The answer to our quiz on logos is this:
Top logo - McDonald's
Next - Toyota
Next - Apple
Last - Zambia Airlines
You probably had very little trouble with the top logo because McDonald's restaurants are all over America and the world. They also have commercials and advertisements. McDonald's has done a fantastic job in branding themselves so people know the brand. Most of you probably were able to guess the Toyota logo and Apple logo, although Apple has done better in branding their name (Like in the iPad, the iPod, the iMac or the iPhone). Very few of you were able to guess Zambia Airlines unless you have actually flown on that airline. It's just not a famous brand and Americans would not be as familiar with Zambia Air as with United or American Airlines. For a company to survive, the more well-known their brand is, the better their sales should be.
For the past thirty years, I have had the same vehicle. Many of you have ridden in it. Those of you in Hawaii may have ridden it, maybe even when it was brand new. It now has almost 290,000 miles on it and tons more memory. Even though I live in the crowded Bay Area, there aren't many of these classics on the road, so people know me by my truck. When I lived in the small town of Kamuela on the Big Island, I was known by the truck I drove. My goal is to continue to drive this truck until I can no longer get parts to fix it.
Having said all that, how does our told recognize followers of Jesus? I guess we could all get the same tattoos or wear clothes with Christian symbols or verses on them. We could all wear crosses around our necks, but that is common among so many in our culture. When I see someone wearing a turban, I know they belong to the Sikh religion. When I see a woman in a burkha or a head scarf, I know she is a Muslim. But there really isn't any specific clothing that allows people to recognize us as Christians. We certainly pray that the way we live our lives helps people know we are followers of Christ, but even moral people may have stronger values than we have.
Today, the United States has become a pagan country, one in which Christians have very limited influence and power. The more secular our country becomes, the more marginalized followers of Christ become. Yet, the greater opportunity we will have to be a light to the world. The greatest way to be recognized as a Christian today is to faithfully participate in church. I know that sounds archaic and 1950's ish, but it really is true. Sunday has been overtaken by our secular world. Kids play sports on Sunday mornings, families have gatherings, kids are expected to do their homework then and staying up late on Saturday night will all cut into the sacredness of Sundays. The greatest testimony in our world is to let nothing come between us and our participation in church. When we tell sports teams or family members we will be at church instead of with them, get ready to some stunned looks. There are so few followers of Christ who have made church a top priority that you may get looks that are akin to seeing a unicorn. What kind of look will you get when you tell them that you also go to Sunday evening ministries? In this way, we are recognizing that our Lord is more important than overtime, travel teams, family gatherings and late nights.
I know, someone is going to bring up the "hypocrite card" because it is true, you can come to church every Sunday and still live like the world. however, I believe if you are reading this post, you are wise enough to not fall into that trap.
The book of Hebrews 10 puts it this way: "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching".
Be committed to your Savior by being committed to your church. Be recognized as someone who values the body of Christ more than a short-lived rush. Get involved in your church, serving and loving. Once you make Sundays a sacred day, you will never want to compromise again. This type of faithfulness can help keep us from becoming secular Christians and develop into faithful followers of Jesus. See you on Sunday, if not before!