Posted by: pmarkrobb | May 25, 2017

our present response to Jesus

I avoid mirrors.  It seems like an odd thing to share with “the world,” but it’s absolutely true.  In a department store, I’ll rush past one, being careful to lock my gaze in the opposite direction (how dumb does that sound?!).  I’ll never argue the truth that God doesn’t make mistakes, but in so many ways I grade myself harshly in what I’ve done with what He created.

I have a song the Spirit has repeatedly used in my life to challenge the voice of our great enemy (the one who so viciously and subtly uses my critical nature against me).  The song is, “I Am New” by Jason Gray and it speaks of being made new in Christ.  “I am not who I was, I’m being remade, I am new,” the chorus begins.  Just before that chorus kicks in, at the very end of the third verse, you’ll find the following words…

But the One who is making everything new,
doesn’t see me the way that I do.
He doesn’t see me the way that I do.

Those words attack the core of my critical nature.  Oh, the immeasurable gift it would be to see with His eyes … even one time and just for a few seconds.  To see myself, not as the physical or spiritual reflection in my earthly mirror, but as He sees me!

Too much of my life has been lived in the powerful shadow of my guilt and shame.  So many times I stop short of doing something for Him because I convince myself that I’m not worthy or I’ve failed Him far too many times to be of any use.  How stuck I can get in the mire of my past.

I am reminded of some life-breathing words from a favorite daily devotional (Reflections for Ragamuffins by Brennan Manning).  The specific entry is titled, “Responses to Jesus,” and offered a beautiful reminder of the lineage we have in this life of faith.

These biblical characters, however clean or tawdry their personal histories may have been, were not paralyzed by the past in their present response to Jesus.  Tossing aside self-consciousness, they ran, clung, jumped and raced to him.  Peter denied him and deserted him, but he was not afraid of him.

The full entry is a vivid reminder of the thread of imperfection that runs through the body of Christ.  The biblical characters who Brennan mentions are Mary (sister of Martha), Mary Magdalene and Peter.  They are central characters in God’s love story, and yet they are fully flawed human beings.  The thread of imperfection runs through them all and extends to you and me.  Yet at the same time, they (and we) are perfect examples of the power that exists in the name and redeeming blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

They “were not paralyzed by the past in their present response to Jesus.”  Yes Jesus, I want that to always be true of me.

How are you with mirrors?  And what about your past?  If what I’ve confessed resonates with you, join me.  If even the smallest part of it resonates with you, join me. If you see my confessions in the rear view mirror of your own journey, we’ll join you.  Let’s all run, cling, jump and race to Him together!

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