“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”” (Matt 5:48, MSG)
If we would ask our friends: “Do you realize that I am a Christian?” What would they say? Would they say “yes”? Or would they say, “Are you insane?” Ask anyone who knows you well: “Can you see Jesus in me?” After all, this is our goal, to love like Jesus loves!
Love, however, cannot occur without the Holy Spirit living within us: “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.” (John 7:38-39, NIV) Love cannot occur if we are self-absorbed. Love can only be generated when the Source of genuine love resides in us. Only though Him can we, “live out in our God-created identity.” After all, love will lead us to what our Father does.
The daughter of one of my colleagues had faced so much pain in her ankle that she couldn’t walk on it. The doctors tried everything but without success. That day my colleague was a bit discouraged. When I asked her how her daughter was, she answered: “Terribly bad. She can hardly walk.” I asked her “Would you like for me to pray for her?” She immediately answered: “Please do.”
A couple of weeks later, I saw my colleague again. I asked her how her daughter was. “She is healed! We don’t understand it. It must be your prayers.” I told her that I was not the one who could heal her, but our Heavenly Father. Anyone could pray for her healing. She answered: “That’s true, but you are way closer to God than me.” I was overwhelmed by her answer. Was I finally showing the God-colors of who is living inside of me? I felt humbled to experience my Father so vividly.
This brought me back to some years ago, to a time when I was attending a legalistic church. At that time, I thought I had all the answers, as we were indoctrinated every week with the church’s doctrines. Truly, though, all my answers were empty. I wasn’t bringing hope to anyone. I, myself, was lost, even though I thought I knew it all.
One day another colleague had lost her husband. She asked me: “Why did my husband die?” Instead of using a typical Band-Aid answer from church, I answered honestly: “I don’t know.” It’s then that I realized that most of my answers were devoid of hope. So unlike those of Jesus who always gave hope, no matter what the circumstances.
My Father led me to Him, and through Him I can now bring hope to the hopeless, encouragement to the downtrodden and compassion for the ones who are hurt. It comes only from God. The more I depend on Him, the more He becomes real to me. When healings occur, it is only thanks to Him. He is the One who cares for each one of us so much, and His love is catchy. I cannot be passive any longer, as His love has to be broadcasted.
“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me. (John 15:4, MSG) It’s all because of Jesus!
(To access the entire “Majestic Mountain View” devotional series, please click here.)