Saturday, August 20, 2016

Like Clockwork

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

-- 2 Corinthians 5:17

During the 1950's and 1960's more than half of the wristwatches sold in the United States were made by Timex. Officially known as U.S. Time, the company marketed its dependable timepieces in department stores and pharmacies from coast to coast. And it's no doubt that Timex's popular television commercials helped to drive sales. Sometimes appearing live and in prime time, the advertisements used extreme demonstrations to prove their product's toughness and reliability. Examples include a Timex watch strapped to a speedboat, abused by a wild gorilla, and run through a dishwasher. 

"It takes a licking and keeps on ticking!" Watchproclaimed long-time spokesman John Cameron Swayze. And sure enough, Timex watches usually did just that. 

Those old commercials can teach us about a vital characteristic of true Christ-followers: dependability. After all, what good is a watch if you can't rely on it? We should ask the same about ourselves if we claim Jesus as Lord and Savior. 

Our troubles won't suddenly disappear the moment we start following Christ. And we can't expect our faith-journeys to be smooth drives down Easy Street. In fact, our daily struggles may actually intensify because the devil sees us as a threat. We should count on hitting bumps along the road: 

"In this world you will have trouble," Jesus promises us. "But take heart! I have overcome the world." 

Unfortunately, too many would-be Christ-followers give up and turn away when the troubles of everyday life get too big. Instead of relying on the unlimited resources they could access as a child of God, they wither from the heat of trials and circumstances.  

Do you keep on ticking after taking a licking? Like those dependable wristwatches in the commercials, Christ-followers must live lives demonstrating reliability and toughness. Ours is a permanent, 24/7 identity--not simply a role that we play for an hour or two on Sundays and at weekly Gel Groups. Instead, Jesus tells us to take up our rugged cross. And then follow him.

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