What if in every person you encountered – the person of a different ethnic group or religion, the person promoting a different political party, the homeless person, the disrespectful teenager, the loud mouth know-it-all, the person buying what you deem unnecessary with their welfare card, the town drunk, the prostitute selling her body – you saw the glory of God in them. How would you treat them?
When Jesus came to the end of His earthly ministry, He made this statement:
“I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”” John 17:26 NIV
Jesus came during a time when the religious leaders cared more about rules, more about keeping God’s laws than demonstrating the love of God, the Father’s heart. Jesus came to reveal the heart of the Father so that we could love people like God loves Jesus. Think about that for a moment.
Now, this is in no way meant to bring condemnation. This past week as a teacher, I have not seen the glory of God in many a teenager. If I am to be completed honest, I have been a little mean to my first period class. But the good news is this, “Jesus continues to reveal the Father’s heart – to make Him known – so that I can have a greater revelation of how much I am loved and then in turn love others more (even my first period class).
So the next time you encounter someone who is difficult to love, someone whose lifestyle choices with which you disagree, someone you have been taught to fear, someone who annoys you, someone who has mistreated you, view it as an invitation to know the Father more. View it as an opportunity for Jesus to continue revealing the heart of the Father, so that we can love others as God loves Jesus.
Pray this with me: “Jesus continue to reveal God’s love, His character, His heart to me so that I can love people where they are in life. Help me see the glory of God in every person I encounter. Help me love unconditionally as you have loved me. Amen.”