February 11, 2008

Want to be like my Jesus...

What is a Christian? I have really been contemplating that question over the last few weeks. Event after event that has taken place has led me to wonder if we really understand what it means to be a Christian.

As Christians we are called to be reflectors of Christ.

"And we , who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
2 Corinthians 3:18

What I've come to realize is that many Christians have forgotten or may not completely understand what it means to be a Christian. We drive around in our cars with bumper stickers that scoff in the faces of sinners who don't know the Lord. We put personalized plates on our car that label us or single us out making us look superior to those who don't know Him. We picket outside of abortion clinics and at the funerals of celebrities because we don't agree with the lifestyle choices. Just last week I read the hate mail sent by Christians to an atheist that belittled and criticized. It made me feel so ashamed of what we have turned Christ into. Bumper stickers that beat people down, picket signs that cast people to hell and words on paper that destroy. Over and over we abuse the very people that Jesus has commanded us to love. Nothing in any of these acts are a reflection of Christ.

In Matthew 9:9-13 we read about the calling of Matthew to follow Christ. Jesus had dinner at Matthew's house with tax collectors and sinners. When questioned as to why He did this by the Pharisees, He said that "it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." (vs. 12) Jesus didn't look for bible scholars to be His disciples, He looked for the "sick" who needed "healing" because He "did not come to call the righteous, but the sinners." (Matthew 9:13) His ministry was directed to those whose hearts were open and it did not matter what their station in life.

How often do we judge those who don't live like we do? How often do we think we know or see the whole picture but in actuality we misjudge the motives and actions of someone else because of the way they are dressed or look or because of what they are doing? Have we really even taken a step back to examine ourselves as we really are? We all know of someone who came to Jesus with a shameful past. It can be so tempting to see ourselves as better than they are because we freeze their past into the present while at the same time ignore our own sin. We must be so careful because like all sinners, we ALL owe Jesus more than we could ever repay to Him.

So what does all of this ranting mean? We must remember that we are not on this earth for ourselves. We were created to glorify, worship and obey God and everything we do is about Him. We are to reflect Him and His love for everyone including the sinner as we share His love and who He is with everyone. This means that we must step out of our comfort zone and develop relationships with those who for so long we've scoffed at for living in such a sinful way and love on them in a way like they've never known. We are to show them the love of Christ and His forgiveness. We are to be believers, followers and Son-reflectors.
Written by Nicole

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