I was challenged recently (as I often am 🙂 ) by a comment made by Timbob on his blog Grace County. He said, “are people truly seeing Jesus in me or are they seeing a form of godliness?”

This caused me to consider how I might be seen by those around me, by friends and strangers, brothers and sisters in Christ, and the lost. When they look at me, do they see Jesus, or just some form of godliness? Do they think that I’ve got a handle on life, embrace faith, and it is working for me? Or do they think that I’m a good person, and figure that’s just the way I am?

The following scripture came to mind as I pondered these questions:

“He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:31

What does this mean?

“Thus says the Lord; ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-24

“Glory that he understands Me, that I am the Lord…” followed by what it is the Lord does in the earth! This is what we must present to those around us. The first thing God does, is exercise lovingkindness.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all the mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-2

We can believe and operate in the grace and power of God, yet if we have not love, we are nothing. The Father is Love. The Son is Love. If He abides in us, we will be love. Do not be fooled, “if I have not love, I am nothing.”

Continuing on, verse 3 says: “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”  Our good works done in our own glory, even to the death, profit nothing.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:21-23

Jesus makes it clear, we can only know the Father and His will if we know the Son. If we love Him with a sincere heart and desire only His glory then we will display His love to those around us. Our confidence is in Jesus Christ; His love displayed to others is the evidence of the Holy Spirit reigning in our lives.

This post is much longer than intended, so I shall close now with a final scripture in the Amplified Version. May we all seek His glory, delight in and declare His lovingkindness, judgment and righteousness in the earth, that all may see Jesus through us.

1 Corinthians 13:4-13 

“4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. 5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. 6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. 7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. 8Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth]. 9For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect). 10But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded). 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside. 12For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as [in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God]. 13And so faith, hope, love abide [faith–conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope–joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love–true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.”