Saturday, March 12, 2016

DJD312 - Faithful in Forgiveness

Read More Daily Jesus

Colossians 4:5-6

Starting Question:

Have you ever been scolded for something you didn't do? How did that feel?

Faithful in Forgiveness

The Jesus to whom one of His true followers will lead  will not be a judgmental Jesus or a condescending Jesus — because that's not who Jesus is. People participating in Jesus' pure and lovely nature will lead people to freedom from such self-righteous attitudes. 

“Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence. God has done all this. He has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. In other words, God was using Christ to restore his relationship with humanity. He didn't hold people's faults against them, and he has given us this message of restored relationships to tell others” (2 Corinthians 5: 17-21, GWT).

What an amazing promise! Jesus is calling all people to Himself so they can be made new—not so He can tell them a list of bad things about themselves. Jesus isn't in the business of fault finding. He's in the business of restoring relationships. And the primary relationship He wants you to have in full strength is one with His Father.

When Jesus came as the visible image of the Father, He presented a picture very different than what people expected in the Messiah. He said, “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and modeled this love with His actions, stories, life and death. This Messiah didn't look much like God — at least not what people had been told God was like. But Jesus is who He said He was and the image He revealed of the Father stands today.

God is a loving, forgiving, accepting and inclusive God that wants all people to know their Creator cherishes them.

It is the role of every Christian to reveal this picture of God — a God of love and new life. Right after Jesus rose from the dead, one of His followers was adamant he would not believe Jesus was alive until he had seen and touched the scars caused by the crucifixion. As he was in the midst of his impassioned tirade, Jesus walked up behind him.

You can imagine the look of absolute terror on this disciple's face. What would Jesus do with him and his faithless words? Jesus' response was both unexpected and far-reaching. Jesus held out his hands for inspection, revealing the scars of the cross to the doubting disciple.

Then Jesus said something amazing: He made a statement about you. Jesus said to Thomas, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me” (John 20:29). That's you and me! We have not seen Jesus or the scars on His body. Jesus wants you to know that if you find Him and believe in Him without seeing the scars, you are blessed! 

That's the kind of person Jesus is — One who blesses those who struggle to see Him. That's the kind of God Jesus is — One that shows, through his nail-scarred hands, what God's love really looks like. And that's the kind of followers Jesus draws — ones who doubt, ask questions and seek Him with all of their heart. All who come to the Father come by seeing the Son. All must come to Jesus. Some come to Jesus by seeing the scars. But most come to Him by seeing a living, breathing image of Jesus — a Christian, passionate to restore relationships.

Reflection Question:
What does it feel like to be forgiven for something?

Prayer time:
Before you pray together, ask: What would you like to say to Jesus today?

Further Reading:
To Be Like Jesus, Page 77

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