Galatians-2-20,”Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”
As I faced my Maker at last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with the other souls. Before each of us laid our lives, like the squares of a quilt. An angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.
But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.
I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and all the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty like binding air.
Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of the truth …The others rose, each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise. My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn’t had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness and death, and false accusations that took from me my world as I knew it.
I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I had spent many lonely nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully: each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.
And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it had been…I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with eyes opened wide.
Then I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, The Face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with love and warmth in his eyes. He said: “Every time you gave over your life to me, it became my life, my hardships, and my struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let me shine thru, until there was more of me than there was of you.”
– Author Unknown –
My beloved, we don’t know when our actions might become an example to others. However, if we live each day to honor Jesus, our behavior will model His righteousness no matter who is watching. Idealism and enthusiasm are often best expressed by the young; however, uprightness and honor should be goals for believers in Christ of every age. The apostle Paul told his young protégé Timothy, “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
My beloved brethren, that should be our example, not only to the believer but also to the unbeliever, who has no hope of eternity in heaven. If we have trusted Jesus Christ as our Savior, then His indwelling Spirit desires “that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:10). So, what are your:
(1) Values and priorities in life and what do they say about your spiritual life?
(2) Does your life reflect the characteristics of your Savior Jesus Christ?
Joy comes from the LORD who lives within us, not from what’s happening around us.