Thursday, September 10, 2009


To be Christ-like is to acknowledge Jesus in others. In my travels I meet many precious men and women whom I know are given wholly to the Lord. The moment I meet them, my heart leaps. Even though we’ve never met before, I have a witness from the Holy Spirit that they are full of Christ.


I can still see some of their faces: pastors, bishops, poor street evangelists. And the moment I met them, I realized without a word being spoken, “This man has been with Jesus. This woman is satisfied in Christ.” In greeting them, I always say the one thing I would want othes to say of me: “Brother, sister, I see Jesus in you.”


Christ-likeness has to do with how I treat those outside my family, loving others as he loves us. Yet it also means loving our enemies—those who hate us, who despitefully use us, who aren’t capable of loving us. And we’re to do this expecting nothing in return. Loving this way is impossible, in human terms. There aren’t any how-to books, any sets of principles, or any amount of human intelligence to show us how to love our enemies as Christ loved us. Yet we are commanded to do it. And we are to do it with an ever-increasing purpose.

So, how do we do it? How do I love the Muslim who spit in my face a block from our church? How do I love the people who run Internet websites calling me a false prophet?  How do I love homosexuals who parade down Fifth Avenue carrying signs declaring, “Jesus Was Gay”? How do I truly love them in Christ? I don’t even know how to love other Christians in my own ability.


It has to be the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus prayed to the Father, “That the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26). Christ asks the Father to put his love in us. And he promises that the Holy Spirit will show us how to live out that love.


The Holy Ghost will faithfully gather up all the ways Christ loved others and show it to you (John 16:15). Indeed, the Spirit delights in showing us more of Jesus. It’s the reason he dwells in our bodily temples: to teach Christ to us. “Ye shall know him: for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you…He shall teach you all things” (John 14:17:26).