My grand daughter celebrates her first birthday today. Even though she lives 1200 miles from Austin, TX, we have managed to see each other at least once a month. In addition to those visits, FaceTime helps us stay connected, and my daughter-in-love has faithfully kept the grandparents up to date with a daily photo.
Hearing the alert on my phone, notifying me of a text message from Lauren, I eagerly view the “pic of the day.” Besides being super photogenic, Caroline is exceptionally smart! (Remarks only a first-time grandmother would make.) When her mommy says cheese, Caroline strikes a pose and smiles a smile that will light up the room. As a matter of fact, her birthday verse is Matthew 5:14 (Get the connection of 5/14 and Matt 5:14?):
“You are the Light of the world.”
Posing for a picture is something most of us do, but I was intrigued when the word “poser” was used in my Beth Moore Bible study (Children of the Day page 195). My computer dictionary described a poser as “someone who tries hard to be something they aren’t.”
Someone who claims to be following Christ but actually isn’t.
Realizing that I once would have been labeled a poser myself was very disheartening. Like Caroline, I learned how to pose very quickly—almost to perfection. I thought going to church, teaching Sunday school, and being a basically “good” person was enough. Honestly, I wasn’t trying to be deceitful. Simply ignorant of what a personal relationship with Jesus looked like. At my church, the Gospel wasn’t preached. No one ever told me!
After God led me to different church, the light went off. I realized Who was missing in my life. While my faith walk has progressed in God’s perfect timing, I can’t help but think of what if.
What if I had heard the Gospel message earlier? Would I have been receptive then or remained a poser for a few more years?
As I have pondered that question for several weeks, God has been pounding me with a persistent message. Instead of wondering about the past and what if, my focus should be on what now? Now that I do know Jesus. Below are a few examples of what I’ve been hearing:
*During one of my morning Scripture readings God showed me 1 Chronicles 16:24:
Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
*A few days ago, God gave me the following message from Dave Peterson in “The High Calling Daily Reflecion”:
“If you know Jesus you are on a mission with Him. And wherever you go, Jesus will change the world for the better through you. And now that you know you also must go and you must do.”
*Visiting a Presbyterian Church in Fort Worth, TX with a friend, God arranged for us to sing the perfect hymn:
“Today We All Are Called to Be Disciples of the Lord.”
Today, as I praise God for Caroline’s first year, I joyously claim Jesus’ words from Matthew 5:14 as my verse too. Today—every day—as we are called to be disciples of the Lord, each of us can take that scripture as our own.
Go ahead, fill in the blank with your name and speak it with bold confidence.
____________ is the light of the world.
At the end of Matthew, we are given Jesus’ marching orders via the Great Commission in verses 28:19-20:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
God has opened my eyes to the necessity to go and make sure that others who haven’t heard the Gospel hear it. Perhaps my pondering what if only I had known earlier is His way of prompting me to obedience. His command to go forth. A former poser reaching out to others still walking in darkness.
If we know Jesus we are on a mission with Him to go out into the world as living testimonies to those who do not yet have the light. Our purpose is to bring glory to the Father by allowing His light to shine through us. Keeping our eyes open to those who just might be playing all the right parts, but without the main character.
My friend, we are on this mission together. To be living testimonies to the “posers” who might not have a clue Who is missing from the picture.
Let’s do it.
Strike a pose.
A photo with Jesus.
His light shining in and through our hearts.