Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Reflecting the Heart of God

Sunday was wonderful day at Centerpointe. The atmosphere of expectation and gratitude filled the building as we talked about reflecting the heart of God. It is a privilege, and also a great responsibility, to be chosen by God to reflect the image of His Son to the world. We, The Church, are the first glimpse the world has of Jesus. 

Ephesians 3:10 says, “God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” 

The only way to be a true reflection of Jesus is by getting to know his heartbeat. The way we get a taste of His great heart is by reading Jesus’ prayers and studying his mission, message, motivation and actions. Let’s walk through them one at a time:

Jesus’ Prayer: Unity - Unity is much more on the heart of God than we think. One of the things that most impresses the world is the way Christians love each other and live together in harmony.

Jesus’ Mission: Freedom - Sin is a cruel taskmaster, but Jesus sets us free. One of my favorite movies is Amazing Grace. There is one scene where John Newton says to William Wilberforce, “I know two things, I am a great sinner and Christ is the great Savior.” To that I say a big, “AMEN!”

Jesus’ Message: The Kingdom, Repentance, Forgiveness – God’s Kingdom has a different set of rules, and the rules change everything. His Kingdom is not taken by physical force, but with humility and repentance, which leads to forgiveness. If we are to reflect God’s heart, we must be the best at forgiving. It’s the most like Jesus we can be.

Jesus’ Motivation: Compassion - Matthew 9:35–38 tells us that when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus was physically moved when he saw the condition of mankind. Jesus loves people and responds to their needs.

Jesus’ Action: Serving – This is more mechanical than mysterious. Jesus set the example when he was teaching about serving. He humbled himself and washed the disciples feet, and gave them this simple instruction, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:13). Serving was going to be the foundation of the church. 

What does this mean for The Church? This is not rocket science. In fact, it’s pretty simple – simple enough to use three small phrases:

Love God… Love People… Serve the World.

That’s it.

We must be passionately in love with Jesus and desire to seek him with all our heart, mind and strength.

We must love each other as Christ loved us. We can start with the people closest to us, and work our way outward, but we cannot stop with just a few.

Finally, we must serve the world. Philippians 2:5-8 says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself and become obedient to death – even death on a cross.”

Here are two questions for you to consider: 

Over the last week, in what ways did you reflect the heart of God?

What do you need to do today, this week and this month, to move you closer to reflecting the heart of God? 

For Further Discussion:

If you are in the Fairfax area on Wednesday night, I want to extend a special invitation to you to join us as we continue to discuss how we can reflect the heart of God. We will meet at Centerpointe Church at Fair Oaks at 7:00 PM. I would love to see you there.

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