In a new beginning of a year, and a short week, a lot is covered. To be like Jesus. Life awaits us for the next minute, the next day, the next year, until eternity calls us home and life is good.
Jesus knew exactly how to trust God with his own life. He also loved you and me so much that he knew part of that plan was to give his life for us.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15 v13 AKJV
He could have called legions-thousands of angels to his defense if he had chosen. Because of his love, he knew for him what his life was to be according to his fathers will.
“Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But now then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” Mathew 26 v53, 54
Our lives are similar but different in some ways. Because he came as the redeemer, his life was given on this earth and with the power to receive it again. We are called in a similar, yet different light.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12 v1,2
As I study, we study together, to learn of Christ (To be like Jesus 1) in the coming year expectations of good things are to come. It is OK to be passionate towards our savior, (To be like Jesus 2). We learn to hear the word and not only that but to keep it as well, (To be like Jesus 3). We are taught to let the light of Christ shine in us, and that nothing will be kept secret or hidden from God, (To be like Jesus 4). And, we learn to trust in our faith in God-many different times-in the midst of the storms of life, for healing, and even when faced with the adversary of which through Christ Jesus truly living in us, we can take authority over, (To be like Jesus 5).
It is a greater humbleness to understand how good God is to us, and through the life of Christ we to become a part of the family of God. (To be like Jesus 5).
I am thankful to you Lord, for all who have been able to read these writings in this year. For me, and my wife, to share what you have given is truly a blessing from you. I give you thanks for all that you have done and will do this coming year. Amen
“Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them,
Let us go over unto the other side of the lake.
And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came a great storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them,
Where is your faith?
And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.” Luke 8 v22-25 AKJV
How is it we can do here as Jesus has done? He is calm, he rest, and as he is awaken in the midst of the storm, he takes authority over the storm and brings it to a calm state. Many times, we are called on to help deal with a storm in someone’s life. Much of those times we are free to express the feeling of confidence, or faith as it is someone else’s problems. In our own lives, shall we examine ourselves and grow in our own trust in the Lord knowing the he is in control.
“And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And when he went forth to the land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.
(For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For often-times it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness) And Jesus asked him, saying,
What is thy name?
And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place, into the lake, and were choked. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.
Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. Then the whole multitude of the country of Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.
Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,
Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee.
And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him. Luke 8 v26-39
Jesus calmed the storm and several watched and benefited during the time of great anxiety.
Jesus stood fast in the face of the demons who recognized him as “the son of God.” The man delivered of this possession knew what had been done and desired to stay with Christ Jesus. Those of the surrounding areas became afraid and fear overtook them to the point of wanting Jesus to leave.
Lord Jesus, to be like you today. Let us realize our faith and trust in you. Let us know that the storms can be made still. Lord Jesus, let us stand with our strength given by our faith in you when we are faced we strong opposition to what is right and not lean one way or another. Lord, let us bring peace to our situations. We thank you. Amen
“No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candle-stick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.
Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press. And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. And he answered and said unto them,
My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it. Luke 8 v16-21 AKJV
As the Lord leads we shall follow. To be like Jesus, today, what does that mean? As the day goes and the opportunities come we share the light of Christ Jesus. I pray we hear the Lord speak to us and that our attention is given to how we hear what the spirit of God speaks to us as well. Contrary to a lot of thinking, God will bless those who desire his blessing’s and have already received them.
Lord, open our ears that our heart and soul may hear what you are saying to us today. Let us hear with what we see today, let us see with our ears what others are trying to tell us and in our hearts be blessed as you bless them today. Guide our actions and our words by your spirit, your grace, and your strength today, to be like you. Amen
“A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and chocked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundred fold.
And when he had said these things he cried,
He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said,
Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, recieve the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” Luke 8 v5-15
As we go forward in this day, To be like Jesus, and understand how to apply this word let us hear what the word has said. Jesus was and is the greatest teacher. To look at his teaching style here, or technique, we can see how he brings the understanding of his point to a clarification for others to understand what he is sharing with them.
Our difficulty, mine, is to understand how to get others to understand what we have learned and want to share with them, wether it be through living life or educational settings. The frustrations come when it seems they do not want to know. Jesus, made it clear his points of sowing the seed and how it would be recieved. There is more than one result from this parable. The clarity of the result of sharing the word is one, the other is that reception of what we share can be plain as day and yet they do not hear.
Our pray today is, Lord, let our ears hear what your spirit is saying to us as the church-the body of christ. Lord, prepare others to hear what good things you have given us today, even down to understanding how to do a better job in the work place, how to be more acountable to one another, how to recieve and be recieved as a true friend in this world to others we cross paths with, prepare their hearts pryor to us getting their today. We give you thanks for all that you have done and continue to do in and our lives. Amen.
