Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
1 John 4:17
Easter Sunday was a big deal for the Gaston household when I was growing up. My mother, the quintessential celebrator of all holidays, went all in! Dying eggs and egg hunts, jellybeans, chocolate bunnies, and Peeps (my sister would only eat them if they’d sat out for a day or so and were hard) to fill the Easter baskets. I’d have a new dress with ruffles and lace (I hated ruffles and lace), new patent leather shoes from Thom Mcan, Easter bonnets (which I hated more than ruffles and lace) with fresh Shirley Temple curls cascading beneath.
I knew, though, chocolate bunnies, eggs, and Shirley Temple curls were not at the crux of Easter. I knew what the day truly represented, though as a child, I didn’t fully understand the implications of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. I knew He suffered for me; I knew He bore my sins for me. I knew that my belief in Him and what He’d done meant forgiveness and heaven when I died, but what did His death and resurrection mean for me in this life? What were the present implications and, yes, benefits for me— every believer—in this life?
As we celebrated Resurrection Sunday 2023, my pastor John W. Stevenson shared this thought: He is Alive! As He is, so are we! Immediately, Holy Spirit reminded me of something He’d spoken to me years ago, centering around 1 John 4:17:
So our love for him grows more and more, filling us with complete confidence for the day when he shall judge all men—for we realise that our life in this world is actually his life lived in us. (JB Phillips Translation).
These words give us, in part, a better understanding of what the finished work of Jesus Christ means for us here and now. Hear as God speaks:
“My Child, a key to living the life that I have called you to live—one that reflects the very life of Christ—is found in truly understanding that as He is, so are you in this world. Not as He is, you someday will be, but as He is, you are. Not as He is you will be when you get to heaven, but as He is, so are you in this world.
How is He? Often you think about how He is not: He is not sick. He is not poor. Or you think of the victory and power He has over the enemy, and all of that is true. But I ask you now, how is He? What is He like? For as He is, so are you in this world.
He is compassionate. He is faithful, just, and true. He is giving. He is creative. He is gentle yet bold. He is merciful. He is gracious. He is totally submitted to His Father’s will and way. He is obedient. He is joyful. He is whole! He is one with His Father. He is confident in who He is. He is constant. He is consistent. He is the Anointed One. He is truth. He is Love.
And as He is, so are you in this world.
A popular question is: “What would Jesus do?” He would do what is consistent with His nature. All He does flows from Who He is. And so, it must be with you.
If you are as He is, you will do what He did.
What would Jesus do? He would spend time with Me in prayer, in worship. He would only speak what He hears Me speak; He would only do what He sees Me do. He would walk in the power and authority given Him. He would daily confront the powers of darkness. He would challenge religious systems and the lies of the enemy. He would heal the sick, cast out demons, feed the hungry, raise the dead and preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God. He would love men back to the Father. He would give His life.
What He did flowed from who He was. What He does flows from who He is.
And as He is, so are you in this world…
I can’t help but wonder how much the world would change if we, who profess our faith in Christ, lived every moment from this reality and shared it with others.
Live Christ and change your world!
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What a beautiful, comforting, truthful, thought-provoking, life-inspiring word! Thank You Father and Pastor Deborah!