Reflecting Jesus

From the revival and reformation series.

—LoweLL C. Cooper serves as a Vice President, General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

The call for revival and reformation in the church today invites us to advance to a new level of reflecting Jesus to the world. Our understanding of mission—living
a life that brings glory to God—is the motivation for revival and reformation. Nothing else will work. Revival and reformation need to be seen through the lens of mission. We must be careful lest the idea prevail that what we expect is a return to some previous state of presumed superior spirituality. A risk exists that some may assess revival and reformation in terms of a formula-driven code of behavior. History should teach us that a singular emphasis on piety for its own sake ultimately fails; piety destroys itself because it becomes inward looking and self-referencing.

Though not the only prophet to do so, Amos spoke in unmistakable terms about God’s view of prayer and worship (sacrifices) that bore little connection to the business and social relations outside the place of worship (Amos 5:21–24). Spirituality cannot be some walled-off segment of one’s life in which a special relationship with God is cultivated.

God expects that discipleship will be something visible—at home, at school, in the marketplace as well as in the church. The Christian life should be something seen, not hidden.

The world too often fails to see in the followers of Jesus a compelling reason to take Him seriously. Revival and reformation should fit in the life of the believer. Will it not be true in our day, as in the days of the disciples, that when people discover that Jesus leads in our homes and churches they will break down the wall to get into
His presence?

—LoweLL C. Cooper serves as a Vice President, General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

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—LoweLL C. Cooper serves as a Vice President, General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

September 2013

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