I had a dream last night, and in that dream, I heard the words “Make your life something that people want to copy.” It was clear, and stuck with me, even as much of the rest of the dream is muddled (there was a lot of praising God in it, I know that!). And I woke up with that on my mind, but it shifted to a personal prayer that said “Lord, let my life be a compass that points people to You.” And I’ve been praying this all morning, even as I studied, worked, and spoke to the guests and volunteers around the church: “Lord, let my life be a compass that points people to You.” And this, I pray, dear loved ones, is something I hope you pray each moment of each day as well.
To follow Jesus, we don’t have to have it all together. We should be striving to follow Jesus, yes, but this is why we confess our failures, fears and doubts to Christ and to one another, that we may be lifted up in prayer and through the Word. Every one of us has and continues to fall short of God’s standards: our self-inclination usually gets in the way of righteousness and Holiness. But as we strive for Holiness, as Christ’s love pours in to us, and His love pours out of us into all others, we become more and more like Him. We begin to love God as He loves God, and love all others (even our enemies) as He loves them, being willing, even, to die for them. We should submit our lives to Christ because we love Him, but as we do, we should also ask God to use us so that others may be pointed to our Hope, that in that Hope they may also know Jesus. “Lord, let my life be a compass that points people to you.” Amen.
2 Corinthians 5:11-21
Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.