He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
Nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isaiah 53:2-3 (ESV)
As I prepare for this weekend’s festivities, to celebrate our nation’s freedom, my thoughts keep drifting back to a post God laid on my heart over a year ago. It reminds where my true freedom comes from – His truth sets me free. I am praying as you celebrate the freedom of our nation this weekend, you will also celebrate the freedom available to us through Christ.
There was nothing in his appearance that we should desire him…He was despised…we esteemed Him not. These words haunt me. Could I have been face to face with Jesus in the flesh, and ignored Him because of how He looked? Would I have hid my face from Him? It breaks my heart to realize the answer is yes, because I do it today.
I pray as my journey continues I will be freed from the thinking that causes me to like certain people more than others, whether it is because of their appearance, their economic status, their personality, their talents, their popularity, or any other criteria. I pray I will learn to love others with Christ’s love. I see such a huge gap between how the world values people and how Christ values people. And unfortunately, my thinking is more aligned with the worldly values. Too often, I overlook others. And if I am overlooking them, then I am neglecting to love them. I wonder how different my life would be and my impact to the Kingdom would be, if my thinking and my heart were transformed to be more like Christ.
Jesus spent time with everyone. He didn’t overlook the children, or the strangers, or the tax collectors or the lepers. He came for the lost, the sinners, and the unlovely. He came for me. Now Jesus lives in me and I have the ability to love with His love. He commands me to love my neighbor as myself (Matt 22:39) and He commands me to love my enemies (Luke 6:27).
Ephesians 4:21 -24 (ESV) tells us:
assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds; and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Today I choose to be more like Him. I have confessed my sin of not loving others and I have asked the Holy Spirit to help me put on my new self, the one created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. I have asked for His love for others to be in my heart and in my mind.
Will you choose the same? Let us not hide our faces from Him today as they did when He was here in the flesh. Let us honor and glorify Him in all we say and do. Let us live in freedom!
Sheryl Pepple is an author and speaker for aNew Season/A Widow’s Might Ministries. She lives in Texas with her yellow lab, Super Duper Cooper, and spends time with her two daughters, her son-in-law, and her grandson. She is a seasoned traveler and loves to visit great snorkeling and diving areas. Her husband was killed by a drunk driver in September 2011 and she lost her brother, the victim of an unsolved murder, years ago. Sheryl feels blessed to be able to share how evident God’s grace and faithfulness is in her life.
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Want to read another article about living in freedom? Breaking Free by Kit Hinkle