The Real Jesus

And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  – John 1:14

I have begun to realize that people tend to make Jesus a better version of themselves.  Jesus, for the most part, is exactly like me, but better.  He hates the same stuff I hate; He loves the same stuff I love; He for certain can’t stand the people that I can’t stand.   But whereas I fail at following my own rules from time to time, He never fails.  What happens when we take this attitude is we never grow in true Godliness.  We never grow to be like the real Jesus.

Even right now, I am guilty.  I started out this year with a fast.  As soon as it was over, I transitioned into eating healthy and exercising.  As soon as I felt like I was making some real progress, I got zapped with sickness.  I haven’t been to work in a few days, and I just hate being miserable.  Now, I would never say it out loud, but something in me believes, “The Jesus I serve should not have allowed me to be sick after starting off the year so well.”   Do you see what I’m doing?  Nowhere in the Bible is that found, but In my heart, I believe that health is tied to some sort of performance.  In my heart, I think God owes me health.  The Bible so quickly and easily debunks these thoughts that I have.  I sit here reminding myself and telling myself that I live by what the Bible says . . . not what I think.

Recently, I heard someone actually say the statement, “Well, the Jesus I serve . . .”  As soon as I heard it, I wondered, “Have I done this?  Have I made Jesus who I want Him to be and not who He actually is?”  The context of the phrase was sending someone to hell.  They were basically saying that the Jesus they served wouldn’t send someone to hell for whatever reason.  Without thinking about it, the person made Jesus exactly like themselves.  They were relying on their own opinion instead of what the word of God says.  John 3:18 says, “he who does not believe is condemned already.”  Hell is every person’s default destination.  We don’t misbehave so much that God eventually decides to send us there.  It is where we are going anyway.  Heaven is made possible through belief.  Jesus came simply to make a way.  “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father, except through me.”  (John 14:6) Right now, you and I either trust Jesus with our eternity, or we do not.  In no way will any person’s additional thoughts or opinions change that.  

I like John 1:14 because I’ve begun to use it to take the opposite approach to how I feel.  For example, if I’m beating myself up because I feel like I let God down (as if I’m holding Him up), then I see Him as full of grace, assuring me that all is well.  If I’m excusing my sin time and time again and thinking it isn’t a big deal and He is cool with it, then I picture Him as full of truth saying something like, “neither do I condemn you, but go and sin no more.”  I guess I’m just all too aware that If I’m not careful, I will make Jesus way too much like me and I’ll really just end up serving myself . . . which is the easiest thing in the world to do.  

Lord, with all my heart, I want to serve the real You.  Reveal yourself to me.  Fill me with the Holy Spirit that Your Spirit may be my spirit.  I think too often I make my spirit Your Spirit.  Forgive me.  Help me be a good representation of who You really are.  You told Phillip one time, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.”  I’m asking You, Lord, could you make it so that when people see me, they see You?  Help me, grow me, heal me, lead me, and guide me.  There is and never will be another like You.  I pray for all who read this today.  Help us to impact this world for Your glory.  Amen.

About wednesdaymorningdevotional

I am just a nobody from Salem, South Carolina. I have been a math teacher now for 23 years. I have been publishing devotionals every Wednesday morning for about 10 years now. Thanks for stopping by.
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