I know a woman who loves Jesus. It's not that you know she loves Jesus because of the “aura” around her. No, when you’re with her you pick up very quickly that Jesus is in every intake and exhale of breath. Of course, the fact that she is totally unembarrassed to yell, "JESUS!" at any given time while walking down the street is also a good indicator!
One day, while having lunch together, she volunteered to pray for us. I half jokingly said, "but do it quietly." Since that lunch, I’ve often thought how we live out our lives for Jesus, "quietly."
Jesus, of course, did not live quietly. Even as an adolescent the religious scholars didn’t intimidate him. Jesus was confident in who he was and what he knew. From his baptism to the wedding at Cana to the feeding of the thousands, examples mushroom as to how Jesus lived his life publicly and noisily. The gospel of Mark repeatedly tells us that "crowds" followed Jesus continually. That isn't a picture of quiet.
We live in a "politically correct" age. Within this culture I find myself, too often, following Jesus "quietly." Daily looking at each encounter with an individual as an opportunity to speak "Jesus" is a challenge. What I'm realizing, however, is that while I may not have the courage to yell, "Jesus!" while walking down the street I can speak Jesus into the life of each person I meet. It means a very conscious awareness on my part. Each waiter, clerk, telephone order taker, doctor, mortgage broker, window washer becomes an opportunity to not be “quiet” about Jesus.
How we speak “Jesus” daily will look different with each encounter. But what I am struck with is the truth that I can do something that takes no time away from the individual. I can pray. The result of believing that God created everyone is that each person I meet becomes an image of God. They may not know it, but the fact is I do. My responsibility, as a Jesus follower, is to speak Jesus to them in a way they will be able to understand.
However, whether "quietly" or “loudly” the simplest way to speak "Jesus" is prayer.
Today's blog is an excellent reminder of two things:
1. Believers are called to "pray without ceasing". In fact,it is God's will for us to pray continually (1 Thess. 5:17-18). Just what does this look like after we have offered Him our praises, gratitude, confessions, and petitions each day? Your blog comments explain the reason why we must pray without ceasing--to seek the wisdom we need to show Jesus to every "image bearers" we encounter throughout the day.
2. The second greatest command is to love others(even our enemies). The only way we can do this is by praying for them and seeing them as made in the image of God.
Thank you for the poignant reminder our calling and why we must pray continually!
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