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Each one of us is a part of the Body of Christ. As Christians, we are called to be holy and follow in His steps; this means both immense responsibilities and a great opportunity for growth in Him. It means that we are to be a reflection of Christ.
When we represent Christ in us, It’s essential that God lives inside of us, wanting to radiate out from our words (thoughts), attitudes & actions, and how we love others as He loves us.
God wants to empower us as we talk, live, and think. He desires His Word to flow out of our mouths into this sin-sickened world desperately in need of spiritual healing!
That is a description of what we read about in the New Testament. People showing the reflection of Christ in a Christ-less world.
We were saved to spend the rest of our lives as a reflection of Christ. Our reflection of Him is the closest thing to Christ that most will ever see.
Think about that for a moment. If someone doesn’t know Jesus, they can see our reflection of Christ in how we treat them, love them and be His hands and feet on earth. Wow, that is a significant thought.
Let’s consider this following truth:
Living as a Reflection of Christ IS Possible
God has charged us with living a Christ-reflecting life, no matter what the world or society may be like around us. That call to be a reflection of Christ in our lives has been the same for every believer from Adam and Eve onward.
Let’s look at two men who did just that.
Joseph did in Egypt.
Four thousand years ago in ancient Egypt, a young man named Joseph lived out his life with such spiritual reflection that even though he was sold into slavery and away from family, there were those who said that the Spirit of God was in him.
Daniel did in Babylon.
Daniel also lived in such a way that 2,500 years ago, as a prisoner of war, he was carried away captive by the army that slaughtered his people and destroyed his nation. He stood reflecting God before the King of Babylon.
That leads us to Colossian 3:12-14 and this truth:
We Can Be a Reflection of Christ in Difficult Times or Surroundings
When we reflect Christ in any way, it is proof of the grace God has shown us. Only He can turn stained and fallen creatures like ourselves into a beautiful reflection of Christ.
We are all divinely handed the opportunity to be a reflection of Christ, but it’s up to us whether we want Him to be seen in us.
If Christ is not seen in our life by people around us, it is because we don’t want Him to be, not because God cannot shine through us. We must want to be a reflection of Christ. We must ask to be reflections of His grace and power. That is what Paul explained to the Colossians.
How We Can Be a Reflection of Christ In a Harsh, Difficult World
The world of the New Testament was not a soft and comfy place. It’s tough times like hard-hitting physical labor, hunger for food or water (just to mention three), and constant danger from enemies who want nothing more than your life.
The Roman culture was not known for being gentle. On the contrary, they delighted in power, might, and crushing defeats of enemies with harshness that slowly wore away at them over time.
We are living in a cold and cruel time. One where we either reflect the culture around us or be a reflection of Christ.
Think over this past week:
Who did you reflect most clearly this past week? The world or Christ?
Did you reflect Christ in your behavior and attitude? In your words?
Were you a reflection of Christ in your compassion for the poor, needy, rejected, hungry, or the harsh world around us?
Evil company corrupts good manners, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians, quoting a Greek poet. Christ’s command to show compassion and love for others is often forgotten in our day-to-day lives.
Here in the city where Roman culture is centered, Paul speaks of compassion.
Compassion Comes By Putting on and Reflecting Christ
We can find compassion by embracing Christ’s desires for us. Paul calls this “putting on” or wearing our faith in tangible form and wanting what God wants so much that we ask Him to change us.
When I allow the compassion of Jesus Christ to flow through me, it fills up every part of my being and motivates action.
Surrendering to the Holy Spirit is like driving a car. When driving, if we want a new driver, we pull the car to the side of the road. Then stop and put the car in park.
Then we take out the keys, get out, walk around to the passenger side, and allow another driver to sit behind the wheel. Then as we hand over the keys and seat belt, we are being driven by another. In the life of a believer, that Another is God. When He is allowed to drive, He displays Christ and enables us to be a reflection of Christ.
Let’s return to life during Colossians 3. A professor at Dallas Seminary described the first Century this way:
“Taxes were high; wages were low, hypocrisy was rampant; honesty was rare. Freedom was gone; Roman rule was hard. The rich were getting richer; the poor were always struggling. Morality was ebbing; rebellion was brewing; cruelty was reigning.”
When Paul wrote to Romans in his letter to the Colossian church, he urged them to “put on Christ” in very powerful ways. One way to live out the truths of this scripture is what we read in Isaiah 58. God, there explains how we should:
We are to demonstrate Christ’s love for the poor, needy, outcast & afflicted in the world around us.
God calls us to be loving and compassionate towards those around us. This is one way that you can show your love for God and be a reflection of Christ in action by helping someone else out when they need it most!
