Jesus with skin on

[Jesus] brings what is impossible for us to do into reality through His power.

People want to see Jesus with skin on, not some idea of who Jesus might be or a representative of an organization claiming to act in his name.  They want to see HIM in believers.  They want to see a life that has been changed by the truth of His Word and the power of His Spirit.  They want to see how God can change a life to express love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23).

Practically speaking, what does Jesus with skin on look like?  For me, it was a check-out person at a Walmart in St. Louis who prayed for me while I was buying supplies for a hospital stay.  I was wearing a “Parent” tag from the Barnes-Jewish Hospital when our son was very ill.  Her kindness what just want I needed.  For my wife, it was a cleaning lady at the same hospital who took time to talk with her and pray for her and our son.  The compassion of these Christian people exemplified the love and grace of God when we were far from our support in Webb City.

Romans 12:10-21 and Luke 17:3-19 give us practical insight about how to lean into the power of the Word and Spirit and demonstrate Jesus with skin on.  Romans talks about taking the high road and treating others well, even better than we might naturally think they deserve.  Recognizing the pain in others and touching them with the love of Christ by honoring them, serving them, being joyful and patient, and hospitable toward others awakens the power of God in us because God blesses what His heart is in.

The passage in Romans goes even further to talk about how to address the wounds we receive from others.  Paul tells us to not repay evil with evil, don’t take revenge, continue to care for those who hurt you, and to overcome evil with good. Jesus adds forgiveness to these action steps in Luke 17:3-19. The passage in Luke 17 ends with Jesus healing 10 lepers thereby demonstrating his power to bring the humanly impossible into reality.

As we lean into Jesus, he does for our character what he did for the lepers.  He brings what is impossible for us to do into reality through His power. We know all too well we can’t live out Romans 10 and Luke 17 by our own willpower.  We need Jesus to bring these qualities into our lives.  When He does, we become “Jesus with skin on” for others to see.  This week, the Scripture challenges us to step into the truth of Romans 12 and Luke 17.  We do so by asking Jesus to help us be more like him and so experience the power and joy of a life that is being transformed to be more like Him.

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