The mandates to live in a manner that reflects the Lord Jesus Christ and give Him a presence in this world are found throughout the Scriptures. Solomon wrote...Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine” (Prov. 3:5-10 NIV). These words to Israel were given for their benefit and blessing.  Likewise in the New Testament we see similar teaching but its purpose is extended beyond self. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16 NASB).  Paul the apostle would write to the churches in Ephesus … “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:29-32 NASB).  “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Col. 3:17 NASB). “Be wise in the way you act toward those who are not believers, making good use of every opportunity you have. Your speech should always be pleasant and interesting, and you should know how to give the right answer to everyone” (Col. 4:5-6 TEV). All these mandates not only encourage us but have a purpose in reaching the unbeliever for Christ.  Thus Peter will say … “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Pet. 2:12 NASB).  One of the reasons for living a godly life is found in that last phrase …in the day of visitation.  No one need dispute the fact that the unbelieving world is observing the actions of Christians.  How we respond when maligned, when unjustly accused, when ridiculed for the name of Christ, when slandered and even mocked,  becomes that which God the Holy Spirit can use to convict the unbeliever of their need of the Savior.  A godly response instead of reaction is essential; otherwise, the label hypocrite unfortunately fits.  That day of visitation, known only to the individual who is without Christ, perhaps upon hearing a gospel message that Christ died on the Cross, was buried and rose again, or through adversity recognizing one’s need of Christ, is caused by the Spirit of God to recall the godly behavior observed in a Christian, and that becomes the witness used by the Spirit to draw that individual to Christ.  So often, all that has occurred may even be unknown to the believer.  But be sure, the unbelieving world is observing Christians and seeks to justify its evil way of thinking and acting that is devoid of God and His Word. Thus, Paul concludes… “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.  The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you” (Phil. 4:8-9 NASB).

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