Not everyone was responsible for beating and leaving a man dead along the road. Just those who traveled that road.
We must never forget that our love and compassion for those that God puts in our path is contagious.
God has designed a plan for your life – it’s not just about me. The hope of glory, Christ in you. That’s what Paul hoped to share in His letter.
Compassionate People Are a Reflection of Christ
In this sin-filled world, we still find God’s grace. When we seek Him, and we become a reflection of Christ, He provides us with living water to quench our thirst and moisten dry earth!
In a world covered in darkness, we are vessels of light. We are reflecting the Light of the World Who lives in us.
In this sin-covered starving world, we share the Bread of Life Who lives in us.
In this sin-enslaved world, we know the Truth who lives within us and can guide others to how He can set them free.
In this world blinded by sin, our sight has been restored by Jesus, and we want to share His touch with others so they may be turned from darkness to light.
God Promises to Bless His Children
God’s love is the most crucial thing in our lives, and He loves to bless His children. Through His Spirit, we are given tangible blessings that show His overpowering presence and love for us.
Each of these blessings is a reflection of Christ in us, shining through us and flowing out of us. It isn’t us. It is never about us.
We can call this state “Enlightened Living.” It’s what Jesus talked about when He said that if you followed His commands to ”not walk in darkness” but instead have light of life.
We can call this the Strengthened Living that Jesus spoke of when He promised in the Gospels to all that follow Him, that they would like Him “have food to eat that you do not know about….”
We can call this the Holy Living that Jesus spoke of when He promised in the Gospels to all that follow Him, that they would “hunger and thirst for righteousness.”
We can call this the Secured Living that Jesus spoke of when He promised in the Gospels to all that follow Him that they would know that “behold, I am with you always….”
We can call this the Godward Living that Jesus spoke of when He promised in the Gospels to all that follow Him that they would find that “whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”
We can call this the Confident Living that Jesus spoke of when He promised in the Gospels to all that follow Him that they would have “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you….”
The form you have selected does not exist.
Isaiah 58:11b (ESV) Satisfy your desire in scorched places
We can call this the Satisfied Living that Jesus spoke of when He promised in the Gospels to all that follow Him that they would “have life and have it abundantly.…”
We can call this the Renewed Living that Jesus spoke of when He promised in the Gospels to all that follow Him, that they would “be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.…”
Putting On Christ Allows us to be Reflections of Christ
The blessings we have in our lives are just a reflection of Christ living inside us and shining through.
It isn’t us. It is never about us.
Are you a reflection of Christ or this world?
In the Old Testament is Christ concealed. In the New Testament is Christ revealed.
How are you a reflection of Christ Today?
You may enjoy this pictorial documentary of the reflection of Christ:
5 Ways to Be a Reflection of Christ
As I’ve been thinking about the qualities that set godly believers apart – the qualities I want to shine in my own life – I’ve found five things that can help us be a more accurate reflection of Christ to our world.
1. Spend more time with Jesus
As we spend time with Jesus, He will integrate into our lives and make us more like Him.
2. Ask the Holy Spirit to change you from the inside out
Jesus knew that if we want to be more like him, then it is time for us all to make some changes in our lives. He told people who were following him not to just rely on what they are doing but rather ask God for his help so He could fill them with the fruit of the Spirit.
3. Show a genuine interest in others
In a world filled with people more interested in taking the best selfies, ask God to give you a genuine interest in getting to know others. Talk less about yourself and do more listening. Ask God to see people through his eyes. And a heart to love them as He does.
4. Make yourself available
Jesus was always willing to be interrupted. He also had an infectious quality that made people want to be around him no matter how busy He got with other tasks demanding attention at the time.
I pray for the willingness to stop what I’m doing now and tangibly love others – even if there are many things vying for my focus.
5. Give God the glory
If we want to live like Jesus, then it’s important that the Lord always be at the center. When He works in and through our lives, let’s give Him all of the credit; when things go wrong or fail altogether – as they often will — let us humble ourselves before Him by trusting fully into His capable hands and still giving Him glory! In everything you do And anytime– Praise eternal!!!
Let Me Be a Reflection of Christ, Oh, God!
We all have things that are preventing us from being a reflection of Christ. In order to change this, it’s important for us to spend time with Jesus by sitting at His feet or beholding His beauty. This will lead us into looking less like ourselves but rather resembling our Savior greatly as well because when we become like Him we’ll be able to reflect His love to others.
You may also enjoy one of these recommended resources for further study:
Love Without Conditions: Reflections of the Christ Mind by Paul Ferrini
REFLECTIONS OF CHRIST: HYMNS OF OUR SAVIOR VARIOUS ARTISTS 12 SONGS
ESV – “Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”