1 Corinthians 7
17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.
18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.
19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.
21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.
22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.
23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
Tonight, my pastor preached on these verses. At 1st Bikers Church, we are privileged to not have to dress in suits and ties in order to praise God and be accepted as part of the congregation. We have members who have beards, many have tattoos, and many of the women don't even own a dress. Some men are homeless, living out of their back packs. Some have homes, but choose to dress conservatively. And, some do own dresses that they wear occasionally. At 1st Bikers Church, we don't care what you wear. What we care about is that you are there, and that your God is OUR God.
Using these verses, Pastor Matthew C. Butler made the point that "if you are a biker, you probably wouldn't fit in with the cowboy church" for various reasons. So, therefore, if God called you to be a Christian while you were a biker, then it is bikers that you should be witnessing to, and if you were a cowboy, then it's cowboys you should be witnessing to. God made a place for us all, and in calling the whole world, someone has to be able to reach them where they are.
Having heard the sermon tonight, it made me think of myself, and where I currently am in my walk with Jesus.
For the past couple of years, I have not worn new clothes. I've been comfortable attending church in sweats and jeans and t-shirts, and whatever else makes me comfortable that covers me up. God knows what's inside me and that is what counts, right?
But, lately, I've been paying more attention to my looks. Not because I think I should look better as a Christian, but because I think God is calling me into places that He wants me to go where my appearance my be an obstacle in doing what it is HE calls me to do.
For instance: If I were to attempt to walk into a rich man's bar in order to speak to a rich patron there about leaving the bar life to follow Jesus, do you think that rich patron would listen to me if I walked in there with shabby clothes on?
God meets us where we are. He accepts us for WHO we are. He loves us even though we are filthy in sin. But, when the blood of Jesus cleanses our hearts and makes us new, God requires us to be ready and willing to go where ever He sends us to spread the gospel. We should, therefore, be willing and ready to meet others where THEY are.
Our motto at 1st Bikers Church has always been:
1 Corinthians 9:
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
This means that when we see a homeless man on the street, we sit with him. We are not ashamed to be seen with him. We are not uncomfortable with his smell. We treat him as one of us. We treat him with respect and dignity in hopes of sharing the gospel to him and being the hands and feet that God asks us to be in order to lead him to Christ!
So, in my own life, I have transitioned from the old sweats and comfortable attire I love so much, to wearing pant suits and make-up and fixing my hair and painting my nails. Not because I believe I have to dress that way as a Christian, but because I feel that there is someone out there who will not take me seriously who needs to hear my story, unless I dress like them.
I go to work every day at a hospital. I have to wear a uniform that I do not like to wear. Wearing that uniform does not make me any more or any less a child of the Most High God than not wearing it; but, if I don't wear it, it will make me less of an employee and put an obstacle in the path between me and my paycheck.
It's the same when doing Kingdom work for God. Sometimes, though you don't have to dress out to be a Christian, it is required that you change your uniform in order to fit the job God wants you to be able to do.
1 Peter 3:
3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.