...he said to them: "You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia."
Thoughts for Today:As my wife and I drove into the parking lot of her doctor's office in Laguna Beach, we passed by the attendant who looked up from the book he was reading, then smiled and waved. My wife asked me, "Did you see what book he was reading?" Indeed it was very recognizable. I answered, "Yes, it looked like a Bible." She then told me every time she had come here in the morning and saw this young man, he was reading his Bible, "Isn't that wonderful?"
If a co-worker was in the lunchroom reading his Bible, would the tone of the normal banter clean up a bit? If a student was crossing campus carrying a load of books under her arm including a Bible, would the off-color suggestions and flirtations be turned a couple of octaves lower? The answer to both of these questions is, "Yes."
When I first became a Christian I had to let a lot of old friendships go because my old friends didn't understand that the new "Mike" wasn't interested in the old activities. They still thought I was the old "Mike", so despite my protests, the invitations kept coming and as a result I still had the temptations of my old life. On the other hand, any new acquaintances instantly recognized what I am now about because I carry my Bible with me and read it constantly. They never consider inviting me to "party" with them. In fact the people I now attract are like minded, and recognize who I am instantly (a Christian), by the signs I display -- "from the first day" they meet me.
In our passage today, Paul is saying the same thing. He's telling them that from the first time they saw him, throughout the whole time he was with them, they knew what he was about -- he was consistent in his walk with the Lord.
Questions to Ponder:What kind of a statement do you make to other people about what is important to you? Would anyone who has met you recently be surprised to learn that you are a Christian? What are some of the accessories you always carry? Does your Bible ever travel with you? Would you be embarrassed if someone's first impression of you was that of a committed Christian? Why? Are you still trying too hard to fit in the world? Paul never worried about fitting in. Jesus never worried about fitting in. This is a challenge. Will you answer the call?