Monday, September 18, 2023

Who Do People See?

Who do People See?
by David Brenneman 

When people describe others, it's often in the scope of comparison to other people. 

Some guy is "just like" this or that Uncle or his Dad.  That lady is "just like" this or that Aunt or her Mother.  

Aspects are often learned while growing up or are mimicked by children and they become part of them, thus where the similarities come from. 

Would people say they see Christ in you?

Would they say they see the fruits of self or the fruits of the Spirit?  

Jesus said "“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28‭-‬30.

To learn from someone is both to increase in skill and knowledge, at minimum to become like them, at most, to excel beyond them. 

Jesus spoke often concerning how the Spirit testifies to His Spirit.  That's another way of saying that the Spirit validates who Jesus is and is like.  The Spirit says that Jesus certainly is as His Father is.  In modern language, He's just like His Dad. 

A group that I listen to has a song called "Voice of Truth".   Here's part of it...

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He's holding out His hand
But the waves are calling out my name
And they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. "Boy, you'll never win!"
"You'll never win!"
But the Voice of Truth tells me a different story
The Voice of Truth says, "Do not be afraid!"
And the Voice of Truth says, "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth.

We often become who we're told we are.  We choose to listen and become this or that or we choose something different. 

But at the end of all things is a time of standing before Jesus to give an account of our lives.   How will He describe your life?

Will you be told that your life was lived in such a way that people saw your good works and glorified your Father in Heaven?

Or would Jesus say that your life could have been different had you listened more to wisdom and instruction?  

In the opening chapters of the book of Proverbs, King Solomon speaks to his son of seeking the wisdom and knowledge of God.  Your life is full of seeking answers.  Your most common method is others or maybe even Google search.  But we all are looking for answers to what is not understood by us. 

Jesus also said that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Him.   The way or the right path in life is only that path that Jesus walked by way of His example of His life.  The truth is only found in Him as we seek to know right from wrong.  Going left or right, straight ahead or turning around.  Life as in living life, truly living it to its potential is only through obedience.  Scripture says that He came to give us life, but not just life, life more abundant. 

You, my Dear Reader, are not going to find any of these things in this world.  You will only find them in a right relationship with Jesus Christ.  You cannot call yourself a follower of Jesus if you're not going to do what He says.  If you're attempting to be a self-made man or woman, odds are you need to understand what life was meant to be first.  We're supposed to deny ourselves, take up our own cross and follow Him.  Jesus set aside His wants, His desires, to obey and follow His Father's wants and desires.  It can be seriously distressing and anxiety can be a big part of that, to do and live that out.  Jesus faced that in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He said several times to His Father, not my will but yours be done. 

So who do you imitate?  Do people see Jesus in you or do they see something else?   We who are in Christ are to build one another up in the Lord.  You see, there's a positive and a negative connotation to saying we're like someone else.  Sometimes it's said to encourage us to do better. Sometimes it's said to discourage further behavior.  

Choosing our words wisely, can either build up or tear down.  I recently learned that quite often in the book of Proverbs, the word for wisdom means skill.  Using skill to speak in such a way that people see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.  Use skill to choose our actions and words to show a fallen world the truth of God. 

If our words are destructive, we need to be very certain they are not of our own creation. 

John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

Satan seeks to destroy whatever God is in favor of.  We certainly do not need to help him by our actions or our words. 

Jesus said that He is the vine and we are the branches.  Apart from Him we can do nothing.  To become the right kind of fruits on that vine we need to become what He intended us to be by being attached to that vine. 

To be imitators of Jesus Christ once we come to Christ for salvation.  To love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. To love your neighbor as yourself.  To seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.  To seek first His kingdom and His righteousness means to set aside our own wants and desires and replace them with His.  Just as He did for His Father.

So before you think you have your day planned out.  Before you decide what you want to do.  Find out if what all that is, follows Christ's example.  Find out from Him if what you have in mind has you on the right path for obedience. 

We are a culture that wastes billions per year on fruitless endeavors.  We should be better at the concept, as Believers, in regards to time management with respect to being in touch with Jesus.  With learning how to become conformed to the likeness of Christ.  

What we do in our lives for Jesus is all that will be valuable in our giving an account of our lives before Jesus.  The rest doesn't make any difference. 

Would you be described as an imitator of God by Jesus?  Food for thought for today. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation.

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