What do people recognize about you? I’ve been recognized from my association with a TV station in Mongolia. During my New Mexico days I was recognized for my radio work and political involvement. During my radio career I was recognized for my voice. I’ve even been recognized as the husband of Diane and the father of Stefani, Rochele, and Whitney. But I ask myself, am I recognized for being with Jesus?
This morning a friend posted this passage on Facebook, which got me thinking: “[Jesus] appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach” (Mark 3:14). I ask myself the question, “Do people recognize that I have been with Jesus?”
That passage has always struck my heart. It tells us that the first reason Jesus selected the disciples (and it applies to us as well) is that we might be with him. Jesus wants us to be with him. That blows my mind. Why would the eternal God of the universe bother to want me to be with him? Who am I? Nobody. But he wants me with him anyway. I see this again in Jesus’ prayer before his crucifixion. “I desire that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am” (John 17:24).
When the disciples were carrying out their ministry in the book of Acts they were recognized as simple, uneducated men. But they were also recognized as having been with Jesus. “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
The life of the Christian is supposed to ooze with the evidence that we have been with Jesus; that we are with Jesus even right now. The Apostle Paul elaborated on what this looks like when he wrote in Galatians 5:22-25, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”
So I ask myself, does my life ooze with the recognizable presence of Jesus Christ? I’m not sure I want to answer that question. I hope so. I want Jesus to be my supreme affection. But do I always translate that into an outwardly recognizable condition where others see in me the life and work of Jesus?
How about you?