The gift within God’s plan to redeem His kids back to Himself, the Church–the body of Christ–is that we get glimpses of what God is like by showing up for each other, looking like Jesus. Through Jesus, God’s own image knit into us is put on full display for the world to know Him.
His image is light. His image is salt. His image is creative and multifaceted, like a diamond that catches the sunlight in front of a mirror. And His image is in you. The more you look like Jesus, the more you become who you were made to be. Period. This is Part II in our Jesus-Centered focus as we prepare for MegaCon in Nashville, October 4-6!
Psalm 139:13-18 is a passage that I have an easier time reading over kids than myself, and can easily forget it was written by a grown man who was singing it over himself. We can breeze past the terms “fearfully and wonderfully” made too, without really considering what this means. Simply put, we were knit together full of awe and full of wonder, with the sole purpose of awe-ing and wondering at the Knitter. We were made to worship. Every one of us has a purpose of praise; centering on Jesus is how we do that.
1 Peter 2:9 says “But God chose you to be his people. You are royal priests. You are a holy nation. You are God’s special treasure. You are all these things so that you can give him praise. God brought you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Did you catch that?! You are all these things so that you can give him praise! That is not only your invitation; it is who you are.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16)
What does it mean to actually be the light, not just point people towards it?
What does it mean to be the salt of the earth, not just salty?
Jesus, the light of the world, puts his light in you, so that it can be seen, and God gets the glory. Centering on Jesus allows God to get what already belongs to him: all glory, honor and praise. The pressure is off, friends. Do you feel that? You need not fret for glory or attention, success or achievement: it’s not yours! It all belongs to God and He gets more when we shine the spotlight on Jesus.
Jesus said “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35-36). I will be known by my love. God is love. And Jesus is what God is like. He lived and embodied love. And by His Spirit, so do I. The more I center on love, the more I look like Jesus.
Jesus often calls his disciples children (eg. right before he gives a new command in John 13:33), and in Luke 18:16 he says that the Kingdom belongs to people “such as these” after letting the children come to Him. He doesn’t say it belongs to children, per se. He says it belongs to those who are like children: the ones who crawl up on His lap, get close to the story, ask questions, believe with awe and wonder, follow Him so closely they get dirty in his dust. Children centered on Jesus when He showed up because He centered on them. When we center on others and draw them into his light, they will center on Him. And when we center on children, we look like Jesus.
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