Monday, September 24, 2012

Seeing Jesus

Over the past 6 months or more,  I have been on this journey of trying to understand what it is that God wants me to do with my life.  While I am content with where I am at, I am not comfortable.  Normally, we think that being comfortable is a good thing so being not comfortable would be a bad thing.  For me, that is not the case.  While I would love to be comfortable, I can rest in the fact that I am uncomfortable because I know that means God is working on me in ways that I may not even be able to see.

On this journey, I have spent more time reading the Bible than I probably ever have in my life.  Before now I always admired those who said they spent time in their Bible every day.  I wished I could be like that.  I wanted to do that, but I found myself struggling to make connections between the Bible and my every day life.  I even more admired those who could quote scripture or could say that in such and such a book it says this and that.  It was something that I never thought I could really be good at.  While I don't quote scripture very well, the more I read the more I retain and can see God use what I have read to shape my thoughts in every day life.

I recently heard a pastor talk about how we need to be Christ to people. I've heard many pastors over the years say the same thing.  In fact, I am sure I have probably said it from time to time.  You can probably read back through my blogs and find that I have written about it here and there.  Only as I listened God began to reveal another part of this message that I often forget.

If you read Matthew 25: 34-40 you will see that on the day of judgement, Jesus will answer those questioning Him saying that "to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me."

 I had recently read this passage and have had it hanging in my head for some time now.  Not only because of the passage but because I heard a story about a woman who before feeding the homeless at a shelter would pray and ask God to see and remember that all of the people they were going to feed were actually Jesus. Now I know that sounds weird and I can't say that I believe that physically they were Jesus, but I wonder if that heart and attitude is often forgotten when we are trying to "be Jesus" to people.

I completely agree with the concept of "being Jesus," to people and treating people the way Jesus would treat them, but for me, I find in doing, I  easily elevate myself above them in my mind, which is actually going against the message of Christ.  He said that we must become less so that He can become more.  Maybe that doesn't resonate with anyone else, but the more I think about it, the more I realize how often we give people a value.  I think all people are of value, but when we give people a value we make some more and others less.  If we could see them as Jesus then maybe, just maybe, we could see value in all people.

As I continued to think about this idea, I remembered something else that I had recently read in another book that went right along with the same idea.  What if in seeing Jesus in others we can realize the need for change in our lives?  In the book, it said that often times God places people in our lives who challenge us because He wants to work on an area of our life that really needs change.  So, in seeing Jesus in others and letting them challenge us we can actually become more like Christ.

Like I said, I agree with the concept of "being Jesus" to people, but I wonder how often we miss out on how God is wanting to change us because we are sometimes too busy trying to "be Jesus," and forget to see Jesus in others.  Maybe the concepts are just two sides of the same coin.

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:19-20 NIV

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