A Dare for Readers of This Blog

frog-pond-7855_640Jesus drew people to Him.

Crowds. Children. Fishermen. Businessmen. Scholars. Rabbis. Women. Sinners. Pharisees.

They flocked to Jesus when He walked with us and hung on His every word.He was invited to parties, dinners, weddings, and private homes. He was a teller of stories who ate what they ate and drank what they drank.

So, one thing we can conclude about the God of all creation is that He is fun to have around.

That idea holds up when we look at creation, doesn’t it?

The earth was created through Jesus. It was His essence that bubbled up into sparkling streams, breathtaking sunsets, turkey waddles, and fat hippos. There is an expansiveness about creation. A giddy generosity of spirit that spurts from the earth like Old Faithful. There is a playfulness, a joy, a wink and a nod in creation that sparks hope in the human breast and restores the soul.

That is the work of Jesus.

And now He lives and moves both in us and through us. We are supposed to represent Jesus.

Paul explains this in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 ESV

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Have you ever sent someone out to represent your family, your business, or your ministry only to learn that they were making a terrible presentation of your core beliefs or your message?

I bet Jesus can totally relate.

I find it breathtaking that God is making his appeal through us.

It certainly begs the question, are we appealing?

Do people see the fun, the laughter, the joy of Jesus in our lives?

Do our words, our lives, our actions, our attitudes compel those around us to go deeper with Jesus? Is the Jesus of the gospels apparent in our appeal or have we constructed an Oz-like disguise around ourselves loaded with religious ideas, social expectations, sinful habits, and fears so that what people see when they look at us is more repelling than appealing?

How vital is it then, I wonder, for us to shed all of these constructs, to rid ourselves of all this baggage and live as transparently as we have the courage and grace to live so that others can see the person and work of Christ in our lives?

Is this not His appeal? That despite the damaged material we bring to His workshop, He is the Master Restorer and Remodeler.

How can people see His power, His craftsmanship, His artistry and work if we hide the process behind great, whitewashed doors?

Do you dare look in the mirror or better yet, go to those who encounter you every day, and ask – “If you only had me to go on to know what Jesus is like – what would you know about Him from knowing me?”

Now, don’t go nuts with this. We are the body of Christ and we need one another to reflect Jesus so, as individuals, we’ll ALL come up short as perfect reflections of Jesus.

But, it’s worth a moment in the mirror or, for those of you who are brave, a conversation with a trusted love one. If God is making His appeal through you, is it coming through?

If not, ask God what needs to change. My guess is that it’s not a matter of being more perfect but of allowing some messiness to peak out from behind the old religious robes. Maybe we need to have a little more fun – laugh – lighten up – replace a lecture or two with a story or a fishing trip.

So, that’s the dare. Take a minute this week to ask someone you know – what do they know about Jesus from knowing you?

I’ll start. If all you knew about Jesus is what you learned from this blog (which supposes to be about Him), what would you say Jesus is like or cares about?

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    The Conversation

  1. Carmen says:

    My opinions are already well formed after 34 yrs…but I love the way you represent Him to your readers, and am in total agreement with what you relate to us in this post!

  2. Thanks, Carmen. I appreciate your encouragement.

  3. I would know that Jesus cares about us and real life. Real life is messy, not tied up in a nice pink bow. He doesn’t want us to pretend it is.

    Thanks for the dare!

  4. It sure is tempting to pretend though, isn’t it Vonda? And some people pretend because they think that’s the right thing – putting a good face on their life for Jesus. I always see Jesus through you, Vonda, and He’s very compelling. You don’t act like you’re a mess but you’re real and let Him shine through your life.

  5. scw1217 says:

    I always enjoy your blogs. So thought provoking.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Every time I read your blog, I am challenged to face myself and go “a little deeper”. And I ask myself, “Who is this daughter God gave me? This girl who challenged me from the first grade and is still challenging me. What a blessing I have been given.

  7. Thank you, SCW, that’s kind encouragement.

    And, thanks, Mom. I love you, too!

  8. I would know Jesus is real. Not a picture with a baby blue background, bobble head, t-shirt, saying, or set of rituals. He is not going to church every Sunday (though this is good), He is not a list to achieve. He is real, and here, and wants a relationship, and loves us. He brings us all on the same level and saves us through His grace. Thanks for your writing.