Will you let Jesus be Jesus in your life?

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “The end of anxiety and despair”
Our Bible verse for today: “When he saw the crowds, he felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Will you let Jesus be Jesus in your life?”
One of the primary drivers of anxiety and despair is poor self-image. The truth is that we are our own worst critics and our own worst enemies. Nobody tears you down like you tear down yourself down. The most critical voice in your head is your own.
It would be helpful if we would learn to see ourselves as Jesus sees us. Oh, wait. On second thought, maybe that isn’t so helpful. At least, it’s not helpful if we see ourselves as we believe Jesus sees us. Many of us believe that Jesus is secretly unhappy with us, that He’s angry with us for our thoughts, words, and actions and therefore He’s disappointed in us as a person. But is that the picture given to us in the New Testament? Is that how Jesus really thinks of us?
In Matthew 9:36 we’re given yet another glimpse into the heart of Jesus, and what we find there is compassion. Yes, compassion. He saw how lost and confused and distressed the people were and it broke His heart. Jesus loved people, even flawed, confused, and distressed people like you and me. He has compassion on us. There are no examples in the Gospels of Jesus expressing disgust, distain, or dislike for anyone (except perhaps for the Pharisees who were misleading and mistreating the people and doing it in the name of God).
Let me ask you, do you believe Jesus likes you? I’m not asking if you believe He loves you, we know He does, He died for you. But do you think He likes you? Read Matthew 9:36 again. Then read Matthew 11:28-30 and hear His invitation to come to Him, just as you are, and to experience love, acceptance, rest, and renewal. Go ahead, read it, I’ll wait.
I hope you did take the time to read those passages. They illustrate the compassionate tenderness of the heart of Jesus. More than loving you, He likes you. He wants your company. He wants to heal your hurts and bring peace to your troubled heart. And that’s not just what Jesus is like, but it’s who Jesus is. Compassion and tenderness, love and kindness, mercy and acceptance, it’s all part of who Jesus is, and it’s what He wants us to experience in our relationship with Him.  
Will you let Jesus be Jesus in your life? If you will accept the fact that He loves you and He likes you, and then simply relax and rest in the reality of that truth, it will go a long way towards improving how you see yourself. That then will relieve a lot of anxiety and despair in your life. I encourage you to let Jesus be Jesus in your life.
We’ll come back to this tomorrow. I want to tell you a story about someone who is one of God’s favorites – and she knows it.
God bless,
Pastor Jim    
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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