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Recently I was watching a traffic report on the morning news. As the traffic helicopter pulled his camera shot back, the viewer was afforded a view of the intricate road design for cars to enter and exit the highways. Straight lines, swirling circles and intricate patterns of asphalt, adorned with yellow and white whirling ribbons. When we are driving those roads in our cars we barely notice the shape, flow and design that I would imagine an engineer would find utterly beautiful. The engineer sees it one way, the driver differently.

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It got me thinking how Jesus saw the world completely differently from anyone else. Jesus saw things through a lens of love; He did not hate his enemies, He did not criticize those around him, He did not turn away from hardships, He did not think He was better than anyone else. Most importantly, He did not give up on us. He could have been a king, but instead He was a servant. 

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So, how do we see the world? Many see it through a political lens - either left or right. Some others see it through a pessimistic lens. The world can, after all, be a bit of a dismal place at times. There are social lenses, economic lenses, justice lenses, and so-on. I read somewhere that sociologists see the world through a lens of "symbolic interactionist perspective." Yeah, I’m not sure I know what that means either. The point being, we have so many perspectives in which to view the world around us and we are under a constant barrage of voices telling us what our perspectives should be.

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Is it hard to live as a Christian in an un-Christian world? You bet it is! Yet think of the hardships Jesus endured on our behalf; imprisonment, vilification, self-denial, loneliness, poverty, beatings and ultimately death. All for us! But we are not flailing alone in this great big universe! He gave us the gospel to help us follow His teachings and to shape our worldview on many things. 

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Relationships (Matthew 5:43-48)

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43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbour' and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

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Prayer (Matthew 6:5)

 

5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

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Money and wealth (Matthew 6:19-21)

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19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

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Generosity (Matthew 6:1-4). 

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6 “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3 But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

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Love (John 13:34b-35)

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"As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

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 (Mark 12:30-31)

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

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Jesus chose love. His Word teaches us how to see the world the way He does; to see the world through the lens of love and through the perspective of Jesus. Did you know that the word “love” appears 686 times in the NIV Bible? That's a whole lot of love!

 

As Christians we acknowledge that God knows better than we do and with His guidance we try to follow His decrees. Yet the secular world loudly renounces the idea that someone other than himself has the right tell them how to live. Imagine being at the whim of what everyone else thinks! No thank you. As followers of Jesus our values are founded on God’s Word. God’s never changing word. It is a solid foundation that never succumbs to the whims and trends of our ever-changing world. And as followers of Jesus our own perspective of life, and how to live that life, does change. Or differently put, our perspective is no longer our own, it is that of our Saviour.

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We are all invited by Jesus to live and love as He has shown us and to see the world through His perspective. His lens of love.

 

Gill