Thursday, March 02, 2006

Altered Transmissions

On Sunday, I looked at the Transfiguration... how in order to understand the will of God, we have to look at it through the person of Jesus (by the power of the Holy Spirit) - the key to our salvation and growth as Christians.

I would like to turn that completely on it's head and look at it from another angle.

Having "tasted and seen that the Lord id good" for ourselves, we naturally have a desire for other people to discover the joy of coming to God through Christ and the Gospel message too.

How though?

Something Alan Boddington occasionally says, reveals a great deal of how we should go about doing this... but it isn't so much of a "doing" thing, as a "being" thing.

What Alan says (and I have said it here myself before), is that for some people the closest thing they have to Jesus is us. They may never get closer to knowing God... than what they know and experience of us.

This is one reason we are called to righteousness. Paul describes us as Christ's ambassadors:

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

The more we are exposed to God, the more we reflect him. The more we absorb of His nature... the more we emit of Him in our characters.

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 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 3:17-18

If we are merely Sunday Christians, and keep our worship and passion for him indoors - all the people will see of him is a brick wall... and all they will hear is the soft murmur of voices from within a building, for:

"You are the light of the world. A city 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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14-17

We read about the Transfiguration... but we need to be transfigured ourselves. To be Christ's ambassadors, we need to take on the likeness of Christ. I have seen firsthand what the power of that nature can do. It changes peoples lives. The proud are repelled by it, whilst the humble are attracted to it. The self righteous shun people who display such a nature, but those who are lost or in need embrace them... as one embraces a lifeline.

"If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father." Phiilippians 2:1-11
Having the security of knowing we are one with God, releases us from the need to please our own ego. We can be more like Jesus. We can walk alongside people in their suffering, we can help them let Christ bear their burdens.

"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing." Philippians 2:12-16

My prayer is that God will enable you and I to live our lives in His strength according to His will.



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