This Morning I would like to start the week off with a challenge for you and me. Before you read any further on this blog post I would like to ask you to take another look at the picture that is posted above. (I made it extra big for just such a purpose)
C.S.I. most commonly refers to Crime Scene Investigator. These are people who are summoned to a crime scene to search for fingerprints and other evidences of people who have long since left the scene of a crime. I am amazed at all of the technology that is available to allow them to trace just about everyone.
These people are precisely the reason why I refuse to litter. I am always afraid that if I throw a soda can or chip bag from my car that it may land in a ditch on top of a body that may at that moment be decomposing. Knowing my luck, the C.S.I team would find the body and there goes my testimony. I want you to think of fingerprints for just a minute as you read with me the following thought.
I was reading a passage in first Timothy when I noticed something that I had always overlooked before. It was such a big notice that it made me notice it again and again.
"O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. " ~ 1 Timothy 6:20-21
Paul was writing to a young disciple named Timothy. Timothy was special to Paul, because Timothy was answering a call of God on his life. This resonated with Paul because Paul knew full well what it was like to answer a call from God. Paul writes the letters that we know as 1st and 2nd Timothy as a guide from an experienced preacher to a novice.
He is telling Timothy in this passage to be sure to guard what was committed to him and avoid profane and idle babbling of those who present contradictions to the Word and call it knowledge.
Timothy was not a "self made man". No one is. If anyone ever tells you that, put one hand on your wallet and one hand on your wife, this person cannot be trusted.
The obvious question is "Who committed to Timothy's trust the things that he knew of God and the Faith?"
Before we look at the answer to that question, let me set the scene a bit more.
I remember being in a staff meeting in a church one time where the person directing the meeting made this statement.
" You are all just a finger in a glass of water. When you are gone the water fills back in and life goes on just as if you were never there."
In order to give the benefit of the doubt, I believe that this person was trying to tell us not to think we were more important than we were. I remember sitting there and thinking, "That mindset is incredibly twisted and wrong for two very important reasons:
A) If I believe this, then I will adopt a Finger in the water mentality to my approach to ministry.
"Oh well, if I am gone then another finger will be here anyway." What is the point of straying outside of "working hours" to minister to someone if it does not really matter anyway? After all, I am just a finger right?
Why shouldn't I leave a person who just lost everything sitting outside a church building on a concrete bench with a "Well, I will be praying for you", after they tried to pour their heart out to me. I mean why try to help them find the next step? After all, If I am gone then the water closes back like I never existed right?
B) It is absolutely unscriptural to think this way.
What kind of Bible would we have if those we read about had taken that mindset? Would Jesus had gone to the cross if He had taken that mindset about us? Would five thousand have been fed? Would a blind man have received his sight? After all, people will forget you and life will go on just as if you had never been there right?
The fact is this, if we are not careful to pay attention to this thing, we tend to adopt this mindset ourselves.
We tend to go through the routines of the day and never look twice at those around us with anything further than a passing glance. God opens doors for us every single day with dozens of people. This is for the express purpose of us leaving a fingerprint of Christ. That fingerprint can be traced back to God long after we are gone.
This is exactly what the great commission is all about!
So when Paul is writing to Timothy he makes a request that Timothy keep the Faith that was committed to his trust.
Who committed that to Timothy? Who left the fingerprint of Christ on the heart and mind of Timothy?
We find the answer in the opening of the second letter Paul writes to Timothy.
"When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also."
~ 2 Timothy 2:5
Timothy was directly benefiting from those who had taken the time to leave a:
Christ Specific Imprint in his life.
Here we find two people who rejected the Finger in the water mindset as they poured out into a very young boy named Timothy. I love this fact because a young boy is the only thing that God has to create a man!
A Christ Specific Imprint is a fingerprint that can be traced back to God long after we have left the scene.
It is an investment in Kingdom.
I was in Niceville, Florida yesterday afternoon and stopped by a Goodwill store with a friend. We found some great books, and some Bibles. We were at the counter making the purchase when the cashier asked, "Are you guys buying this stuff for a church or something?"
"No, why do you ask?" I asked her.
She very quickly looked up at me and said, "Oh, well I do not think I have ever seen anyone buying a Bible here before."
My friend and I began to talk to her about God and how He makes His hand so clear in the directing of our lives.
She came alive! She told us how she was on her way to a party in January of 2010 and instead she went to a church where she was drawn by the call of the Holy Spirit and was saved. She beamed with a beautiful smile as she told us several times how much she loved Jesus and told us of the ways He helped her see Him in the obstacles that He placed on her path.
I gave her this blog information and asked her to read the post "What a way to die".
We left there having been refreshed to enjoy the company of a fellow believer. The thing that stood out to me was the people that were standing around listening to three people talk about how hurts and hurdles were expressions of love from a personal God who helped them climb to victory. There were fingerprints all over Goodwill yesterday afternoon that could be traced to God.
Wherever I go, I want to leave Christ Specific Imprints.
Where are you going today? Who are you going to be around?
One of the most gripping descriptions of the people who share the world with us without Christ would be summed up by King Solomon.
"So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter." ~Ecclesiasties 4:1
The people who are without Christ are also without The Comforter. They are oppressed and those who oppress them are without The Comforter as well.
Solomon also had this to say in Proverbs.
"Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad."
Can God be traced from your conversational fingerprints today?
Can God be traced on the prints in your home?
Can a Christ Specific Imprint be found on those you interact with today, or are you just a finger in a glass of water?
Climbing with you,