It’s been a while, we have been very busy with EODS, children and other bits and bobs. But, we hope to get back to blogging on a regular basis from today!
We as a community (Living Stones) have been dwelling on this short passage from the Gospel of Matthew;
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:15-16 ESV
We have been looking at what it is to let our lights shine before others and how good works fit in. We are still very clear that our relationship with Jesus is based entirely on His grace and nothing we can do either adds or takes away from His grace. Paul stresses in Ephesians this very point;
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
Paul is quiet clear that it is grace (the gift of God) not a result of works. He once believed that he needed to keep the law in order to be right with God. But, the revelation of meeting Jesus on the Damascus Road changed his whole thinking.
This Jesus is the one who had died (according to the law) an accursed death on the cross. In Paul’s mind, Jesus had been condemned by the law (Deut 21:22-24 cf. Gal 3:13) and cursed by God. But, now God has glorified this accursed man! The law which condemned Jesus, was itself condemned by God.
Saul’s very life was falling apart.
We start to understand why Paul was in Damascus for three days trying to get his head around what all this meant.
In a nutshell it meant; faith in God’s grace.
The works we do therefore are out of grace, not out of anything else. We work for God from the position of grace, our works do not add anything to our salvation but, they are how we show our faith in action. We put our faith in God’s grace when we live for Him alone. We are called to be God’s representatives in our local places.
Another way to look at the word represent is to say RE – PRESENT. A representative is someone who re-presents the will of another.
We are to re-present Jesus to all that we meet. We show them His will – grace, mercy, love and compassion.
We are to show everyone we meet Jesus again,
through our actions,
through our deeds,
through our words,
everything we do is to bear witness to re-present Christ to the world in which we live.
Paul also says in his letter to the Ephesians that we are to,
make the most of every opportunity for the days are evil. Ephesians 5:16 ESV
Paul is talking in this chapter 5 about walking with Christ, in love, faith and wisdom. We are to do the same.
Making sure that in every opportunity we get that we learn to re-present Jesus to a fallen world.
Paul goes on in Ephesians 6 to point out that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers. Therefore, if it has got flesh and blood it is not our enemy.
So, we make the most of every opportunity to re-present Jesus to all.
Where there is despair – we bring hope
Where there is hatred – we bring love
Where there is bitterness – we bring forgiveness
Where there is mourning – we mourn with them
Where there is joy – we celebrate
Where there is illness – we speak healing
Where there is brokenness – we hold them, like Jesus would
We are to bear witness to what God has done in our lives and to declare that JESUS is LORD.
So let us rise and shine and show God’s glory to all that we meet!
Have a think and let me know your thoughts,
Look out for a another post on Friday with a few practical tips on how we can go about re-presenting Jesus.
Grace and Peace,
Almighty God, Father of all,
We thank you for the gift of your son,
your grace towards us,
We ask that we may re-present Christ to all we meet – this and every day.
May we learn to tell our stories,
May we learn to share our lives,
May we learn to be a community of Grace,
May we re-present Jesus faithfully to all whom we meet today,
In Jesus name and in the power of the Holy Spirit,