My friend, may I ask you a question? When we look to the value of what Jesus has done and is doing, do we discover that he has become more of a symbol in our life than a meaning? When Christ becomes nothing more than artwork, perhaps it’s time to find value somewhere else?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
There was a particular aspect of car design in the early to mid-20th Century that was uniform to most cars of the day–hood ornaments. Although there are a few cars today like Mercedes Benz that continue this tradition, it has disappeared for the most part. Pontiac had Chief Pontiac, Lasalle had it’s stylistic “S” emblazoned inside an “L” and Packard had the Flying Maiden Holding a Wheel. For the most part every car company had an emblem and it was customary to display that emblem on the hood of the car where the driver would see it every time he gazed out of his windshield. “There she is, the Packard lady on my hood!” That tiny little emblem, whether a Ford V-8 or Chevy coat of arms, instilled pride in the driver and marked him as one of the club–those that drove the same car he did. Car makers knew that these little reminders of brand helped them with sales referrals and especially with repeat sales. Brand loyalty was very important to car sales, especially years ago. My Dad was a Plymouth guy. Mr. Harris next door was a Chevy man. Jorgensen down the road liked Fords and Larry across the street was into Mercury.
The Packard emblem was memorable and Packard made repetitive use of it in sales literature, on glove boxes, as well as on car hoods. Nevertheless, emblems were mere figureheads in comparison to the how the car worked, whether it rusted, or had a decent cost to value relationship. This set the pattern for purchase; emblems were mere reminders. Take away the value and emblems became nothing more than artwork.
Oswald Chambers writes: “The New Testament example of the Christian experience is that of a personal, passionate devotion to the Person of Jesus Christ. Every other kind of so-called Christian experience is detached from the Person of Jesus. . . . There is only the idea that He is our pattern. In the New Testament Jesus Christ is the Savior long before He is the pattern. Today He is being portrayed as the figurehead of a religion— a mere example. He is that, but He is infinitely more. He is salvation itself; He is the gospel of God! . . . When I commit myself to the revealed truth of the New Testament, I receive from God the gift of the Holy Spirit, who then begins interpreting to me what Jesus did. The Spirit of God does in me internally all that Jesus Christ did for me externally.”
About the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said. “He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.” Jesus promises us in this passage that the work of the Holy Spirit of God comes from Christ and directly glorifies Christ. This work sets the pattern of value for us in the reliability and durability of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Good News of salvation. Jesus has become for many a mere figurehead of Christianity, as a symbol of how to live. Indeed when we see Jesus in the Word we are reminded of him. However, unless we look to the value of what he has done and is doing, that symbol will soon become meaningless. When Christ becomes nothing more than artwork, it’s time to find value somewhere else.
We pray. Heavenly Father, Jesus is our all and all; that is what we’ve been taught from childhood. Sometimes, however, we forget that our lives ought to be more than remembrances of him when they could be patterns for others as to how to live in and with Christ. Forgive us Lord when we relegate Jesus to a mere icon for prayer, an emblem of faith, mere artwork. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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God bless you for Jesus sake.