Posted by: rcottrill | May 9, 2016

Can Others See Jesus in You?

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Words: Leonard Carl Voke (b. _____, 1899; d. _____)
Music: Leonard Carl Voke

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: We know little about Leonard Voke. He was born in England in 1899, and emigrated to America in 1914 (possibly with his parents and siblings). In later life he apparently worked with Charles Alexander, the song leader for evangelist R. A. Torrey.

I t seems to be a common game we play: trying to decide which parent a new baby looks most like. It can happen when they’re adults too. A few years ago my wife and I visited family in Ontario that we hadn’t seen for quite awhile. “Oh my!” said a cousin, gazing at me, “doesn’t he look like his dad!” I can’t particularly see it, but apparently the likeness is there.

It’s a common device in literature as well. There’s a plot revolving around one individual looking so like another–whether an actual twin or not–that impersonation can be used to accomplish some scheme. Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper (1881), and Anthony Hope’s The Prisoner of Zenda (1894) do it. Both stories were eventually turned into movies.

In the spiritual realm, sinners have done a strange thing. Instead of worshiping the God who created them, they’ve invented gods themselves. Idol gods in their own likeness–or the likeness of some animal. “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (Rom. 1:22-23).

In truth, the Lord did something quite the reverse of this idolatrous notion. The eternal Son of God, “whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” (Mic. 5:2), stepped into time one day. Born of a virgin, He took on our humanity. “Coming in the likeness of men…He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:7).

His goal in this was to provide a way that we might be rescued from the corrosive effects of sin, and be blessed with eternal life (Jn. 3:16). When we put our faith in the Lord Jesus as our Saviour, a legal transaction takes place, recorded in the books of heaven. Our sins are counted against Christ’s account–a debt He paid in full at Calvary. And His perfect righteousness is credited to our account (II Cor. 5:21).

In the future, when we’re ushered into the presence of Christ, our likeness to Him in character and conduct will be perfected. “If we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Rom. 6:5). “We know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him” (I Jn. 3:2). “As we have borne the image of the man of dust [Adam], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man [Christ]” (I Cor. 15:49). And as David declared, “I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness” (Ps. 17:15).

Meanwhile, the Bible teaches that believers, here and now, should seek to become more and more like the Saviour, in both character and conduct. Like Him who is the divine Model of selfless love. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (Jn. 13:34). It was a “new” love in the sense that it’s now to be based on the standard the Lord Jesus revealed while He was on earth. Of this commandment Paul writes, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).

Recently, an American presidential candidate described himself in a speech as, “a very good Christian.” But, arrogant, boastful, self-serving, rude and vulgar, he often showed himself to be the complete opposite of Christlikeness.

Instead we are to:

“Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us” (Eph. 5:2)….bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” (Col. 3:13).

If we profess ourselves to be Christians (“Christ-ones”), how much are we just like Him in what we say and do, and in our values and priorities? That is the theme of a gospel song published in 1921 called Can Others See Jesus in You?

I see what Mr. Voke is saying in the third stanza: “’Tis far better not to profess Jesus’ name, / If the world cannot see Him in you.” Well, maybe. But the right and God-pleasing thing to do is correct the problem. Repent and confess your sin (I Jn. 1:9), and get back on the right path. “Become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15).

CH-1) Christ Jesus hath triumphed o’er Satan and death,
And now, praise His name, I am free.
Although He has gone to the Father’s right hand,
May others see Jesus in me.
May others see Jesus in me;
May others see Jesus in me;
For how will the lost know of Jesus
If they cannot see Jesus in me?

CH-2) O will you give heed to the message tonight,
And to your commission be true?
Are you representing the Savior aright,
Can others see Jesus in you?
Can others see Jesus in you?
Can others see Jesus in you?
For how will the lost know of Jesus
If they cannot see Jesus in you?

CH-3) The harvest is plenteous, the fields they are white,
Alas! for the lab’rers are few.
’Tis far better not to profess Jesus’ name,
If the world cannot see Him in you.
Can others see Jesus in you?
Can others see Jesus in you?
For how will the lost know of Jesus
If they fail to see Jesus in you?

Questions:
1) In what ways have others been able to see the likeness of Christ in you, during the past week?

2) In what ways has His image been marred or distorted by what you said or did?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


Responses

  1. Enjoying these posts. Having been brought up in a Christian Household yet conscious how little I have given pleasure to Him. Hymns have always left an impression on me, and it is certainly always interesting to know the authors history and what caused them to write them.

    Reflecting Him in our daily walk is a test that starts each morning with a fresh committal to Him. It’s often been said that those around us notice us 100x more than we realise, making it urgent to be a Real Christian.


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