Reflecting Jesus

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16

 

Joe C. had the devotional for the time before Sunday school started this past Sunday. It was all about change (personal, spiritual, societal) and how we react to and deal with it. My mind went immediately to all of the vitriol that is being spewed out during and after clashes like in Charlottesville and others, both in the past and unfortunately inevitable in the future, I fear. I’m frustrated and torn, because I can see some validity in arguments on both sides, but I’m not prepared for the onslaught of whatever I will get on Facebook if I ask a question or venture to take a stance, however so slightly.

 

It bothers me. It bothers me because I know that I have friends on both sides of the argument who are Christians, all of whom feel so passionately and sincerely in their heart that their side is correct that they don’t realize how unchristian they can come across at times. (for the record, it’s not any of you from church, I promise). As Christ-followers, we are supposed to be above name-calling and stereotype generalization. If Jesus didn’t call the Samaritan woman at the well nor the woman found in adultery a bad name, who are we to do otherwise?

 

We are called, as followers of Jesus, to present Jesus to the world. And boy howdy, if there were ever a time for such a thing to happen, it would be now. We aren’t called to save people or to judge anyone or convict them into believing in Him—those are jobs specific to only the Holy Trinity. No, we just need to present Jesus to those we meet, and He will take care of the rest.

 

So let me ask you: how recognizable is the Jesus you reflect to people? How consistently is He shown? Does the Jesus you extend to others in acts of service match the Jesus you evoke with your words? And yes, I know that we can’t always bear up under the pressures because we’re human, and we’re going to slip up and that’s okay. But our growth and maturity in our walk with Him hinge on us having a good amount of introspection to be able to answer those questions, and to make changes if there are any gaps.

Prayer Requests

  • For unity instead of division in all levels of relationships—family, government, church, the world
  • For the ability to thank Him in the trials, even as we face giants who threaten to tear and destroy
  • For families who are beset with change with the start of school—little ones attending, bigger ones starting new schools, older ones starting college away from home
  • For us to understand that He has it all figured out

 

Friends, may we each be evangelists in word and deed. May the essence of Jesus be seen, experienced, and felt by all so people would come to know Him.

 

Quotes

 

“You may think you can live fine without Christ, but you cannot afford to die without Him.” --- Charles Spurgeon

 

“Get your fire back. It’s not over until God says it’s over. Start believing again. Start dreaming again. Start pursuing what God put in your heart.”