Summary: Accomplishing the will of God includes properly representing all He is.

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READING: Mark 16; Matthew 7

Three small boys were in a Christmas play at school.

They represented the three wise men and they were to give their gifts to baby Jesus. The first boy stepped forward, held out the gift in his hands and said, “Gold.” The second boy stepped forward, held out his gift and said, “Myrrh.” The third boy stepped forward, held out his gift and said, “Frank sent this.”

This lesson is meant to help us recognize: Accomplishing the will of God includes properly representing all He is.

In The Name

The story above is humorous largely because it is an honest mistake made by a small child whose heart was certainly in the right place. The reason I use it though is to contrast how as adults it isn’t quite so humorous when we present the Gift but lose the message. There are a few ways that happens. One by presenting the wrong message, as in saying, “I present to you Jesus, and if you’ll stop what you’re doing, you may indeed gain His grace.” Another might be, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden and I will show you rest in Jesus.” The former presents Jesus with a false message. The latter presents Jesus as the Answer so long as you access Him through the presenter (This could also be presented as “come to my church to find Jesus”). Both messengers get the Name of Jesus out there, but with both there are hidden strings attached that tie the free Gift to the presenter.

Living It Out

Paul lived it this way, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). It isn’t enough to simply quote the verse. We must live it. By saying “I determined” Paul shows a decision and concerted effort to watch over his words and conduct in such a way that no one’s attention would be drawn to him.

So That Others See Christ

Our objective is not that others see Christ in me, but rather that they see Christ instead of me. We must present the love of Christ so convincingly that it once again compels people to come to Him. Yes, we live it out. Yes there are great signs and wonders God desires to do through us that people will honor Him. At the end of the Day, there are only three things that will see us through: faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13) and between now and then only one thing that matters, faith expressing itself through love (Galatians 5:6). Paul also said that we who are of the day must be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:8).

Not My Will But Yours

When Jesus prayed to the Father in the garden it’s likely He thought passing on this particular cup, the cup of the sacrifice of His life, might not hinder the purpose of God. Nevertheless Jesus lays down his own flesh and prays “not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). Our problem tends to be that we recognize that Jesus has given us orders to spread His Gospel, but we veer off course by then believing that God’s will is to do it according to our personal desires and present abilities.

Moses was raised in the luxuries of a Pharaoh, but recognized in his heart he was a child of God, a Jew. Using his own knowledge and ability he tried defending the Jews and became an outlaw instead of deliverer. For 80 years God taught him to be something other than a spoiled rich kid, relying on might, position and wealth to accomplish what God had placed in his heart. At the point he was truly humbled, God raised him up from obscurity and empowered him to lead His people to freedom.

Share The Love

In the year ahead it has never been more important that we determine to share the love of Jesus. It is no longer a question of whether we love enough, but that we show others the love Jesus has expressed, knowing this, that we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). The Gospel, the Good News, is the story of that great love, and the Great Commission is to share that love with as many as possible plus one more. We’re not sharing our love, but His. We don’t rely on our talents, but His. We don’t craft great speeches but let His Words of love pour through us. As Paul said, “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31). Our greatest calling then is not to figure out some way to use our great abilities to promote this Kingdom, but is simply to let this great love loose from us and committing everything God blesses us with to that end.

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