As most of you know I am currently leading a Youth Group here in Wellington. We had service tonight, and let me start off by saying how absolutely awesome the students/teens are. We always have a great time with them and they are awesome young men and women of God.
Tonight we talked about a slightly more deep subject than usual. We discussed three things, How God perceives us, How others perceive us, and how we perceive ourselves.
Allow me to pose the same question to you? How do others perceive you and how do you perceive yourself? I can answer the first one for you.
If you are saved, born again, washed by the blood of Christ then here’s a beautiful example of how God, our Father, views you.
Genesis Chapter 27 gives an account of two young men, twins. Jacob and Esau. Esau was the first born of the twins, thus he was to be rewarded with His father’s blessing. Throughout this account we can replace Issac, the father, with God, our Father. Esau would be our brother Jesus, and we would be the deceiver, Jacob.
One day Issac, the father, tells the good son Esau (Jesus) that he wants him to go out into the wilderness and hunt something good to eat. Esau was a great hunter and a wonderful cook, so he went out to fetch his father something good to eat. Their mother overheard this exchange and called to her favorite son Jacob (the deceiver, you and me) and told him her plan to steal Esau’s blessing. He was to go and grab a couple of choice sheep from their flock and she was to prepare it while Esau was out. Jacob was then to take the sheep to his father and act as if he were the first born. Jacob answered saying, “Mom, my brother is hairy, really, really hairy. I know dad is going blind but he’d still be able to feel my skin and know it was me.” She simply told him to put on some of his brother’s clothes and glue some of the animal skin to his arms and let his father feel his arms.
So, Jacob did as he was told and everything went off without a problem. Issac felt his son’s arms and finally was convinced that it was his first born Esau.
God (Issac) has the power to bless us. Esau, the good son, the one whom Issac loved deserved the blessing. But Jacob, we, the scum, the sinner, the unrighteous are able to clothe ourselves like our older brother and receive our blessing. When God looks at us, he sees us… but he sees us clothed like Jesus. We are righteous because He is righteous. We are worthy because He is worthy. He gave up his rights so that we’d have them. He gave up His seat at the right hand of the Father to come to earth and be beaten and abused so that when the Father looks at us, the Father sees His Son, Jesus.
We are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Isn’t that good news?
Now that you know that God views you as His perfect son Jesus, how do other’s perceive you and how do you perceive yourself.
Other’s should see Christ when they see you. When the world comes at you, they should only see reactions and actions that Christ would have. If you have a banana in it’s casing and you were to squeeze it what would come out? Banana, right? What would come out if you were squeezed? The answer should be Jesus. What is inside of a banana casing? Banana. What is inside of you, the Christian- the answer should be Christ. When you are pressured, persecuted, mocked, SQUEEZED, Jesus should come gushing out of you. If other’s don’t view you as a mirror of Christ than it is time to re-evaluate your life.
Next, we went around the room and each student filled in the following blank: I perceive myself as _________________.
Many words were thrown around. Some of them were good ones like “Forgiving. A servant. Trustworthy. Giving.” Others said things like “Pessimistic. Short-tempered. Impatient.”
Then I asked them to tell me some words that describe Christ. “Loving, Caring, Honest, A Good Listener, Righteous, Holy, Just.” The list can go on and on and on.
These are the same characteristics that all of us should have. We should look into the mirror and see Jesus. We shouldn’t see the impatient selfish sinner. We should see the righteous, just, holy Christian following a lifestyle that mimics that of Christ.
Does your life mirror Christ’s?