Did you know that the greatest compliment we can ever receive when we meet someone is NOT that we are beautiful, brilliant, successful, wealthy, buff, a great parent or grandparent, etc.? Rather—it’s when someone observes, “I see Jesus in you and I want to know Him too.” The Bible instructs us to…
“be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God…” Ephesians 5:1-2 NKJV
It wasn’t until I met a very special 16-year-old man that these verses became very personal. Allow me to share the story:
This young man’s mother brought him into my office because he was in some trouble with the law. She said to me, “I hear you’re the ‘Jesus lawyer,’ and this boy needs some Jesus.”
As he and I sat in my office and talked about what had led to his situation, I asked him about his relationship with God. He wasn’t sure what I meant, so I shared my testimony of salvation with him and the great joy and satisfaction that God gives us when we live in loving obedience to Him. I told him how God’s presence can make us loving, compassionate, wise, and strong. I could see that I was losing him, so God led me to switch gears.
I told him that God made only one of him—amongst the billions of people on the earth—he was unique and wonderful. He was created for supernatural greatness. I could see that he was becoming interested, so I asked him if he thought that maybe God had allowed his bad decisions to lead to his present circumstance which brought him into my office that day—so that he could know Jesus too. He broke down and began to cry. He said that several years ago He had accepted Jesus as his Savior, but he had never learned to grow into the kind of relationship I was describing. He said that he felt ashamed and didn’t think God would really want him anymore. I related how he and I were much alike—we had to find our value in God. Because he had never experienced the value of the relationship, the world had easily lured him away with false promises of being “cool.” I told him I completely understood that—because I had done the same thing for many years—straying shamefully from my Savior. I explained that he and I were no different—we both have had struggles—but that maybe God’s grace to me on my broken road could help him write a much better story for himself. Then—his story could of what God had done for him could do the same for others. I prayed with him that morning and I sensed a change in him, although I didn’t know what he was thinking and I didn’t ask.
But I saw a spark of hope in his eyes when he left my office that day.
It wasn’t until much later that I realized the degree to which God had used our initial encounter. I received a letter from him after my representation was concluded and he wrote words I will never forget. His words have motivated me over and over again to become more like Christ. He wrote:
“When I met you I was jealous of your relationship with Jesus.”
I was so humbled by his statement because I am acutely aware of my flaws and deficiencies. His words reminded me that God is greater than my flaws! I didn’t need to be more of what the world says is great—I just needed to be more like Jesus!
I have never forgotten this young man. I pray He is still allowing God to write his glorious story!
My encounter with him taught me a valuable lesson about the remarkable person I can be in Christ and—you can too!
You see, we are often so concerned about being popular or successful according to our enemies’ standard, that we live our whole life missing the mark. I sure had failed for most of my life! Or, we believe the lies of our enemies and think we will never measure up. I did this too! Thus, we fail to write our most important story. We let our story of “self” overshadow our story of Jesus. Since it is difficult to honestly self-assess, I often check myself. I look at what I’m putting out for others to see in order to know whether I’m drawing others to Christ instead of myself. For example, I look at my social media sites–and ask “What do others see—is it drawing them to Jesus or making them wish they were me?” I assess the way I dress and the things I say and ask, “What is the primary message of my life today?” Do others see ME or do they see JESUS? This is a daily struggle for all of us—BUT—there is one sure way to win it!
We WIN by immersing ourselves in the richness of a relationship with God.
As we do this, we begin to know that ALL goodness is because of Him—not us. We have nothing to give anyone—without God. What God gives us can’t be bought with money, worked for in the gym, attained through entertainment or sexual pleasure, or even found in a relationship with another human. It must come directly from Him. We must fully surrender to Him-first for salvation; then for each day of our life. As we lose ourselves in the wonder of a relationship with Him, HE is the one others see. It’s much like a couple who has been married for many years and begin to act like and look like each other. Only—He is perfect and we conform to Him—not the other way around! 😏
My friend, ask yourself, “When people meet me, does it make them want to meet Jesus?“
We can never give others Jesus unless He is in us and flowing out of us. When we draw close to God we are so impressed with HIM, that we don’t need to impress others with ourselves! Draw close to Him—He loves you so much! The ancient wisdom written to the Ephesians is still true today:
This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:17-24 NKJV
When we live in “true righteousness and holiness” we draw close to God, who is love. Only then do the fruits of His Spirit flow through us and draw others to Jesus!
We would love to hear your thoughts about this devotional. Did God speak to you or challenge your daily walk with him? Or is there a topic that you would like Kimberly to cover or expound on? Please share with us in the comments below.
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