God tells us that He made us in His own image – which means that all we do and all we are is meant to reflect Him.
Then, we open up Scripture and begin to read what we ASSUME are lists of ways to be or to act - things to think or not think, say or not say, feel or not feel, do or not do. It’s exhausting!
BUT, what if these lists are describing a Person for us. What if they’re describing the perfect person of Jesus and showing us in detail Who it is we were made to reflect and what it would look like if our lives reflected Him.
So now as we read the following lists from Scripture, let’s first have a picture of the life and person of Jesus set firmly in our mind and let Him speak to us: ready?
“Just like Me (Jesus), let your love be genuine. Abhorring what is evil; holding fast to what is good. Loving one another with brotherly affection (reminds me of My dear friend, John, who called himself, 'the one whom Jesus loved'). Outdoing one another in showing honor (like when I washed My disciples’ feet). Like Me, bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them…and live in harmony with one another. Repay no one evil for evil. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but, just like I did, leave it to God the Father, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine. I will repay, says the Lord.' Instead, remember my parable of the Good Samaritan. If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink…do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:9-21)
“Put up with one another (you should have seen everything my disciples went through as they had to learn how to not only get along but genuinely love one another those three years we traveled together). Forgive (I remember poor Peter, heartbroken when he denied me yet I saw in him what My Father saw in him and set out to restore him gently, forgiving him completely). So pardon any offenses against one another, because I see the whole picture and each of you are all still in the making. Remember, I have pardoned you (that’s the whole reason I came) and you ought to act in kind. But above all these, put on love! Love is the perfect tie to bind these together.” (Col. 3:13, 14)
“Every time you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, you are living as sons and daughters of your Father who is in heaven.” (Mt. 5:44-45) “Again, like Me, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. Friends, I’m instructing you in how to reflect Me. And so, be merciful, even as your Heavenly Father is merciful." (Lk 6:27, 28,36)
Finally, remember one of my last prayers (on the cross), “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Lk 23:34).
This is the key to living freely. It is the key to reflecting Me. It’s the doorway to the abundant life that I came to give you. And I will be your help! So I leave you with this: “forgive others, loving them deeply from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22) for that is Who I Am. :)