Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Caretaker

I sat down to watch a movie last night. As it was about to begin there flashed on the screen a statement saying that it was a true story and that it happened in 1885. It struck me then that our house was built in 1848, 37 years before the year that this movie was set in! As I carefully scanned the setting, the furniture, the way the house was built, the clothing worn and the decorations, I realized that our house once had people living in it like that and that we are merely the caretakers of this home which has housed many families over the years. 

Some things have changed over the years, in this house I know. But some things haven't such as the original plank flooring in our bedroom and the two staircase landings. I'm pretty sure the wooden slat ceilings are original too and its comforting to know that there have been other people who loved them as much as I do. Some past caretakers of this home have tried to modernize it, especially in the living room where new gyprock has been put up and the old woodwork has been removed, but we are going to replace the woodwork to try to restore the home to what it once was. We want to be respectful of the past and all those who once took care of this home so that we could live in it one day.

Its because of their care of this home that we have it today. If they never made improvements or repairs the old house would have fallen into the ground before this. Its because the past owners took their task of caretakers seriously. Whether we own a home or not or whether the home we have is as old as ours or a brand new built one, we are all caretakers of one thing: our testimony.

Only you have your testimony. You are the caretaker of it. Some call it our reputation and others our testimony, they both go hand in hand so either term is correct. If we are a child of the King we not only have a  reputation to uphold and keep it sterling but we also have a testimony to share. We live in a world that is searching for something real. There are people all around us who want to know if our faith is genuine or just smoke and mirrors like the rest of the world. It falls to us to show them the real thing. 

Just like an old house is not perfect, neither are we. We have our flaws and we make mistakes but as Christians that's just what they are: flaws and mistakes NOT habits that we do all the time. We need to make sure that when people see us they see a true representation of our Lord, Jesus Christ. You alone are the caretaker of your testimony. Have you taken proper care of it? You alone know if you are living 100% for Jesus or if you're sitting on the fence. God knows the difference and those unsaved people around you know too. 

When we got our house it was in a sad state of disrepair. The last caretakers of this home had let a litter of puppies do their business everywhere and they never cleaned it up. Dust and dirt had never been cleaned either. Floors were sagging and windows were missing panes of glass. The last people to live here didn't care for the home at all. Their indifference was a reflection on their character, not the character of the home. Christians who live shoddy lives and have a poor testimony, don't bring condemnation on the Lord, they bring it on themselves. Its absolutely imperative that we live a good life and so be a reflection of the Lord at all times. 

We are caretakers of the trust He has placed in us. 

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:3)

27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. (Philippians 1:27-30)

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