Christianity is not so much about being LIKE Jesus as it is being WITH Jesus. We allow Jesus to live in and through us!
19 As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the [His] heart.
We are PRISMS. Prisms don’t generate any light of their own; they take light that is being shone into them and make it beautiful. Jesus is the LIGHT. In allowing His light to shine in and through us, we become His light to the world. We hide that light when we quit believing that He loves us and wants to work with us as PARTNERS. Yes, He is the Lead Partner, but we are partners with Him, nonetheless. We’re family!
For instance, if we quit believing that He loves us as we are, then we begin to fear His retribution for our failures to “measure up.” We read His Word for rules to follow and for a certain way to be that will be pleasing to Him. We don’t want to “disappoint Him.” The problem is that He ALREADY loves us and is pleased with us. He is ENJOYING living life with and through us. We do not need to fear His retribution; Jesus took it to the cross for us. To think that He will punish us is to deny Christ’s finished work on the cross! I am not saying that there are not consequences to our ungodly actions, but I AM saying that we no longer need to fear God’s wrath. Neither do we need to fear disappointing Him. He knows our weaknesses–He knows our FUTURE! He even knows how many times we will get things wrong before getting them right. Guess what: He rejoices in the time we WILL get them right! Until then, we are under His tutelage by way of the Holy Spirit, who is the epitome of love, joy and peace, patience, kindness, and goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness, and He has COMPLETE self-control (He is GOD, you know).
John said it like this:
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:13-19
- We know we live in Him and He in us by knowing His Spirit who is in us.
- John testifies to the fact that Jesus is who He says He is and did what He said He would do.
- Want God to live in you and you in God? Then acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God; bank on it, depend upon it as if your life depended on it, because it does! Now, ACT on that knowledge.
- We are like Jesus because His light shines through us (Ephesians 5:8), therefore, we do not fear judgment.
- His love drives out our fear, because fear has to do with punishment. Remember, Jesus took our punishment to the cross!
- We spend our lives learning how to acknowledge and accept His perfect love. Our fears are world-generated; His love, joy and peace are heaven-generated. Let’s focus on the heaven-generated ones!
- We can love (not fear) because He loved us first. He started it; He will finish it (Philippians 1:6).
If you having trouble believing me or even following me, consider the verses in Colossians that we studied several days ago:
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4
We are dead to this world, therefore, we cannot fear death. Trust Christ in how we leave our earthly bodies. He has SO MUCH MORE waiting for us! But, let’s not wait until we get THERE to begin experiencing heaven. HEAVEN LIVES IN US NOW! Jesus brings the kingdom of heaven to us when He enters us. So, let’s get started!
Abba, thank You for loving me so much that You came and took my place on the cross. Thank You for putting me to death and raising me to walk in newness of life with You. I look forward to each day learning to love instead of fear, and to “set my mind” on the things of heaven. You get such a kick out of teaching me, and I am glad! Open my mind to heaven; open my heart to You, LORD. I want to know You deeply and intimately. TBC