I’ve been talking about love a lot recently. Most of my posts have centered around the idea of how to love others and how to love ourselves the way Jesus loves. The idea for me was sparked during a conference I went to over the spring of last year, the Orange Conference, its’ main theme being “it’s personal.” One of the speakers was Bob Goff, and of course, if you know anything about him, he’s all about loving people. This spark made me look at the way I live. How do I love others like Jesus? What does that look like? What steps can I take towards loving in his radical ways? The answer seems to be right in front of me, in front of all of us. We want to be better people. We want to make positive changes and influence in the lives of the people we come across. So, what do we do?
We do what Jesus did, we call out the greatness in others.
Jesus loved in the most powerful way. He saw people that were broken and made mistakes, not judging but choosing to walk alongside of them. Many of you, myself included, may have experienced church hurt or people claiming to be Christians and treating you in a way that shamed you. I want you to know that this is not how Jesus lived, and is not what he calls his bride, the church, to act like. Jesus tells the church to follow him, and so, this means we are to strive towards him in all that we say and do. We are called to love in both word and action, but you need to know that you are loved in order to love. You may feel ashamed, lost, or broken; but this is not what defines you. What defines you is the fact that you are made new by the blood of the lamb and the defeat of death on a cross. That’s right Satan, I’m coming out swinging.
You see in the old testament; the Israelites were instructed to paint their doors with the blood of a lamb and the spirit of death would pass over their home (where “Passover” comes from). It would then become practice to sacrifice a lamb to clean your sins, but the thing is, it would never be complete, so Jesus died and said in a moment, “tetelestai (it is finished).” It broke the veil, purifying all of us when we choose to trust him. Then days later Jesus rose again, defeating death; “Oh death where is your sting (1 Corin. 15:55).” You, yes you reading this, have been made whole, you just have to take that leap of trust. Jesus doesn’t see you, he sees the greatness within you. So, what I’m going to do, is call out the greatness in you, so that you can love others fiercely.
The devil is a damned liar, and you are a child of God. Anything that tries to tell you the opposite is not truth, but hell speak.
In you Jesus sees an individual that is not the label you have on yourself, but one of creation and power. How do I know this, Jesus chose to walk with others on his time here on earth. Not the religious snobs or the people who were of high political influence, but people like you.
Matthew 4:18-20 says, “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.”
Unpacking this, fishermen were low on the totem pole. They were not educated men, they were hardworking lower-class people. Society did not often show them favor, yet Jesus sought out these men and called out the greatness in them. They weren’t perfect, and that’s the beauty of Jesus, he doesn’t call perfect people. He simply calls out the greatness in us because he believes in you. If you feel like no one believes in you, know that Jesus has always believed in you. He fights for you and made the sacrifice so that you could be set free of bondage. Never let the hell speak lies sink into your soul, that doesn’t belong there. It only brings death, and death where is your sting? Jesus calls you, as he called his disciples, his children. We were made in his image, meaning that we are beautiful and worthy of love.
You are worthy of love.
You have been called by Jesus.
It’s time to drop your nets that hold you back and follow him.
Combat the lies that enslave us with the truth that cannot be shaken.
The moments that have impacted me the most were when others spoke life into me, calling out the greatness in me, when I didn’t believe it myself. We cannot do this life alone. It will only lead to more enslavement in the loneliness. You need people in your life to call out the greatness in you, but this means you are also to call out the greatness in others. What we see in scripture is that those same disciples chose to call out the greatness in others long after Jesus ascended. They were the fathers of the early church, believing in the truth so much that they were willing to die for it. Almost all of them did, because oh death, where is your sting? You see we must believe that this life is not about us, it is much bigger than any of us. There is a battle, but we have already won. Why would a victor live in defeat? Only if they don’t know they have already won.
We need to wake up the souls of those around you. It’s time to remind others that they are victors because of sacrifice; of great love that none of us deserved but were given freely.
We need to love more, choosing to call out the greatness in others.
All too many people are trapped in defeat, and they need someone like you to chip away and reveal the potential inside. I’ll never forget seeing Michelangelo’s David in person, being told that this life-like masterpiece began as a solid piece of marble. Without the work of someone else, the beauty would have never been revealed inside of the piece of stone. It’s time to awaken the beauty in others, it’s time to start calling out the greatness in others.
In this Christmas month, I am reminded of how much power came from a child, just like you and me. The freedom that would come from a child, freedom that would change everything. Freedom that would shatter the chains of hell in our lives. That freedom that can be yours, you just have to choose to accept it, to start a relationship with a personal savior. You have greatness in you, Jesus is here to bring it out, so walk with him and let him reveal it to you. Then in turn, that power lives in you, you have the power to help others break their chains, reveal the beauty within. You just have to call out the greatness in others.
I am so thankful for the example Jesus set, and the truth that he loves me more than what anyone ever tries to speak against me. I think about the people in my life who called out the greatness in me, and I hope those around me feel empowered because of the way I try my best to love like Jesus. It’s time to start changing the world; so, call out the greatness in others.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can tweet memes at him on Twitter @joshua_thomas__ or follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__