I wanted to follow-up on yesterday’s post with another thought – something that is really essential for all of us Christians to understand.
As believers in God, and in Christ Jesus, we are all called to represent God – as He really is, to the world. This is what we were designed and created to do… from the very beginning.
We know this because that is what we see in Jesus. Wherever He went, He demonstrated Who God really was, by how He lived – and most importantly, by how He loved.
The most simple definition of what Christianity is supposed to be is this: As Jesus was, so we are to be now. As Jesus lived and loved is HOW Christians are supposed to live and love. A true commitment to Christ brings the continuing ministry of Christ to the forefront — in our day. This objective is the summation of our faith.
One thing stands out about Jesus. He loved people. He did not see people as worthless, or contemptible, or even broken beyond repair. When He looked at people: “He was moved with compassion for them, because they were wearied and cast away, as sheep not having a shepherd.” (from Matthew 9:36) He saw people as they were, but refused to treat them that way.
Jesus saw people… and treasured them. This IS the Heart of God for human beings. In spite of all our flaws and shortcomings, in disregard of all our self-centered propensities, despite the evil things that people do – He looks upon people as valuable, as worthy of the attention and time of the Almighty.
This is what must be in the heart of every believer in Jesus. We must treasure people as our God treasures them.
What this means is that we must guard our hearts against contempt for any soul – no matter how wrong or misguided they might be.
This is difficult for us. We naturally want to invest our time and attention in those who we deem deserving — and ignore those who aren’t. But to truly BE followers of Jesus – we must embrace the divine desire to treasure all souls.
I’m sure you have noticed in the gospels, all manners of sinners felt comfortable with Jesus. The outcasts of society. The ones looked down upon. The ones who were the focus of all the disdainful whispers. Prostitutes. Tax-Collectors. Sinners. All of them felt “at home” around Jesus.
There can be only one reason for that. They could sense that Jesus truly loved them – and it was that love that removed the barriers of shame and guilt… opening wide the door to relationship. Renewal. Redemption. Restoration.
Jesus always represented the Heart of God (even with His enemies). We have the same calling upon our lives – to treasure people as God treasures them.
This is also very much how we must see ourselves – as lovers of God, and lovers of people. Our identity is defined in love.
Prayer Focus: God, show me just how committed I am to loving people as You love them… and renew my desire to love with Your love.