We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21
I have just enjoyed the tremendous blessing of spending the last five days in the country of Costa Rica. Each evening the sun would bid its farewell amidst a glorious display of pink, yellow and orange, the colors of the fiery sky reflecting on the dancing waters of the Pacific Ocean before disappearing into darkness beyond the horizon. It’s the kind of beauty that takes your breath away.
As I witnessed creation reflecting the splendor and glory of its Creator, I couldn’t help but think about the glory that will be revealed when God unveils the new heaven and the new earth. One day, we will see creation as God intended it to be, free from the dark curse of sin. Instead of the shadow, we will finally see the true, an array of color and beauty that we can’t even begin to imagine. And we will no longer need the sun to cast its light and warmth because the Son Himself will be with us.
The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. Revelation 21:23
The beauty of Costa Rica’s landscape was matched by the beauty of its people. Wherever we went, they greeted us with warm smiles, doing their best to assure us that it was their great pleasure to serve. Their humility opened my heart toward them, and I found myself drawn to their warmth. They seemed to represent a beautiful expression of Philippians 2:4-7:
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant . . .
The thought left me wondering. Are people drawn to us as believers? Is humility the essence that marks our lives? Do those who come in contact with us get the feeling that it’s our great pleasure to serve them? If the Spirit of Jesus Christ resides within us, that's exactly what those who come in contact with us should experience.
1 John 4:16-17 teaches, “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.”
Are you like Him, dear one? Will you be able to stand confidently on the day of judgment knowing that you have allowed God to impart His character to you through His Son? Are people drawn to His humble warmth expressing itself in you?
You will often hear this phrase erupting from the lips of the Costa Rican people: Pura Vida! They speak it in greeting to one another, as an expression of joy, or simply in answer to the question, “How are you?” Its meaning literally translates to “pure life.”
Perhaps we need to adopt their mantra as the foundational anchor for our own lives.
Until Jesus returns in glory to usher in the new heaven and new earth, freeing us once and for all from the very presence of sin and restoring all things to its original perfection, we are His vessels of glory. We are the light given to penetrate the growing darkness. We are His expression of love to draw the lost to Himself. We are divine righteousness in a world of depravity. If we truly desire for Christ to be seen in us, we must choose holiness. We must allow Him to sanctify us and bestow upon us His righteousness.
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16
May your life become a beautiful expression of the character of your Savior, and may all who cross your path be drawn to the warmth of His humility and love flowing through you.