I would like to say that the day started off like any other, but it certainly did not. It was Sunday, and I woke up around 8:45 am. I knew we needed to leave by 10:30 to get to church on time. I made a big mistake that day, I decided to go back to sleep. I remember NOT wanting to get up. I stayed in bed for another hour or so, then made coffee, as I began to start my day. I heard my dad yell “We missed church!” He was somewhat upset, and told me he thought it was 10:00 – instead of 11:00. I’ll regret my lousy decision to procrastinate for the rest of my life. Little did I know then, but I would need that sermon later in the day. Read More >>>
We’ve all seen the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) shirts and bracelets. I’ve found it very helpful to ask that very question when faced with various trials and life’s difficult decisions. But when I look at the life of Jesus, there’s a sharp contrast between what He did, and what I do. This shouldn’t be the case. Instead, when people look at followers of Christ, they should be looking at the express image of Jesus.
Being imitators of Christ should be the essence of our Christian walk. “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ…..” (Eph 5: 1-2). And 1 John 4:17 says, “Love has been perfected amoung us in this …… because as He is, so are we in this world.” My question is this: What would it look like if we lived as He lived in this world?
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these……….” (John 14: 12). In this chapter Philip had asked Jesus to show them the Father. Jesus said if they had seen Him, they had already seen the Father. He said the words He spoke were not His own, but the Father living in Him doing His work. So the works He did, and even the very words He spoke, were the Father’s – not His!
Throughout the New Testament, the Church is called the Body of Christ. Jesus is the head, we are His body. We are to be His hands, feet, and mouth here on the Earth. He directs, we follow. When Jesus walked the earth, He comforted those that mourned, healed the sick, cast out demons, and many other miracles. Before He was taken up to heaven, He gave His followers their marching orders. In Mark 16:17-18, Jesus gave the signs that would follow those that believe: In His name they would drive out demons; they would speak in new tongues; they would not be hurt by deadly things; they would place their hands on the sick, and the sick would be made well.
We have to ask ourselves if we believe Jesus was serious when He made these statements. If we are followers of Jesus, and believe as He is, so are we in this world, but at the same time acknowledge that our lives do not look like His – then where are we missing it?
Why is it, that there just doesn’t seem to be much contrast between professing Christians and the world in general today? Let’s face it – unless you venture out and actually ask someone if they’re a Christian, oftentimes it’s hard to tell. I know myself, I’ve had thoughts about various individuals, thinking, “I’m not positive, but I think they’re a Christian.” If what Jesus said about His followers was evident, it should be the easiest thing in the world to spot a Christian.
The Christian in the group will be the one that stands out. There’s no way a follower of Jesus is going to blend in with this world. As a matter of fact, a Holy Spirit filled, begotten child of God, walking in the power and authority of Jesus Christ, doing what Jesus said His followers would be doing (John 14:12), is going to be hard to miss! As a matter of fact, they may even be looked upon by the world as aliens, oddballs, and despised. What is it about a true Christian that causes the world to see them this way?
Jesus said in John 15:18-19, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of this world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” So, according to scripture, the more you’re like the world, the more the world will love you. And the less you are like the world, the more you are hated…….
That may explain why most Christians are hard to spot. We so fear being disliked, and viewed as “different” that we do our best not to stand out. We like to stay under cover, trying not to say, or do, anything that might draw undue attention. What a contrast today’s church is from that first century church, when the powers that be did everything they could to shut the mouths of the faithful followers of Jesus. Although we all desire to be loved and accepted, we need to be satisfied that we are already loved and accepted by our Father. We need to stop trying to gain the acceptance of this world, and remember the mission we have been given. Jesus told his followers to “Occupy until I come.” He has already won the victory for us, and we are now to stand in that victory. So what does God intend for His followers to be doing – exactly what is our role today?
To be continued………….
To Him Be the Glory!