A troubled soul: 3 March 2015

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As a very young painter, Rembrandt had portrayed the face of Christ in the traditional northern fashion: thin lips, round forehead,  sandy hair. But later living in the bustling Jewish quarter of Amsterdam, he  realised that a truer image of Christ would be found among his neighbours.  He literally plucked a Jewish neighbour off the street and had him pose. It created a completely new image of Jesus – a Jewish Jesus.

John 12 27 ‘Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? “Father, save me from this hour”? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.’

1 Peter 3 13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear their threats[a]; do not be frightened.’[b] 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

Jesus never allowed his troubles to plunge him into the depths of despair, for he was preoccupied with a love affair. He never allowed his despair to cause him to forget why he came. People die with purpose when they have clearly marked the reason they were given life. Jesus existed to do the will of God. Doing what his Father wanted would bring pleasure to the both of them.

Jesus served this single passion: to glorify God—to live to serve him, to please him. He faced every moral decision at every juncture of his life with only one concern: how will my decision affect my Father?

Seeing that such a passion in Jesus, how can we become more like him? We have to seek what he sought. Our chief duty is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. Think of how your world would change if in every moment of decision, you did only those things that you knew would bring glory to the Son of God. In such a life there would be power!

Lord, glorify yourself through me. May I exalt you in every moment of decision. May my exaltation of you be my reason for being. I then shall be a person with clear purposes, and you will be able to use me in ways that you never could while I was too central in my own mind.