Reflecting Christ :: By Nathele Graham

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

People were created in the image of God. We didn’t evolve from a fish or a monkey but were created by God. We learn in the Gospel of John that Jesus Christ is God and the Creator of all things.

“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3).

Because He loves us, Jesus Christ stepped into His creation to bring us everlasting life. All we have to do is earnestly believe that fact. If you have accepted His death, burial, and resurrection for your salvation, then the Holy Spirit indwells you, and you are a new creation in Christ. That rebirth should mold your attitude. Instead of making choices based upon the human sin nature, you should now make choices that reflect Christ living in you.

Christians need to take a look at our attitudes and choices and be sure that we reflect the love of God. When I examine my life, which I often do, I don’t always like what I see. My words don’t always reflect my love for Christ. I get angry at things that really don’t matter, pride gets in my way of forgiving others, and I don’t serve Christ like I should. Way too often, I expect other people to live up to my expectations rather than trying to live up to Christ’s example in my own life.

Secular people have no standard by which to measure their words and actions, but Christians have Scripture to guide us. If you call yourself a Christian, shouldn’t you follow Christ as your example of living? The answer is yes, we should. Christ sacrificed His life for us, and we need to honor that sacrifice by living for Him.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).

The Apostle Paul is an example of a man whose life was changed when he met Christ. Paul had murder in his heart and words of hatred in his mouth, but after meeting Christ on the road to Damascus, Paul learned of Christ’s love and forgiveness. Paul’s life was a reflection of Christ’s love as he boldly shared the Gospel.

It’s easy to make excuses and justify our misdeeds, but repentance is better than excuses. Excuses try to give a good reason for not reflecting Christ. If our words are bitter or used to condemn others, then we certainly don’t glorify Christ. We will never reach His level of perfection, but we need to seek Him and serve Him.

“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

Die is gain? True faith in Christ assures believers of eternal life with Christ, and the cares of this world, with which we struggle daily, will be left behind when we enter our eternal life after death. We should get ready for that eternal peace by reflecting Christ today. When people look at us, they should see Christ living in us. Christ forgave all manner of sin in those He came in contact with. It’s not up to us to judge other people but discern behavior based on Biblical truth. Most often, we pass judgment on others even though we don’t have all the facts. Christ forgave those who drove the nails into Him, and more than that, He forgives every sin we commit. We need to allow Christ to change our hearts. We need to show His love and forgiveness to others.

Scripture is filled with accounts of people who were changed by knowing Christ. We can read the words of love written by the Apostle John, but we tend to forget that Jesus nicknamed John and his brother James “The Sons of Thunder.” When the names of the twelve men chosen by Christ are listed in the Gospel of Mark, this fact is mentioned.

“And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is the sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17).

We get a hint about the reason for the nickname when we read of their attitude when Jesus was on His final journey to Jerusalem. They were going to pass through a village in Samaria. Messengers were sent ahead with the news that Jesus was on His way, but the villagers weren’t impressed.

“And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them even as Elias did?” (Luke 9:54).

We usually think of Peter as the rash one, but James and John must have been a rowdy pair! Calling fire from Heaven was a Biblical event done by Elijah against the prophets of Baal, but it certainly wouldn’t have reflected God’s love to that Samaritan village! James and John did learn to control their temper and to live as examples of the love of Christ.

Do you spew words of condemnation from your mouth instead of submitting to the love of Christ and honoring Him by showing love? It’s time to let Scripture teach you about reflecting Christ’s love rather than being Boanerges. It’s important to learn from Scripture and mold yourself after the example of Christ.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

It’s easy to behave like the world if we don’t conform our life to Jesus’ example. We can say, “I’m a Christian,” but those words need to be reflected in our actions. If you have head knowledge of Christ but don’t allow Him to change your heart, then you’re not a reflection of Christ living in you. If you won’t reflect His love today, will you be happy spending eternity with Him? We need to model our lives after Christ.

There’s an inscription in a cathedral in Germany that should be taken to heart.

Thus speaketh Christ our Lord to us:
Ye call Me Master and obey Me not.
Ye call Me Light and see Me not.
Ye call Me the Way and walk Me not.
Ye call me Life and choose Me not.
Ye call Me Wise and follow Me not.
Ye call Me Fair and love Me not.
Ye call Me Rich and ask Me not.
Ye call Me Eternal and seek Me not.
Ye call Me Noble and serve Me not.
Ye call Me Gracious and trust Me not.
Ye call Me Might and honor Me not
Ye call Me Just and fear Me not.
If I condemn you, blame Me not.

Our sins are forgiven in spite of our actions. We cannot do anything to earn our salvation. Anything we try to add to the grace we find in Christ is the same as saying Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t enough to pay for our sins. We aren’t saved by works, only by grace. Only faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ brings salvation. The love He showers on us should change us. The only way we can show our gratitude for His sacrifice is to reflect His love.

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Romans 6:6).

If you’re grateful for the love of Christ, then reflect that love through your words and actions.

Time is quickly coming to an end. Scripture describes the signs that the Rapture is near. Those signs are all swiftly coming about. We live in exciting times, and we need to take those signs to heart. Submit your life to Christ and use your words to glorify Him. The Rapture could happen at any moment, but so could death. An automobile accident or a heart attack could come unexpectedly, so it’s important to live each moment for Christ. He loves you. Reflect that love to others.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.

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