Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Subject: How’s Your “B.O.”?

Dear Ethan & Emily:

Well, Ethan returns from England and Scotland today and after mixing with these “earthy” Europeans, he probably knows a little about “B.O.”!…a la natural!!

“B.O.” or defined as “body odor” is not exactly something we Americans find a good thing, but if I may, I would like to direct your attention this morning to another combination of these letters that everyone who claims the name of Christ can relate to…and to which all who know Him should have as their “persona.”

And what can this be?  As I was having my devotional time each morning in my hotel room while away for the training seminar in Washington D.C., I ran across this combination of letters in several key passages and discovered that “B.O.” was something Paul and our Lord Himself espoused…and even commanded.

In Romans, Paul tells his Jewish audience:  “Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey Him, bringing glory to His name.” (Romans 1:5)  What is this “B.O.” that glorifies the Lord??  Yes…it is “believing” and “obeying.”

He reemphasizes this again several chapters later in talking about the “Good News” about Jesus Christ:  “…this message is made know to all Gentiles everywhere, so that they might believe and obey Christ.”  Again, it is the combination of the “believing” and “obeying”…the “B.O.”….that should be the goal of our witnessing.  And this “B.O.” should not only identify new converts but should also characterize the lives of all believers on a daily basis.

It was Jesus Christ Himself who first had this “B.O.” in mind when He gave “marching orders” (what we now call the Great Commission) not only to His disciples…but to all Christians down through the ages:  “…go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.  And be sure of this:  I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  (Matt. 28: 19 – 20).  

This passage even throws in another “B”…and that being “baptize.”  So, as we share the gospel, telling others the Good News, we are blessed as we see others come to “believe” and receive the Lord.  Our responsibility at this point is to “baptize” these new believers and to teach them to “obey” what they are taught from the Scriptures.

So many times all we hear is the importance of “telling” and “sharing” the gospel.  And certainly without the “telling” and “hearing” there can be no “believing” (Romans 10: 19)…but just as important…and what we do not hear so much of…is the importance of teaching and practicing “obedience.”

And that’s the “B.O.” that I pray will characterize you…that your life will demonstrate not only “belief” but also “obedience.”   That’s good “B.O.”…and puts you in good company and in God’s favor!

How’s your “B.O.”?

Have a great day…and welcome back, Ethan!

My love,