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So How Do You Picture Jesus?


Many people mistake our work for our vocation. Our vocation is the love of Jesus. ~ Mother Teresa

When Jesus comes, the shadows depart.  ~Author unknown

“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” ~ Kevin Max

“For me the most radical demand of Christian faith lies in summoning the courage to say yes to the present risenness of Jesus Christ.” ~ Brennan Manning

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~ John 13:35

He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. ~ Micah 6:8

 

***

Standard Publishing released a drawn image of Jesus that most everyone who grew up in the church would probably recognize.  I can’t remember the exact year, but it was in one of their VBS programs of the late 70’s or early 80’s.  Many people would, without a doubt, recognize the picture of the Last Supper painted by Da Vinci.  Even more recently was the picture that Mel Gibson created for us in the movie The Passion of the Christ.  We all have images of Jesus that we’ve seen throughout our lives.  Some are familiar to the masses and some simply familiar to us.

Paul pens a picture of Christ for us.  In the passage of Scripture contained in 1 Corinthians 13, he writes of what love is and what love isn’t.  He has just written of what the body of Christ really is…the church…and then writes of what it is suppose to look like.  Love.  We are to love as Christ; and if we do that successfully people whom we love will see Jesus rather than ourselves.  Our love for others will be a picture of Jesus for them.  The church’s love for others will be a picture of Jesus to the world.

Think for a second the pictures friends and neighbors and co-workers get as they witness you throughout a day.  Do your choices, thoughts, words or facial expressions point to Jesus?  Now I know that we can’t all be perfect, but on that point do people see a repentant person as well.

If we are to show people Jesus, not just by “preachin to ‘em,” we need to daily be aware of how people see us.  Here’s Paul’s checklist of Jesus’ attributes to be shown in our lives:

  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Not Envious
  • Not Boastful
  • Not Proud
  • Not Rude
  • Not Self Seeking
  • Not Easily Angered
  • Not Keeping Records of Wrongs
  • Not Smiling at Evil
  • Rejoicing In Truth
  • Protecting
  • Trusting
  • Hoping
  • Persevering Knowing Love Will Never Fail

So how do you live each day?  I’ve been trying harder to evaluate myself regularly.  Sometimes the days have been crappy.  Yes, I could have used a stronger word there.  Some days are better than others…to my surprise.  I’ve been on a Bible reading plan through www.youversion.com and it has shown to be very helpful.  I’ve also jumped into some challenging debates and discussions through an open religious forum on the world wide net.  I’ve found myself persecuted and made fun of but also challenged.  When I can remember that the people I’m in discussions with aren’t making choices about me or making fun of me, it’s helpful.  Jesus said that if we are persecuted, made fun or written off, its really Him that they are rejecting.  That helps me to form my words and phrases in a way that maybe Jesus would (see checklist above).

I guess the point is this.  Our job, our mission, is to take people to Heaven with us.  In order to do that, we need to watch our P’s and Q’s.  When Jesus asks us to believe in Him, it’s not just a rational decision.  It’s submission.  When we are able to submit our whole life to Him, people will be able to see Him even through our sin and imperfection.  This is the work of the church.  When we follow Paul’s checklist, we give an image of Jesus to other people.

Love, Serve, Spread the Word,

Ed

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