Have you ever known someone whose countenance was marked by the presence of God?
Week 3 – Celebrating 100 Years of Oswald Chambers
VERSE: “We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
OSWALD: “The greatest characteristic a Christian can exhibit is this completely unveiled openness before God, which allows that person’s life to become a mirror for others. When the Spirit fills us, we are transformed, and by beholding God we become mirrors. You can always tell when someone has been beholding the glory of the Lord, because your inner spirit senses that he mirrors the Lord’s own character. Beware of anything that would spot or tarnish that mirror in you.” (My Utmost for His Highest – January 23rd)
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How It Spoke to Me…
I love my friend, Judy Delgatty. She literally shines.
There is a sweetness in her countenance and an acceptance in her love that is winsome and hard to resist. You just feel better when you are around her. Valued and wanted. Embraced as she leans forward with a gentle smile, drawing you out with questions about your life, your family…as if she really wants to know you. Because she really does.
I’ve been a recipient of that genuine interest, but she doesn’t save it only for friends. She greets strangers with the same kind of welcoming love.
Judy reminds me of Jesus. While gentleness and sincerity are part of my friend’s nature, there is an accompanying depth and wisdom that can only come from spending time alone with God.
I’ve had the privilege of praying often with Judy. She has a sweet familiarity and comfortableness with God that I want in my life. She comes as a child secure and fully acquainted with her Father’s love.
This intimacy hasn’t happened overnight, and Judy would be the first to tell you that there are times she struggles just as most of us do. Times when her feelings are fickle and her pursuit of spiritual things is imperfect.
But in the way she lives and the way she loves, I see a woman who spends time with Jesus, looking deeply into His face. As a result, I see a distinct family resemblance.
5 Ways to Reflect Jesus More Accurately
As I’ve been thinking about the qualities that set Judy apart – the qualities I want in my own life – I’ve come up with five things that can help us give a more accurate reflection of God to our world.
1. Spend time with Jesus
Have you noticed how couples begin to resemble one another the longer they’re married? Well, the same is true of us. The more time we spend in intimate fellowship with Jesus, the more His likeness will be transferred to our lives.
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13
2. Invite the Holy Spirit to change you from the inside out
We cannot change ourselves. If we want to be more like Jesus, we must tend our connection with the Vine. If we do, the Fruit of the Spirit will come as a direct result of the His work in our lives. We won’t have to manufacture Christ-likeness.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… Galatians 5:22-23a
3. Cultivate a genuine interest in other people
In a world filled with people more interested in themselves and their selfie-interests, ask God to give you a genuine curiosity to know other people better. Talk less about yourself and inquire more about them. Ask God for eyes of grace to see each individual as He sees them. And a heart to love them as He does.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:16-18
4. Be available
As a young pastor’s wife, my friend Judy struggled to find her place in ministry. She wasn’t an upfront kind of girl. But over the years, she’s realized her most important gift is the “gift of availability”.
Oh, how I need to nurture that gift in my life as well! A willingness to be interrupted – the kind of willingness Jesus displayed. As well as the “ruthless elimination of hurry” recommended by Dallas Willard, so that I’m able to stop and tangibly love others – even in the midst of a busy day.
5. Give God all the glory
If we want to be more like Jesus, we need to keep God at the center of all we do. When He works in and through our lives, let’s be sure to give Him the credit. When we mess up and fail, let’s give Him the broken pieces trusting that He will know how to use it all for His glory. In all things and at all times, be quick to give Him praise.
“Go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him. Luke 8:39
Make My Life A Mirror, Lord Jesus!
Something powerful happens when we focus our hearts on God, spending time each day in His presence. Kent Hughes describes it like this:
“Our lives are like photographic plates, and prayer is like a time exposure to God. As we expose ourselves to God for a half hour, an hour, perhaps two hours a day, his image is imprinted more and more upon us. More and more we absorb the image of his character, his love, his wisdom, his way of dealing with life and people.”
But in order for that to happen, “We must maintain a position of beholding Him,” Oswald Chambers says, “keeping our lives completely spiritual through and through…”
“Let other things come and go as they will; let other people criticize us as they will; but never allow anything to obscure the life that ‘is hidden with Christ in God.'”
So let me ask you a question: What’s obscuring the life of God in you today? Perhaps it’s time to spend some more one-on-one time with Jesus, sitting at His feet and beholding His beauty. For as we do, we’ll end up looking more like our Savior and less like ourselves.
I can’t think of anything more wonderful than that.
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I’d love to hear from you…What stood out most in your Bible and devotional reading this week?