To Be Like Jesus

We talk via Skype and she asks what brand of wallet I want her to send me. If she had asked me ten years earlier, before I had known the Savior who wore dusty sandals, I would have told her a very expensive brand that would suit my fancy. I tell her now an American brand that has become so popular with the masses, and she goes “Eeeww! That’s the national bag of America!” Was I offended? No. I can’t think of my Savior staring lustily at an expensive bag whose price tag could feed a thousand children dying of hunger.

It is easy to “forgive” such extravagance in fashion and speech, for one can easily say, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Nevertheless, this doesn’t stop to weary me when I see material wealth being paraded on FB.

But what if a Christian does that? A Christian whom thousands expect to exemplify a Christlike life? You can’t imagine the pain! I had felt that – I was too stunned to speak, and then a palpable sadness took over. Why would one choose to enumerate the imported labels of clothing one is wearing down to the footwear and bag? To the brother or sister who has nothing, what would they feel? Wouldn’t they be lured to be envious and tempted to covet? I mean, I don’t see the point of naming the imported brands except maybe to boast?

The Bible teaches us to “be clothed with humility” (1 Pet. 5:5) and “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 13:14). The Lord must be the one to be seen in us and not our clothing’s labels being advertised. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall (Rom. 14:13 NLT).

But though I’m wearied with these things that I see and hear, I am more wearied, dismayed and disappointed with my own serious blunders and failures as a Christ’s servant, wife, mother, friend. Too dismayed and discouraged sometimes to the point of being tempted to give up, slump, and just do nothing! Why are the very things that I pray and work hard for – to be a better wife and mom and a delightsome child of God – are exactly the things I bungle and stumble on? (Maybe one of the reasons is that, I always want to reach for excellence). And I know that my tears of repentance are never enough to heal the brokenness – it is always the Lord’s mercy that does the job.

A self-examined life is always a good thing. For if one didn’t know how to acknowledge one’s mistakes and failures, how could one correct oneself? For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged (1 Cor. 11:31).

Lately, I’ve been watching music videos with scenes from The Passion of the Christ. And looking at Jesus’ life, I feel like all the dross that had gathered in me is exposed. Seeing Him hanging on the cross bloody, wounded, bruised, dying, I see myself clearly in a mirror, and yes, I see the “log”. I see the shortcomings, the mess, the repeat offenses, the pride, the ugliness I foolishly and repeatedly choose over His glory. Ah! If not for His enduring mercy, where would I be?

Seeing Him there barely hanging on to life, for He still has last words for me, the wave of truth hit me hard: nothing that I do would earn me my salvation. (What made me think otherwise?!). He did it all for me. He sustained all my wounds and bruises. He received all my shame and the insults that were for me. He took all my sin upon Himself and carried me on His shoulders. He died my death. I don’t have any right to brag about the things I have done and do in His name. I can only respond by loving and obeying Him.

We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

Friends, I urge you to watch this deeply moving and convicting music video of Todd Agnew’s “My Jesus”. I echo his lyrics.

Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry live streaming of worship services: (for American viewers)
Sunday 10am-5pm
Friday overnight service 8:30pm-4:30am Saturday
(All times Philippine times ~ 12-16 hours ahead of USA)
This information is also posted at the side bar.

My gratitude list:

  • Celebrating wellness. For there were times during the worst of my illness that I was too weak to even change my house clothes.
  • Singing Ilocano songs with my beloved husband in the wee hours of the morning and giggling endlessly.
  • Joy in reading the Word and the wisdom gained.
  • Hannah and her continuing love for learning and playing the piano.
  • homemade strawberry ice cream
  • freshly-baked scones whose aroma seems to say, “Love is all around here.”

11 comments on “To Be Like Jesus

  1. You know, Rina, regarding the wallet thing, your eventual take on that seems to be happening to me more and more…I am getting a continually greater sense of pressure from the world around us. I don’t know whether this feeling comes from my own unique experience or from a building degradation, but it comes nevertheless. It may be that the corruption accelerates faster than we give it credit for doing, but whether it does or not, perseverance and resolve to stay closer than ever to Christ makes all the difference.

    • RinaPeru says:

      I believe, it is that corruption continually increases everyday and everywhere, as you have accurately stated. It reminds me of 2 Tim. 3:1-5. Therefore, our “perseverance and resolve to stay closer than ever to Christ makes all the difference” – perfectly said!

      Thank you, Mrs. P. for your insightful comment!

  2. Robin Crump says:

    Amazing and convicting post. I have had this conviction against the expensive items that I once long for and bought. I have not done this for several years now and it is very freeing; however, there are still longings and yearnings (envyings!) to have these very things ‘like everyone else’.

    Thank you for writing this. It has blessed my heart.

  3. Joanie says:

    Rina, Rina, so precious to my heart especially is the walk with HIM closer and closer and the honor of knowing all HE DID, and humbling myself knowing this. Sooo precious, THE GOSPEL.

  4. Renee says:

    Very thought provoking post, Rina and loved seeing your family pictures and reading your gratitude list. God blless

  5. Joanie says:

    Rina, as you know I was so blessed by this message, I shared it on my facebook.And it is blessing others. Thank you again.
    At the time I had not listened to the song by Mr. Agnew, as I could not download it on my computer for some reason. So later I went to Google and found it and listened. It was a beautiful song, but I cannot recommend the video to my facebook friends, because of the way photos of ministers he had in it were portrayed was against my belief. The Lord has convicted me– that whether I agree with them or not,– I am not responsible to do such to another & I feel responsible to not pass it on to others myself .If others differ with me, it is their decision too, not mine..
    I regret the many differences in the body of Christ, that there unfortunately is a LOT of criticising, judging going on, of which I have been convicted, corrected & repented of doing more of in my past.
    I am responsible to speak the WORD, and let the Word do the judging, not me.
    As I listened to it, to me, those photos detracted from the beautiful message he was singing.
    .My prayer always is that we be united– IN CHRIST– as He is showed us in The Holy Bible. And that we will all grow in HIM and grow in walking in HIS will.
    In JESUS CHRIST’S wonderful love, forgiveness and holiness for now and for eternity.
    (I’m still growing!)

    • Joanie says:

      Rina, I just looked at the video on my facebook and your message. It did come up for me this time, and it did not have the photos I told you of that I saw on the google. So I was very glad, and do not know why they differed. I welcome you to delete the comment by me above this.You might want to check the google one and see what concern I had and your reply on it.

      • RinaPeru says:

        Yes, Joanie, while browsing in YouTube for the music video, I encountered other videos of it, only that there are no lyrics, so I did not choose them. I believe we need only to focus on the message of the song and not the pictures that were used :).

    • RinaPeru says:

      Joanie, I, too, am a work-in-progress. I’m still growing and grasping fully the Lord’s teachings. In this season of my life, I’m particularly focusing on “Love one another as I have loved you”. He commands us not just to love but to LOVE LIKE HE LOVES. I’m not there yet. But I’m leaning heavily on God’s grace. It’s ALL by His grace.

      Have a wonderfully blessed week, Joanie!

  6. Charlotte says:

    I agree with you. We need to ask ourselves if Jesus would be pleased if I bought this item. I think many times He wouldn’t really care, but sometimes He would be disappointed in our choice. You always give me something to think about, and I always love the pictures you share.

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