I was just checking off a “Christian” box in my life, and I was a completely different person at school with my friends and schoolmates than I was on Sundays at church.
In John chapter 4, Jesus meets with the Samaritan woman at the well. As the passage continues, we find that the woman has a past she is ashamed because of her multiple divorces and being married while living with another man. Yet, Jesus came to her and offered her the hope that had been missing in her life. Jesus told her that He is the Christ and that through Him she could have forgiveness and did not have to hide in the shadow of her past, but live in the new life through Him. Jesus not only forgave this woman for her sins and what she has done in the past, but He gave her hope. It was the hope she was missing. She had been searching for hope in all these different men and situations.
I will never forget the end of my freshman year in high school, at our awards ceremony. There was an award given every year to the student from each grade that reflected Christ and a love for serving Him, the Chaplain Award. To my surprise and the surprise of every classmate that knew me, I was given this award. Out of all the freshmen in my school, I was chosen. This shook me to my core. I had no idea why I was chosen. Yet, as I went up front to receive the undeserved award, I was reminded of a passage in Revelation 3:15-17 where the church in Laodicea is being judged for their character and actions. Starting in verse 15 it read, “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”
Receiving that award changed my life. I realized that I needed to get my act together and stop having one foot with Christ and the other in the world. I was truly lukewarm for Jesus. Although my change did not happen overnight, I knew that it had to happen. So, as we wrap up this series on Skeletons in the Closet, I want to challenge you to take a step back and look at your life. I was hopeless and living my life for Christ and this world. I thought I could do both but quickly found out that was not the case. I encourage you to take a step back and look at your story, actions, and friends. Are you all in for Christ or are you simply fooling yourself and living lukewarm?