When I was growing up, I had no shortage of WWJD bracelets from my local church.
Other than gel pens, these stylish accesories were the must-haves for any reputable church youth back in the day. What would Jesus do? The ultimate question to govern our decisions.
In all honesty, this was a very helpful thing to ponder as a kid. Did this sacred bracelet make me more spiritual? Ha, no. But, it did make me think how I could be more like Christ.
That being said, I realized pretty quickly that trying to be like Jesus in everything was impossible this side of eternity. As odd as it sounds, the question What would Jesus do? had its limits.
In fact, I discovered there were many ways where I could not be like Christ (and for good reasons). Specifically, there are things that Christ does that I should never do; especially in light of Global Missions.
Here are three to get you started.
1. Only Jesus Makes Christians
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” –John 6:44
We are heralds of the gospel, not little saviors. The reality is that we can do everything within our capacity to display the supremacy of Christ in all things to all peoples, but only Jesus can change a heart of stone to a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). Conversion is a supernatural work that is beyond our means.
Thankfully, Jesus never asks us to be like him in this respect, but he does command us to go and proclaim the gospel to all the world (Mark 16:15). Though we cannot save anyone, God allows us to take part in the miracle of conversion through our obedience to go and proclaim.
2. Only Jesus Can Satisfy the Soul
Whom do I have in heaven but you? There is nothing on earth that I desire more. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” -Psalm 73:25-26
C.S. Lewis once said, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” This is true for every human being except for Jesus. We are broken cisterns that cannot hold water (Jer 2:13), but his steadfast love is better than life (Ps 63:3). No matter what we do or say we will not find the “missing piece” for fulfillment outside of Jesus though many will try.
This means you cannot satisfy the void that everyone inherently possesses. When you go and preach the gospel making disciples of all nations, you preach the joys of Christ, not [insert your name]. Don’t exhaust yourself in trying to be what you can never be for the peoples who have never heard the gospel. What they need is Jesus!
3. Only Jesus Can Prepare Our Home
Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore, let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.
Only Jesus can provide us with a true and lasting home. We can make our houses and build our communities, but we must remember that this city, your home, is nothing like the one Jesus is preparing for us (John 14:1). Equally so, we must remember that because our citizenship is in heaven (Phil 3:20), we are able to go outside the camp.
Again C.S. Lewis says, “If you look at church history, the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.” As we ponder the Great Commission, we should let the reality of this world not being our true home compel us to put it all on the line and cross lands and cultures to those who have never heard the name of Jesus.
Only Jesus can open spiritual eyes. Only Jesus can fulfill our truest desires. Only Jesus can prepare for us a dwelling of rest. Instead of sporting a WWJDTISND (what would Jesus do that I should never do) bracelet, simply relish in the reality that there are many extraordinary things that only our precious savior can do that are not required of us. — from encompassworldpartners.org, written by Cody Irwin, Encompass staff reporter/writer