Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Letting Them See Jesus

The other day one of our regular customers came into the store. It was a Sunday and the church was meeting in the dinning area for worship service. I had stepped out of the service to get something and saw the customer at the counter speaking with my son, so I went over to greet him. He shook my hand briskly and promptly told me that he knew I was a real man of God. He then went on to explain that every time he sees me he sees an aura around me and it makes him glad. He then expressed his affection to my son and me for our ongoing kindness to him and he promptly left.

I am not under some illusion that I walk around with an aura but I understood what this man was trying to express. He sensed the presence of God and he described it in the only manner he knew how. I share this with you, not with the intention of "hey look at me", but as an example of what some people are able to see in us. Everyone can see it but many choose not too because if they acknowledged it they would also have to acknowledge the conviction of the Spirit, and that would provoke a decision.

I remind you today that your time on this earth is not about you seeking the blessings of a comfortable life. You are a vessel of the Holy Spirit, the only presence of God that some people will ever experience. Wherever you go, Jesus is right there with you, not just for your benefit but for the sake of a dying world. But, are our behaviour, words and actions putting up a screen so that others cannot see Jesus, only our unkindness?

Words matter. So do actions. So does attitude; as does love, forgiveness, mercy and grace. All the things that God has done for us, we are to do for others. That's what Jesus said. "Freely you have received; freely give." Jesus also told us something incredible in his prayer for us as he spoke to the Father on our behalf:

I am one with them, and you are one with me, so that they may become completely one. Then this world’s people will know that you sent me. They will know that you love my followers as much as you love me. (John 17:23, CEV)

It is the "aura" that people see, our oneness with Jesus and each other. They see him in our unity and compassion for people. They see him in our words and actions. They don't see the kindness and love of people. They can find that in any good, well meaning organization. I am talking about the actual presence of God, the anointing that comes through our being possessed by the Holy Spirit.

Anyone can perform acts of kindness, but when that kindness is offered in the authority of Jesus Christ, his presence is also felt, and there is power behind that action. We can do nothing apart from Jesus. That is what he told us. He told us we have to stay connected to the vine, and he is that vine, or we would dry up and be thrown into the fire. Acts of kindness amount to nothing if they are done apart from Jesus. We are not here to perform acts of kindness but to carry the presence of Jesus, so that others will see him in us; the kindness will be provoked in us by the Spirit of God in us. They need to see the "aura", the anointing, the power, the thing that sets us apart from this world. They need to see Jesus.

My friends, it is not about a written code or meeting certain expectations. It is not about being well thought of or accepted as a kind person in this world. It is about total surrender to the Spirit, walking in obedience, getting out of the way and allowing people to see Jesus. It is about Jesus being lifted up in us, being one with him so that only he is seen in us. May they see the "aura" in you today.

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