Summary: This is a sermon on how we as christians are to reflect or protray Jesus in our lives. The truth is we may be the only picture of Jesus that someone may see.
The Portrait of a Christian
Everyone who are Christians looking at this picture of Jesus will have a similar picture form in their minds. We see a Jesus who loved, had compassion, brought mercy and grace. We see a Jesus who loved us so much that He willingly went to the cross to bear our sins and pay a debt that we could not pay. We see a Jesus who bridged the gap between man and God. But there are many people today who don’t see a similar Jesus when they look at Him. Some people see a picture of Jesus and they think who is this man, they never heard of him? Others look at a picture of Jesus and say oh yeah that was a great teacher in the ancient times but what he taught no longer has relevance in today’s world. Some people will say oh yes He was a student of Buddha’s and he was a great teacher. Then others such as Muslims will say yes He was one of the prophets sent by God to bring man back unto the path but was not the son of God and he did not die for man sins. The old saying be careful of what you say or what you do because you may be the only Bible someone may ever see. We are the portrait of Jesus that He has painted and left here on earth. It is sad to say but many of us do not make a good picture of Jesus. We do not reflect Him in our lives or in our daily walk.
A lady’s careless words came back to haunt her. As the Titanic slipped beneath the North Atlantic, London-born Lucy, Lady Duff Gordon, a dress designer with chic shops in London and New York City, turned to her secretary aboard lifeboat No. 1 and said, "There is your beautiful nightdress gone."
Lucy’s ill-timed comment, uttered over the screams of 1,500 victims stranded in the water, started a fateful chain of events.
"Two of the sailors said, ’It’s all right for you--you can get more clothes, but we have lost everything,’ " reports Sir Andrew Duff Gordon, Lucy’s great-nephew. Her sympathetic husband, Sir Cosmo, who had been given the nod to get into the lifeboat with his wife, later gave each of the seamen £5 ($360 today) to replace their belongings--a gesture that inadvertently sealed the couple’s fate.
Back in London, gossipy members of society accused Duff Gordon of bribing the crew to row the two-thirds empty craft from the scene without helping victims in the water.
In May 1912, a British inquest cleared Duff Gordon of the charge. But the damage to the couple’s reputation was permanent. Shunned in some circles, the Duff Gordons, who were unable to have children, drifted apart, though they never divorced. Cosmo died in 1931. Lucy’s business thrived for a time but went bankrupt before her death in 1935. For them at least, says Lucy’s biographer Meredith Etherington-Smith, "it was almost worse to survive than to go down."
Many today are so much more concerned with the worldly things that they forget that they are to be the picture of Jesus here on earth. Have we ever wondered why Jesus left us here in this dirty filthy world rack by sin after He saved? He has a purpose for us a mission for us to fulfill. That purpose is to be His picture to the world. We are to show the world Jesus through our lives, speech, and our love through the hard times that come our way. The way we react and respond is the picture that we reveal of Jesus in our lives. When we feel that the world is crashing down around and that everyone is out to get us or we feel that we are being mistreated our reaction is the picture of Jesus that the world sees. You see anyone can just react to a situation from our emotions of being hurt, mad, rejection, and everything else. But it takes a Christian that is a true portrait of Jesus to react with Jesus’ character and love. When we feel that we need to lash out in angry then we need to lash out with genuine love. God allows these stumbling block and trials to come our way so that we can show the world what Jesus has done for us. 1 Peter 1:13-23 teaches this
13Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 18Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 22Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.