23 Jan Jesus With Skin On by Jim Graff
Jesus With Skin On
by Pastor Jim Graff
Life has a way of challenging us all.
It has a way of throwing our missteps and failures in our faces in an attempt to discourage us from keeping on. No matter who we are, we’re subject to that discouragement, and most of us have been there quite a few times. (I know I have!)
In those moments, it doesn’t take long to realize that no matter who you are, you don’t want to go through life alone. You want someone to walk alongside you, to help you in your darkest times.
Thankfully, God already has those people picked out for each of us. That’s why He gave us the Church, as a place to make friends who would love us, support us, and strengthen us through every season of life.
I once heard about a little boy who was going to sleep for the night and was afraid of the dark. So he crept his way into his mom’s room and whispered, “Momma, I’m afraid.”
She said, “Don’t worry, son. Jesus is with you.”
He thought about it for a minute, and then said, “I know He is, Momma, but I want someone with skin on.”
How many times have we felt like that in the midst of a trial? We know Jesus is there, but we want someone with skin on. Someone who is willing to walk alongside us, to feel our pain, to comfort us and to counsel us.
Church, we’re called to be those people. We’re called to cheer each other on. Just the presence of a friend in a tough time—to sit with us, pray for us, love on us– makes all the difference.
In a world where simply living life every day can knock the courage out of us, we’re called to encourage—to put the courage back in one another.
Did you know that the word encourage literally means “to call near”? I don’t know about you, but “to be called near” when I’m discouraged is the last thing I want to do. I want to sit at home, pull the shades down and lock my door!
But that’s not what I need. I need those people that I’ve found in my church family who will call me near and strengthen me.
Besides encouraging each other, we’re also called to challenge each other to pursue God’s best.
Hebrews 10:24 says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
In Texas, we know what “spur” means, don’t we? It’s that sometimes uncomfortable but always beneficial ‘kick in our side’ that keep us moving forward in our journey of faith. Just like those spurs push the horse toward the finish line, so we’re called to spur each other onto greatness.
Can you imagine how fulfilling our lives would be if we all decided not just to go to church, but to be the church to our friends and family? Let’s give it a shot!