Tonight, if they haven’t already, many children will go out and trick or treat around their neighborhoods. Most all those who do this will dress up in a costume or put on a mask and pretend to be something they are not. Some of the costumes will be cute, some will be funny, some will be scary, while others will be flat out hideous. Yet, it does not matter how different each costume may appear, they all have one thing in common: they are used so people can pretend to be someone they are not.
Many times I’m afraid people do the same thing with their Christianity. They dress up in a costume and pretend to be something they are not. Each Sunday they put on their best clothes, grab their Bibles (if they can remember them), put a smile on their faces and attend worship service. They try to trick people into believing they are devoted followers of Christ although the kind of life they live during the week is anything but one devoted to following Christ. They say things they shouldn’t say, do things they shouldn’t do and neglect things they should be doing.Then they come to church on Sunday and pretend to be someone different than they really are the rest of the week, someone who is holy, hoping no one will notice that their Christianity is nothing more than a costume they put on that morning.
When God sent Samuel to Bethlehem to the house of Jesse to anoint one of his sons as king, Samuel was sure God was going to anoint Eliab as king. However, God told Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (I Sam. 16:7).
God passed on Eliab and chose David, the youngest son of Jesse, to be the next king because God saw in David what Samuel could not see: his heart. When gathering with the church on Sunday, remember that while we may be able to trick most people, we can never trick or fool God, for He does not see as man sees. God can see our hearts!
Friends, God knows whether our Christianity is genuine or simply a costume. Let’s make sure the kind of lives we are living during the week match the kind of lives we live on Sundays.