Hello everybody, this is Niel here. It’s my pleasure this week to share the core value with you guys. This is the last Monday this month that we are talking about being Jesus Centered. And so as I was thinking about this, a thought came to me, that being Jesus Centered is just another way of saying we are bearing the image of Christ. You and I were created as human beings to bear his image. We know that from Genesis, but we also know that when the Fall came, man became bound to this world. Another way to say it is, we bear the image of the thing we worship. Fallen man is bound to this world and so fallen man worships the things of this world, he has its image on it, and he cannot have the image of Christ. But once we get saved, we become Christians. We start bearing the image of Christ. Christ does the work of sanctification in us. And it’s not an instant process. It’s something that takes time when we work on it, and that’s something that doesn’t come overnight. We have to unlearn doing certain things and then in the same sense we have to learn to do “image bearing” kind of things.
Now if you want to sum up what this is, the images that we want to bear, it’s really the image of love, because God is love. So the image we should bear is the image of love. And for fallen man, it’s easy to love something that will benefit them. But for you and I as Christians, we are called to something else, we are called to continually love even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if you don’t want to do it and everything in us says “No, I just can’t.” You have to ask God, what would love do in this situation? I might not know and I need prayer to get through this.
So what would love to do? Probably for me the thing that sums up “What would love do?” is forgiveness. How can I say that? Because God sent Jesus to come and forgive us when He knew everything about us. And he could easily condemn us for all the things that went wrong and wasn’t right. But He came and sacrificed his life so that you and I can be saved.
So to sum it up, Love is to forgive. To forgive somebody when I know what they’ve done, and then to sacrifice my life for theirs. That’s not the only thing, but that’s one of the things that stand out for me.
So the Rock Challenge this week, when we are talking about being Jesus Centered is really recognizing how we love one another. Words that come to mind for me is Forgiveness. Sacrifice. Humility. Kindness. Faithfulness. How do I do those things above and beyond what natural man or my inclinations want to do? How do I go above and beyond? If my intention is focused on me or just what I can get out of it, or maybe my attention is focused on the things that I’m scared of, it consumes me. But maybe my attention is focused on even somebody I love and I give that person an honored place in my life above even God. Then really I’m worshipping that, and I will become what I worship. Another way to say that is, we reap what we sow. If we sow peace, we will reap peace. If we sow forgiveness, we will reap forgiveness. And if we sow love, we will reap love, and so on.
But remember, this is a work of progression. Others will fail and we are quick to recognize those things, but so do we. We fail also. But the challenge… it’s really to recognize the image of Christ in somebody else and say, ”Hey, I can see that God is working with you in this area of your life,” or “God is doing something, and thank you for that.”
So the Jesus Centered challenge is not about perfection. We are not looking for perfection and only if I see you being perfect, I’ll make a comment about it. That’s not what it is. It’s just to, this week, go and look and see how somebody is being forgiving or kind or loving or faithful. And then I challenge you, go this week, grab a postcard, write a note to somebody and say, “Hey, I noticed that. God is doing this in your life. I’m so thankful for how you are obedient and how you are doing this.” Let’s be the image of Christ and we’ll see you soon. Thank you.