“And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went down into the Pharisee’s house, and sat to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with ointment.
Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him,
Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee.
And he saith, Master, say on.
There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me there-fore, which of them will love him he most?
Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave the most. And he said unto him,
Thou hast rightly judged.
And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon,
Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore, I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
And he said unto her,
Thy sins are forgiven.
And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is he that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman,
Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” Luke 7 v36-50 AKJV
Today, may we understand more of our own faith. Stress is a word that seemed to develop more into our culture in the past generation than ever before. This woman turned to Jesus, brought her cares to him, and then was free to express her love for what Christ had done for her in the best way that she had. Others looking on saw this as unusual, but for her, it was a desire to serve Christ. In turn, he upheld her in her love for him and confirmed to her that “faith had saved her”. Lord, I thank you for this day and may I always be thankful for what you have done for me, and my family. Amen
At the end of the day. The woman had a passion to share her knowledge of what Jesus had done for her with him. The tears, the washing of his feet, the kiss to his feet, all seems to show great love that came from her soul in giving thanks and praise to what the Lord had done for her.
Anything, anything we do that we have a passion to do will show up in our actions. What others think will not hinder us from being our best when it is driven by passionate knowledge of what we have experienced. There likely will also be those who question the motives, but those questions will not make a difference to the one driven to be who they know they are. This is at work, at home, at school, etc… Amen-
“Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” John 10 v17-18 AKJV
In the face of adversity, Jesus new that to put trust in God, his father, would be always the right choice. That trust came with the confidence of living a life of being obedient and following all the commandments of God, his father. He knew that from the beginning there was a plan for his life which could be inclusive of all others but left to their decision.
All life comes with a purpose, even a divine purpose. It also comes with a choice and that choice begins with choosing by faith to believe in God and his son, Jesus.
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazereth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1 v26-33 AKJV
Thus, we celebrate Christmas.
To be like Christ, Jesus, is to be called Christian. Where do we go with that? What does it mean? For me, it has a beginning, by faith, with no end because it leads into an eternity with him. Until then, a lot of things influence our daily decisions and the development of our character as a people. That makes life come to reality along with who we are come to reality as well. Others before us have sought to understand the questions above, and have made solid choices. As they knew of Jesus, they taught his ways and lived them out before others. Now, many are called Christian.
“And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christian first in Antioch.” Acts 11 v26 AKJV
So many scriptures come to mind as the new year begins and resolutions are made to work in areas of our lives that we see evidence of the need to change. Many will seek to change the physical-healthy side of life, others may seek to change their financial situation, and there is the spiritual side of life that awaits our daily decisions as well.
To be like Jesus I believe we must know who he is.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Mathew 11 v28-30 AKJV
For hundreds of years, God’s way has been passed on from generation to generation, and will continue to be so.
“Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days. or even in the days of your fathers? Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.” Joel 1 v2,3 AKJV
To be like Jesus… we must know of him, and even closer we must know him. Life comes, and it is our prayer this year that we do learn of Christ. As some disciples traveled with Jesus, he brought the deeper questions of heart that he knew made a difference.
“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesara Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying,
Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am?
And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them,
But who say ye that I am?
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Mathew 15 v13-16 AKJV
Throughout our Holy Scriptures is the constant testimonials and direction of living and knowing Christ Jesus, and having a right relationship to God. Even Christ himself acknowledged in the verses above the commandment had been received of his Father, God.
Many, many scriptures will come this year that can guide us in our daily living if we choose to let them. To be a Christian is to be like Jesus through the good times and the tough ones as well. Some straight forward direction comes as help to us…
“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For the length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add unto thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3 v1-5 AKJV
“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Exodus 20 v12 AKJV
To be like Jesus…
“…Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Luke 24 v46-49 AKJV
Lord, it seems a lot I have written or shared a lot that was already written. Let this beginning of a new day and a new year bring us to a better and closer relationship to you and to others. We know there is a lot more that we can learn of daily. Let us begin our day and our every move with prayer in asking your guidance of how we live. Let us give you all the honor and praise and glory. Amen
“And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days his wife Elizabeth concieved, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.” Luke 1 v23-25
Jesus-as he came-
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth” Luke 1 v26
To find the difference in living, live for others but live seeking the truest balance of what is right-righteous yet not self righteous, not even self-righteous in giving what others may want, but helping in what they need.
Lord, help us this day to see what a true servant sees. I pray. Amen