No, none of us get this personally, but what has blessed you most about someone that is learning to lean into Jesus’ supremacy in their own life?
My favorite one is this: My favorite people on the planet are those who I find doing something that is clearly NOT in their self-interest. It may be choosing hardship or pain for themselves because of something that they can’t deny in their heart. When I meet someone who is putting the interests of the Jesus ahead of their own comfort or convenience, I know I’ve met someone who knows him and is being shaped by him.
One caveat to this: People who’ve grown up abused or overly religious are always denying themselves joy and sacrificing themselves to do religious things that make them miserable. THIS IS NOT WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. To be able to deny your own comfort for a larger purpose God has put in your heart is not an attempt to earn grace, but is the fruit of someone already living in it.
The question in itself has caused me to identify how others who are in my life or crossed my path are reflecting a life that puts Jesus first. As I think of them…they are people who recognize their humanity, when they screw up they move through a process of forgiveness and reconciliation coming out the other side more. They live as forgiven people.
They are people who are authentic. People who seem comfortable in their own skin. Their value is not tied to what they have, what they do or who they may know, they are anchored in someone far greater. They don’t even need words to express their joy because his presence shows through when you encounter such a life. They are people who are a joy to be around and there doesn’t seem to be anything tangible attached to the experience with them.
People who I would identify as undergoing adversity, sometimes crushing adversity, but they live raised above their circumstances trusting their lives are being restored. They trust it may not look like, feel like or be defined by others as restoration, yet they trust Jesus regardless and follow him. They don’t panic! They trust a timetable that is divine.
The move through difficulties coming to a place of peace even though they appear to have gotten the tar beat out of them. They are people who seem to come out the other side more grateful, more compassionate, more generous. They appear to have less. I scratch my head knowing in my heart they have far more.
They encourage me, come along side of me often. I encounter Jesus first by the way they live life. The encounter with them may be brief or may last a lifetime, but it’s always awesome.
I think this kind of person can go about life’s ebb and flow and they can still show love and kindness without hardly even thinking about it, because God helped them grow to have love in their heart…
I also think you could walk up to this kind of person and have a kind-hearted conversation without any hesitation.
They are also willing to help others see how much they are loved, and how much value they have.
Wayne, I am so glad you wrote the caveat to your first paragraph! The people described in your second paragraph are the kind of people I have known in IC…always denying self…always serving…but the motive was always self preservation from God’s punishment or so they can position themselves to receive God’s blessing. Often I have seen them be crushed when life thru them hardships that they felt the didn’t deserve.
Pat, I love your description! So eloquently put too. Those are the people that reflect peace and freedom.
And Lenny, I love your last sentence! I couldn’t agree more!
I might add that these people haven’t done anything to “PUT” Jesus first in their lives. Rather, they simply rest in the knowledge of it. Knowing that He has completed all that was needed, they enter His rest and realize joy. How wonderful!
Love how you close your post, Joan. I took a nice deep breath…ahh…resting in in His love.
Can’t help but reflect on Genesis 2…2 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2 And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
No mention of morning and evening, no boundaries…a relationship that has depth beyond comprehension. Wow! It is wondrous!
Thanks, Joan…really enjoy what you share.
What has blessed me most about someone that is learning to lean into Jesus’ supremacy in their own life…the living out of the ‘in the world, but not of the world’ philosophy which Jesus espouses. It seems most of the world has either sucuumbed to, or stealed away from the world to attempt to protect themselves. Not to turn a blind eye to what is going on in the world, but realizing there is only so much I can do about it. Resting, not fighting, is not inaction.
Personally I am learning that the Holy Spirit is the beginning and the “end” of my walk with Jesus. I cannot change myself in any way for the better, but I can be made willing to be more like Jesus IF I ask and depend on the Holy Spirit’s working in me. Phil 2:13. The Holy Spirit inclines our hearts to be more like Jesus.
If I feel I’m resistant in any way, I extend Phil 2:13 as follows. “Holy Spirit, I ask you to make me willing to be made willing. Grant me the desire and enablement to be made more a reflection of Jesus”. It might take awhile, but that works every time!
I think we treat God like a slot machine. Put in good and get good. Miss a Sunday or don’t spend enough time in the Bible then God’s going to get you. This is what the IC creates even though I don’t think it’s always the intention. When God places someone on your heart and you want to give them something or help in someway results in a feeling of I get to help them and I’m so glad I can. Not here I am a lonely worm and maybe doing this will assuage God’s disapproval of me.