Saturday, July 06, 2013

What Does Christ Look Like?

Cowboys in Asheville
What does Christ look like? A fitting title for a documentary movie series. Many artists have depicted Christ in paintings. Others have carved his likeness into statues that sit in cathedrals and viewed by travelers needing inspiration. Recently a television series gave us a look at Christ from a directors perspective. Many movies have cast actors to play the role of Christ and as many have given a different personality to the role. And still people seek to know, what does Christ look like?

I've been in full time ministry service since 1999. Not by a church commission or denomination ordination, but of the calling God put on my life. In 2005 I was ordained as a minister. Each of my callings is taken with great regard to my ministry. Sitting a pew waiting for something to happen or to get involved with a church committee has never been my calling nor my desire. Many years ago I felt God did not need me in a church building to do His work. So that calling turned into a ministry. Over the years I have seen why he has done this. The organization that calls itself the church is flawed and many times misguided in the pursuit of its function. Yes, great men have preached sermons that moved people to change their lives and live for Christ. This is the church Christ intended. To make disciples, teach Gods love through Christ grace and duplicate it through other people. Yet we have made God into an industry. A copyright forging of facilities, books, teachings and music. All in the inspirational name of God who we claim it all came from. Yet we collect the profits and royalties of our officially licensed merchandise. What does Christ look like?

That's getting a little too deep but do you get the picture? Christ told the disciple's in Mark 16:15 to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation." Immediately the disciples rushed out, created a business plan, formed an LLC, compiled an outline for a teaching series, hired an agent and a management firm, wrote a book and struck a publishing deal for the rights to the material. If we feel called to ministry that's what we do. Some more better at it than others. No, they struck out then and there spreading the news that Christ lives and changes lives. Even at the cost of their own lives. Peter didn't rush out and finish his MBA or go get his MDIV. They started at the point they were at and went from there.

"What does Christ look like?" You may answer he looked like a young man of Jewish decent. Biologically you would not be wrong. That's not the question I'm asking. The question I am asking is for today, 2013. If we, the body of Christ, are called to do His work it is my belief that Christ looks like you and me. Let's not confuse this with a "Jesus complex" I don't have special powers nor do I claim to be a savior of anything. Christ lives in me and because of this I want to go tell other people about Christ and His message of grace. It's His power not mine. Over the years my ministry has been concerts, cowboy events, rodeos and horse shows. This year our ministry has been NASCAR at a local track in Tennessee and rodeos.

This week I had the opportunity to meet Tim and Lynn Tuggle who are riding horseback across America sharing Jesus with everyone they meet and asking people to pray for our military and our country. Their ministry is called Disciples of Jesus Horsemen. That is what Christ looks like. To the men, women and children they have met Tim and Lynn are representing Christ. It's not always comfortable or easy. It's what Christ told us to do, "Go and tell the world the Good News of Jesus Christ!"

Let's wrap this up. Is the picture getting clearer? What does Christ look like? Once you ask Christ into your own life Christ is you. The kind word, a helping hand, going out of your way to help someone when you are too busy with your own schedule and you do it anyway. When Christ is the center of your life all of these tasks become a mission. The love, forgiveness and grace that Christ gave to us by dying on the cross for our sins now resides in you and me because we ask Him to take up first place in our lives. Christ will take you right where you are and makes you into the kind of person He wants you to be.

Today why don't you ask Christ to live in your heart. Say this prayer, Dear Lord Jesus I am a sinner, I ask you to forgive my sins. Jesus you died for my sins and rose from the dead. Make me into the kind of person you want me to be. I give my life over to you as my Lord and Savior. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

This is what Christ looks like.