First Impressions

“FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART” October 2, 2018
Good afternoon everyone,
First impressions often dictate whether people will get along in the long run or not. When first impressions are bad, the relationship only works if the person who has had a bad impression of someone is willing to take time to get to know the person. If they are not willing to invest the time, the person will simply be written off as not worth the time. Sometimes first impressions can be the best moment of someone and the relationship falls apart because they get to know the person’s true personality. First impressions are a poor gauge about another person’s value. It is important to not base too much on first impressions because it may cause you to miss out on knowing some of the greatest people you will ever have the chance of meeting.
Philip’s brother might have forfeited his chance to meet the Messiah of God if he had allowed his first impression of Jesus to influence him about going to meet Jesus with his brother. “The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see” (John 1:43-46, NKJV emphasis added).
One person can be hated by some and loved by others based on their first impressions. Interactions with others do not always go well. It is important that grace is given to one another in order to get to know people over time rather than making a quick judgment about them. Refusing to think differently about people when changes are seen in them whether good or bad can be devastating. The one who is loved, that degenerates into a selfish, self-centered, arrogant person who is never corrected but treated with great respect in spite of the obvious change in the character will destroy the one who has changed and the one who admires them.
Nathanael heard where this Messiah was from and discounted Jesus before he even met Him. Nathanael did what most of us neglect to do by going to meet Jesus in spite of his initial thoughts about who he thought Jesus was. It did not take long for Nathanael to realize Jesus was authentic no matter what he thought about where Jesus was known to have come from in the world. This is how it should be with God’s people and their interactions with others.
No matter what the world thinks about God’s children or whether they have made a good impression upon them at first or not, over time Jesus Christ should be revealed as the Master of the child of God. This will be expressed in their priorities, hopes, conflict, and their genuine care for others even if it means they will be inconvenienced. Putting the needs of others first proclaims loudly that Jesus is the treasure of a person’s life. There is no concern for others getting ahead or taking advantage of them, since they trust that God is sovereign over all situations. When God’s people treasure Christ in their lives they place more emphasis on helping with the needs of others and obedience to God because God has promised to supply all their needs when they seek His righteousness and kingdom first.
Is Jesus the only thing that you can live without? Or are there other things that you cannot live without? The greatest treasure in all of life must be Christ. If He is not, then those idols must be surrendered to the Lord and we must do with them whatever He calls us to do. What is your greatest treasure in the world today?
Praying beyond the physical: Father, forgive me for making judgments about others and refusing to see how You are working in them. Jesus, help me to see You changing people that I have given up on as a lost cause. Spirit, teach me to give truth, grace, and love to others and let the Father dish out the condemnation. Pastor Tom

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