Posted by: glorifyhim1 | October 31, 2011

What Does Christ Look Like on Me?

This week in Sunday School, our kindergartners heard about Peter, a young fisherman, whom Jesus called to follow Him. Peter became one of Jesus’ disciples, walking with Him, listening to Him, and watching the things that Jesus did. Later when Peter became an old man, he wrote letters (1st and 2nd Peter) to remind people of things that Jesus said and did.

As we looked at Bible story pictures to recall things that Peter had probably witnessed, I found myself thinking about what it would have been like to be there with Jesus. Imagine being in a boat on a stormy sea and watching Jesus calm the wind and the waves. Or think about watching Him help a blind man see or a crippled man walk. And oh how I would have loved to see Him gather the young children around Him, touching them and blessing them! There were so many things that Peter surely witnessed as he followed Jesus. Unlike us, he was able to be right there and see everything Jesus did firsthand.

Although I wasn’t there when it happened, however, because of faithful witnesses like Peter and others, I can read and learn about those things they witnessed. Peter wanted his readers to know about Jesus. “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Peter 1:16). Peter, along with other disciples and witnesses who wrote their accounts in Scripture, wanted us to know the Christ they knew, so they faithfully told their stories, but not according to their will or purpose. “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). The words they wrote down and the truths they revealed were inspired by God Himself.

But revealing Christ to others doesn’t stop with Peter and those firsthand witnesses. Believers today also have a responsibility to reflect Christ in their lives. Paul told the Roman believers to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Romans 13:14). When we accept Christ as our Savior and claim the label of Christian, we profess to know Him. We claim Him as our Savior and Lord. But what exactly does that look like to others? Can others see a difference in our lives? Does it affect where we go, what we do, how we act, and what we say? In other words, when someone looks at my life, what does Christ look like on me?

It has been said that a Christian’s life is the only gospel that some people will ever read. How humbling! When we take the name of Christ, we no longer live to ourselves. As Paul told the Galatians: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in he flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). When we accept Christ as our Savior, we repent and turn away from our sin, and essentially put on Christ. Our lives should reflect the fruits of His Spirit in us – love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (see Galatians 5:22-25). While we can never manufacture these fruits on our own, as we surrender to Christ, He works in us to reveal Himself to others. We become witnesses to Christ by the way we live. Every person who professes to be a Christian either points others to Christ or away from Him. When our words and actions fail to reflect Christ, we profane His name and cause others to turn away. However, when the things we say and do honor and reflect Christ, others will see the difference and be attracted to the presence of Christ exhibited in a believer’s life.

While Peter walked with Jesus and learned from Him, he wasn’t always faithful. Sometimes he tripped and stumbled. During the darkest time of Jesus’ life, Peter denied even knowing Him three times. Yet I believe that Jesus saw something in Peter that Peter didn’t even see in himself. Jesus knew Peter’s heart. Jesus actually predicted Peter’s denial before it happened. Luke records Jesus’ words: “And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.'” (Luke 22:31-32). I’m sure that Peter did not disappoint Jesus as he expressed his devotion and love for Jesus (see John 21) and faithfully worked in the early church.

I want to be faithful, too., but like Peter, I know I mess up and that I don’t always “wear” Christ well. Sometimes I fail to put on Christ and allow Him to live through me. But as we see in Peter’s life, even when we are not faithful, Christ is. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 4:9). And just as Christ saw in Peter something that Peter could not see, I think He looks upon our hearts as well. I pray that He will see in me a heart fully devoted and loyal to Him and with His help, I pray that others will see the beauty of Christ reflected in my life. What does Christ look like on you?

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