To Be "As Jesus"
"Then he [Jesus] said to them, 'Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.'"1
The story is told how "a wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime.
"However, a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman. 'I've been thinking,' he said, 'I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.'"2
Some readers may remember the debacle caused by the death of Anna Nicole Smith several years ago. On a TV interview I recall hearing Jill Dobson of Star Magazine saying that Anna Nicole "had everything: money, fame, attention...." Maybe so, but in reality she had nothing, for the true riches of life have nothing to do with fame and fortune.
All sorts of legal battles followed Anna Nicole's death, including those by other men seeking to gain the legal rights of her infant child, claiming they were the father. Do you think this would have happened had Anna Nicole been a penniless pauper? Not likely.
And how much of Anna Nicole's fortune did she leave? All of it. Like the rest of us—rich or poor, famous or infamous. The reality is that only what we send ahead (via our service in and support of God's work here on earth) do we gain for eternity—providing of course that we have put our life right with God before we leave. I only hope this was true of Anna Nicole.
One of my daily prayers is that God will help me to be "as Jesus" in some way to every life I touch and that they, seeing Jesus in me, will want him for themselves. This for me is the most precious and priceless gift I could ever give to anyone.
Could you imagine the tremendous impact we Christians would make on today's world if every one of us would make and pray the following commitment.
Prayer: "Dear God, I am available today. Please use me today to be 'as Jesus' in some way, first to my family, and then in some way to every life I touch. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Luke 12:15 (NIV).
2. "The Wise Woman's Stone," Author Unknown. Cited on Inspiration Peak, www.inspirationpeak.com