Road signs are essential for us in our travels. They tell us the city or town we are in, what road we are on, the safe speed to travel on the road, and warn us of upcoming hazards. Ultimately, road signs inform us of information that is necessary for us to reach our destination. In the same manner, I wonder if you have ever thought that God wants you to be a road sign. Wait… how can we be a road sign to Christ? It’s simple, point people to their final destination.
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Colossians 4:5-6. (KJV)
The Amplified Bible translate it this way
Behave yourselves wisely [living prudently and with discretion] in your relations with those of the outside world (the non-Christians), making the very most of the time and seizing (buying up) the opportunity. Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned [as it were] with salt, [so that you may never be at a loss] to know how you ought to answer anyone [who puts a question to you]. Colossians 4:5-6. (AMP)
The first thing we need to look at is wisdom. A sign is only useful if the message is meaningful, not faded or obstructed, and placed in the right place. All of this requires wisdom. Our passage tells us to walk in wisdom and specifies walking in wisdom towards the non Christians. As we live this thing called life, people are watching us and following us. Do our actions, attitudes, and reactions point to Christ? Our neighbors see us dressed up on Sunday morning and already assume that we are Christians without us even telling them. So, what other messages do these bodies, which double as road signs, tell those around us? We need to walk in wisdom friends. We need to understand that we are either pointing to or away from Christ in everything we do. The fact that we are already road signs should not scare or intimidate us, but instead, it should motivate us to use our influence as road signs for God’s purposes. I like what the Amplified Version said, “making the very most of the time and seizing (buying up) the opportunity.” We can use the fact that we are road signs as an opportunity to reach people for Christ. So, I ask, what message are you displaying on your road sign? A sign that is faded or obstructed has little use. When the Department of Transportation sees a sign that is faded, they recycle it and replace it with a new one, and if a sign is obstructed by a tree, the tree is trimmed. There may be things in your life the God will need to recycle or trim out so your sign can clearly point to Christ. These things are lifestyle choices and decisions. For example, how effective do you think a drunken Christian would be as a witnessing tool? That is just one example of many things that might obscure our testimony, and God wants to clean those things up so our signs that point to Him can be clearly seen. The placement of the sign is also important, after all what good is a sign warning about a sharp curve in the middle of the curve. Just as I mention to my youth group last night, there is coming a time when Jesus will “sheperate the flock”. Yes I made up a new word, but I like it. Jesus, sitting on the Judgment Seat, will say one of two things… “Well done my good and faithful servant” or “depart from me I never knew you.” The great Shepherd will separate or “sheparate” the sheep from the goats. On that day, your message does no good… It’s too late. That would be the sign that says beware of hazards on the road when the car is already in the middle of that hazard. The car is already there, and therefore, it is too late to make adjustments to avoid the hazard! We need to seize the opportunity NOW!!! Now is the time to be a road sign for Christ. Lets finish our time together today by looking at verse six about speaking with grace. I had an opportunity to speak to a proclaimed atheist yesterday. He made his argument, and I made mine. At the end of our conversation, this gentleman said “I like you as a person, but I still disagree with your faith.” I boldly spoke the truth to him, but in a manner that was not condescending. If our sign pointing to Christ reads “HEY STUPID, YOU ARE ON YOUR WAY TO HELL…YOU BIG LOSER!!!” I fear that we will only further push people away from the saving grace of Jesus, which is what we are supposed to be pointing to. When this atheist said, “I like you as a person”, he left the door open to continue the conversation another day, and I firmly believe that someone on someday will get through to him. We left the conversation respecting each other, how is this possible, because the Gospel was presented in Grace as God intended it to be. Our message is life altering and holds eternal significance, so it is important to boldly and without reservations present it to the unbelieving world. However, if we deliver the message in a manner that it will not be seen, understood or received, then what good is it? The sixth verse wraps up by saying, “know what you will answer.” I believe this goes back to wisdom. As we are the signs that point people to Christ, we need to know who He is. We need to have wisdom about God, His Son, and His Word, and the great thing is that the Bible states, “if any man lacks wisdom let him ask God who gives it liberally.” God will give you the message to put on your sign. Your part is to ensure that you know His Word and that the sign is placed where it can be clearly seen, in a timely manner. Let’s always remember to walk in wisdom as we point people to Christ.
God, we thank you for all of the road signs in our lives that have pointed us to you. Now, God we pray that we can be a road sign for you. Use us as an instrument to help the pilgrims here on Earth who are passing though reach their destination… your grace. God, we ask that you would lead us, guide us, and provide for us in Jesus’ Name. Amen