A Living Letter Of Jesus

I was thinking today of the wonderful letters from Jesus that I’ve read throughout the years. We at once would call the Word of God a living letter, but that’s not what I’m referring to here. I’m thinking of the people I’ve met that the bible calls, “living epistles”.

“You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” -2 Corinthians 3:3

Christ has been so indelibly written on the hearts of some that when you see them you see Jesus! Those people have left a lasting impression on me that remains without fading. Let me tell you about three…

As a young man and a new Christian in my early 20’s I traveled from church to church singing and preaching about Jesus. I had the privilege of singing in many wonderful churches but one church made an impression that has lasted over 25 years. It was a very small church in Pinellas Park, FL and almost everyone in it appeared to be in their middle to late 80’s. I ministered there on a few occasions but I would venture to say I was the one who was really ministered to. On one visit I remember praying, “Lord, when I get older I want to be like these people!” They were living letters of Jesus’ peace, grace and love. We often think of older people as growing crotchety and grouchy and being set in their ways but these people showed me that in Jesus old age could be filled with sweetness and grace. They were the aroma of Christ to such an extent that in my 20’s I prayed for what I would be like in my 80’s!

Then there was another man who lived in Tarpon Springs, FL. We gathered at his house for bible studies on a number of occasions. I was drawn to him because he possessed a peace that was very tangible- a living Psalm 23 if you will. He hardly ever spoke up in our bible studies but I think I got more from him than anyone else in the entire room. I can’t remember a single verse or message that was taught from those days so long ago, but I can remember that man and how he exuded Christ! On one occasion I asked him what his secret was for being so content. He told me that he had known Christ from an early age but had never really given his life completely to Him; He had held on to his own will and plans and desires. Finally, he said, he decided to go “all in” with Jesus and his life was never the same since! I can still picture that white haired man as if it was the day I met him- He was a living letter from Jesus and you don’t forget someone like that.

There have been many other living letters throughout the years, but I will mention just one more.

I watched a video recently of a man who pastored a church that I loved and had been a part of many years ago. This man radiated Christ. He was a man filled with the Spirit of God, a man who preached with passion and lived with grace and love. This man pastored a very large church at the time but showed meekness, gentleness and humility. By God’s grace he had been used to establish a very large presence where he lived, but in obedience to God’s call he left this megachurch later in life to start all over again with a small church in a small town. Well, he was invited back to preach at the megachurch he had planted 30 years before and I got to see the video of it. I thought to myself, “This is the exact same man I knew years ago. He’s just the same!” And it made perfect sense that he would be the same since Jesus is the same “yesterday, today and forever” and this man was a living letter of Christ!

I pray that it could be said of all us who name the name of Jesus…

“You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” -2 Corinthians 3:3

 



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