As I travel this road to being a more fully alive disciple of Jesus, I am struck by what it means to actually look and sound like Jesus. To be mistaken for him, in a sense.
You know the DVD called He's my King - the one with Pastor Lockridge listing the attributes of Christ, it always causes such a well of emotion in my heart and I want to jump up and applaud. Today I am convicted by on of those attributes - being a life giver. Jesus was a life giver - one who blessed life.
I heard Jarrod Robinson, who preaches at the Riverside cofc preach a sermon called, Lord of the Sabbath several months ago and some of these thoughts are still rambling around my head from that and some from the ongoing walk to Christlikeness.
In Mark 2 when Jesus deals with the Pharisees over his disciples picking grain and the healing of the man with the withered hand in Mark 3, he is the ultimate life giver. He reframes the purpose of law. Relationship always trumps regulation. Limitation is never the intent of law, freedom is. Law was never intended as life-draining but life giving. Because of how God values humanity he provides law as a way to honor our lives not punish us. I love the way he reaches back to their shared history and draws on the ultimate case study of David and his starving men eating the consecrated bread and it being okay. He has a tangible example to hold out to the pharisees to show that it is never about taking life, but always about giving life. Interesting that when the Pharisees leave his presence, the text says, "and they left to plot with the Herodians about a way to kill Him." Gods' desire is for us to be fully alive. He gives abundant life. When Jesus leaves people they have always had the touch of life given to them.
Jarrod made an interesting point in his sermon and I hope I am remembering this correctly. He said, God labelled the things that destroy life as sin, and the things that give life as commandments. What a powerful statement of truth. Think about it.
I know that I want to be a life-giver in the way I respond to people, in the way I serve them and the way I look at them. I want people to leave my presence having seen the intent and heart of God. I fear that too often as a vessel I land up diverting the life giving love that God intends to pour through me and the opportunity is lost.
Thank God that one of his other attributes is that He is a God of second chances!