Amplified Bible (AMP)
8 Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages).
Let us therefore, receiving a kingdom that is firm and stable and cannot be shaken, offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship, with modesty and pious care and godly fear and awe; Hebrews 12:28 AMP
King James Version (KJV)
5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you.
I have had two pastor’s wives that brought conviction to my heart by just being themselves. They never looked at me and told me my attitude was wrong, in fact quite the opposite. They never gave me lectures on what I was and what I should be. They just lived the LOVE of Jesus consistently in front of me. They put on no acts! The love they showed to EVERY SINGLE PERSON, was who they were and are to this day! They never rejected anyone! They loved all with the same fervency. That is what Jesus does! It was that very love in action that was given, even when they didn’t know they were being watched that brought GREAT conviction to my heart! It was so easy to love the ones who treated me kindly, and it was so easy to distance myself from those who didn’t. That ISN’T what Jesus would do.
Years ago there was a saying that became so popular it became the motto of some. “What would Jesus do?” otherwise known as WWJD. Of course, as with all Godly things, the world began to criticize it and pick it apart with some type of silly disapproval, and of course, Christians didn’t want to “offend” so they stopped saying it. Now you never hear it, but it would be good if we let that rattle around in our brains for some time, many times throughout the day. I know my behavior would face a choice and the choice would have to be made!
My current pastor’s wife is one of the women I am talking about, and no I am not trying to rack up brownie points because I don’t do that and because with her you don’t need to. In her eyes, you come with brownie points and you never lose them! I watched her “work” the altar yesterday. People who were not what others may have thought they ought to be would have been labeled by certain ones with the words “flake, fruity, can talk to them until you are blue in the face” were not passed over by this precious lady, but instead they were embraced, and as always, given a word of encouragement straight from the throne room of God!
This dear woman is constant in her love walk. She NEVER criticizes other people! That doesn’t mean she lives in la la land, but she choses love over shunning, discernment over judgement, and loves the most unloveable (in the eyes of the world)!
If people have had a reputation, she never lets that affect her attitude. She perseveres in love, knowing that it is love that brings change, conviction, and turns lives around! She is such an example of all that Jesus is, and all I want to be.
I have had another friend that is just like this, and funny, she is a retired pastor’s wife. This lady fed so much wisdom into me, when I was so very ignorant! She didn’t let my immaturity or ignorance affect her love and ministry to and for me. I have seen this precious lady pray for people who were literally demon possessed and have seen those very people melt into her open arms, literally! I have seen them cry out to God for forgiveness and deliverance when nothing else moved what seemed to be hearts of stone. Why? Because deep inside all of us the most innate need, the thing we all need over anything else is love; and love she gave! People were drawn to this love! She didn’t need any type of program to get people saved. She literally loved them into the Kingdom of God!
Again, I never heard one negative word come from her mouth! She didn’t talk about her flock. She didn’t tell you how the “cow ate the cabbage” so she was always approachable and you knew you could tell her anything and it would always be kept in confidence! You knew she would never judge you, and she had the gentlest way of correcting you….just like Jesus!
Notice, in both of these women certain words are repeated over and over in the description of each. Those words are love, gentleness, never judging, correcting in love, no favorites, never talking about the sheep, and just like Jesus.
I cry as I write this, and I look at my life and see some parts that are fragmented. Yes, there are some people who refuse to let the conviction of the Holy Spirit change them. With these people you cannot be their “best buddy”, after you have given effort after effort to help them. At that point you have to let the Holy Spirit deal with them. But, when you see that person, do you turn your head away and pretend you didn’t? Do you cringe inside when you hear their name? Are you happy when you hear they are doing well and would you greet them with a hug, and truly be joyful they are being blessed and are being a blessing?
We don’t have time for personality clashes anymore! God has never said to me, “I just can’t be around you much, Juliana, because your personality just doesn’t mesh with Mine.” He has never looked away when He saw me coming. He has never acted like he didn’t recognize or know me, EVER!! He has never NOT approved of me ( He may not have approved of my behavior at the time, but He has always approved of ME!).
You have to leave the dead to bury the dead, or in other words, leave past dead things alone. You can’t call to memory every fault you have ever known in a person when that person has obviously come to God and is forgiven and changed by Him. You can’t be on someone’s side that isn’t walking in love instead of God’s, whose unconditional love is ever-present. Who do you serve, my friend?? Man or God? Who do you value the opinion of most? Man’s or God’s? God said you better be concerned with what He thinks over what man thinks because He is the one Who has the power to send your soul to hell. Man is but a vapor and is here for only a little while. In other words, God is the one you will answer to, not people.
What if God’s children had not accepted Paul because of his past? I tell you, if there was any reason to fear anyone, when Paul was Saul, he gave every single reason to fear and tremble. He ordered executions of Christians and held the coats of the people who stoned Stephen and looked on in approval!! BUT, when God changed him the course of the future and history was changed! God sent word to Ananias to accept Saul, for he had dealt with him and he wasn’t who he was before! Ananias told the people and their response was shock, BUT because God had said it, they received him with love! When Paul was being sent on a mission journey, they cried for him not to leave them, for fear they may never see him again! Oh, that is the love of God manifested in the flesh!!
Are we like that today? Are we Christ-like when it is convenient, when we want to impress someone, or is that truly our nature and character? What would Jesus do? Do we get an answer of something He would NEVER do when we ask that? Change is a good thing, and to take a very honest look at ourselves is the beginning of wisdom! I know I have some tweaking myself that MUST and WILL take place! Nothing is worth the loss of our witness and walking according to the flesh, which includes anger, resentment, and judgement will zap you of your credibility every single time!
Blessings to you, precious reader! Walk in the motto of “What would Jesus do?” and don’t let anyone or anything talk you out of it! It wouldn’t hurt to ask, “What would Jesus NOT do?” Pour out the love of God, that causes others to bloom in Him and in their lives! That is what Jesus did when He poured His very life out for us! Go with God as God goes with you! I will see you next time! Juliana