Got your attention?
How often do you hear something like this? “You look just like your Grandpa!” “You’ve got thick brown hair, just like your grandpa”. “You got massive ears just like your Dad”.
Am I right?
You probably have your own stories of family resemblance.
Over the last year, I have spent time reading and studying John 1:14, and in it we read that “Jesus came from the Father, full of grace and truth”.
Full of grace and truth. This is a line that we as friends, mentors, and teachers need to somehow figure how to balance. It can be hard! One of your friends is making some decisions that you think are unwise; sometimes its awkward to tell them to stop acting the fool, right?? Somehow you want to balance the truth about what your friend is doing, with a healthy dose of love and grace.
Jesus was grace and truth. He did these to perfection. This year at a Youth Leaders conference, the speaker (Marv Penner) touched on this and said “God never fudged on grace speaking speaking about truth; He never fudged on truth when speaking about grace.” Illustrated for instance, by when He met the prostitute at the well in John 4, He spoke the truth to her, but didn’t make her feel like trash in the process. Jesus would often speak love, acceptance and mercy; yet we always need to understood that there was a truth component to each situation and thing He said.
This makes sense to me. I think it’s pretty common, and I’m sure I’m to blame as much as the next guy, but we speak so much on the topic of love and grace (and for good reason), that we miss the next steps of discipleship. We lay the foundation, by emphasizing how ‘Jesus is Love’ and yet can fail to build the house because we never point out truth.
In discipleship and friendships this is important. In a few of my friendships, it was normal for a friend to say to me “Donovan you’re forgiven of that, but what steps are you going to take overcome that next time.” Call each other deeper. If we never get past the “You are loved. You are forgiven.” It possible that we get stuck in a cycle of repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again, because we know there’s grace for that. We justify our actions, because we know, I’ll just be able to ask God’s forgiveness and it will be cool.
Somehow I don’t think that’s how Jesus envisioned us living!
Call each other deeper!
Do we bear resemblance to that of our Father? Or Son Jesus? We bear His name, we should probably try our best to look like Him right?
Let’s learn a little about Him together now:
Love Your Enemies: 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
It was common thought among the Jewish teachers that God was merciful to both good and evil. Jesus was saying to those listening, if you really say you love me, you’ll have to take the next step. You’ll have to go a little further. Jesus was raising the bar. He was saying yeah its easy to be nice, anyone can that, but are you willing to go the extra mile.
So becoming like Christ and living up to our name….
There’s not just a test we need to pass, or obey one law that says, “Okay Donovan now you’re holy enough.” It’s small steps forward. Sometimes it ends up being a few steps backward, but then we push on to gain back those lost steps.
Becoming Holy like Him means that we desire His will for our life, that we seek to please Him in every area of our life. Jesus wants us to understand that it’s not about the rules, its about a dedicated heart and devotion to His kingdom.
Assuming you are like me, then it sounds like for us, we have part of our course charted. Becoming more like Christ each day!
I really like how this has been worded in here. Jesus sets God as the standard. Perfect, like He is perfect. It’s like He sets a goal for us. Not blasting us for assuming and thinking we have it all together; because I know from experience, that we sometimes we play that role. Like we have our lives all figured out and that we are doing just fine.
Jesus gently reminds us to press on and take that next step.
In order to faithfully live up to our name, we may need each others help to take these next steps. Speak lots of love and when needed to speak truth. in confidence Be so encouraging and loving, all the time, that when you need to be reminded of the standard, or helped to see how you can better reflect God’s image, that you know these words of truth are spoken in grace.
Together, let’s set a course for becoming more like Jesus each day. That is holiness. That is what we shall be. Holy as He is Holy.