Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Shining a Bit More - February 8, 2011

Good cold morning on this Tuesday. Yes, another week, another frozen Tuesday. Ah, hot coffee, that's the ticket! This cold snap isn't supposed to go as deep or last as long as that last one did; praise God for that! Infatuation: a term you probably haven't used since your teenage years. Back in those days we used the term a lot. A teenage girl or boy might have feelings for another, but we didn't credit those feelings as love. We would give them up to their infatuation. You might have used 'crush' as the way to describe the intense attraction a young person felt at a moment in time. As we grew older we began to recognize that love in a marriage or relationship is more of a decision. Once the initial intense feeling drifted away, the reality of the other side of that relationship began to set in. People are not perfect, and many a young person has awakened one morning to realize that the person he or she had an infatuation with is now a real person. The armor of that knight has become a little tarnished; the flowing locks of the damsel now have a kink or two in the flow. An annoying habit left unnoticed before might suddenly become a reason to ask, "Why did I choose this other person?"

When we repent of our sin and begin a new relationship with Christ, we may experience some of those same intense feelings we had during an infatuation period. But living with Jesus is not based on feelings. Instead our feelings we have for Jesus grow from the love he gives to us and that he grows in us toward the Father in Heaven. The decision to love Jesus will not wake up one morning to find that Jesus has grown an annoying habit. We will not look to Jesus and suddenly find imperfection that we overlooked before. I might look over and find my beloved cat slurping his nether regions, but I still keep him around. It isn't like that with Jesus! Quite the opposite really, it is Jesus who looks over and decides to keep me around.

Let's face it. We still have some sinful habits that might look a bit like a cat licking his nether regions. Our sin is a little gross, not fit for the public view, and certainly not something we would see in Heaven. Jesus looks beyond that to what He is making of us. He sees the glory of God the Father reflected in the finished product, while at the same time knowing full well that we are not fit for Heaven in our present state. More than that, Jesus sees our state before salvation takes place when we are still stuck in the filth of sin that stains this world. Yet, Jesus gave up his own life to ransom our lives on the cross. Only the greatest love could have made Jesus go to the cross for us.

Right now, you can look at your state and wonder how Jesus or anyone else could love you. Of course, looking at your sin and faults is looking in the wrong direction. We must look to Jesus and see in Him what He sees in us - the reflection of God's own glory and righteousness. We cannot see that in ourselves just yet, but trust in Jesus - He makes that reflection shine a bit more with each passing trial.

Have a glorious day in Christ!


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