Feb 25, 2021 | Gilbert's Journal

Reflections on the impact of the character series :

For at least the first 8 weeks of this year, I have been feeding on Jesus – through a study of His character. I have accompanied this study of one of my favorite portraits of Him from a great book by Charles Edward Jefferson, with a study of the Gospel of Mark.

My experience so far has reminded me of the words of Jesus in John chapter 6.

In verse 53, spiritual life is said to come from eating and drinking Jesus. In verse 56, such eating allows us to remain in Christ. Verse 57 says that we live by feeding on Jesus. Then verse 58 says that if we feed on the bread of Jesus, we will live forever. The emphasis on life through a relationship with Jesus is obvious.

Jesus’ audience misinterpreted some of his words by taking them literally, as if they were invited to some form cannibalism.

But spending time focusing on Jesus’ character for a prolonged period seems to produce magic.

There have been situations where a younger brother of mine spoke to me in a very provocative and somewhat disrespectful way but in the midst of dealing with my hurt feelings, my thoughts were filled with the poise Jesus often exhibited in the face of fierce criticism and opposition. It turned out that what I have fed my mind with prevailed over my angry emotions in the way I responded. I dare say it was a great feeling. And a couple of days later, my brother softened up and even apologized to me. A complete turn around.

I have received similar feedback from listeners – one of them got arrested by the police for the completely wrong reason but he shared about the calm that came over him.

“I was arrested today by the secret police in…They were trying to invent or fabricate a story to incriminate me but guess what??? The poise of Jesus helped me to stay calm.

I was going to see some brothers in a busy part of town where I normally won’t drive to. Because I looked unusual in that neighbourhood, it attracted the attention of the secret police.

Remaining calm and keeping my cool or being poised did help me out of the situation.

I never panicked nor lost control.”

What a powerful testimony to the power of feeding our hearts and minds with Jesus as we focus on His character!

These days, when I am faced with temptation, my natural response can be likened with that of the eyelids when an external object (be it an insect etc) approaches the eye – an inbuilt reflex or mechanism to deflect any foreign body, preventing it from coming in.

It is truly no longer us, but Jesus who lives through us! (Galatians 2:20).


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