To be like Jesus 13

Today

“And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

Then a certain of the vagabond Jews, excorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of the house naked and wounded.” Acts 19 v11-16

Years ago, as I began to share the story of a short term missionary journey of which I had been on (or had already been-not sure in memory) to a brother I had met on the road, he said to me, “let no man glory in himself but in the Lord.” In all honesty, I was a bit taken back at first. He was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost it seemed, so my thought was he would share in the excitement of what I was telling him, and I know he did. His place at that time though was to help me further my understanding, although to me it didn’t completely feel that way. Paul, early on knew of this as well.

“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base the things of the world, and the things which are despised, hath God not chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him ye are in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1 v26-31

To be like Jesus. I know of a man who once stopped at a road side accident and people were confused and hurt, even to the point of almost falling out into the road and in even more harms way. The timing was not of his own, but he was there. As the incident unfolded, another had stopped as well to help, prior to this man, and had gotten seriously injured for life. The two lay together in a ditch, one prayed with the other while he hung onto life. Help arrived. Life went on, the man who lost his leg recovered and testimony was shared of how he continued. God was good that day and beyond.

It is God by whom we are called, and it is him by where our lives are led to divine appointments with those that we cross paths with.

I know of a man who once witnessed a man traveling on a train with a duffle-bag carrying his belongings. The man lost his belongings when he jumped from the train and couldn’t reach his bag as the train moved on. God gave the witness compassion for the man who lost his belongings, and even though it slowed the journey for many a moment or two, the man asked the lead of the journey about supplying the one in need a little help in his moment of need. The lead on the journey said yes, and the others would wait until the help was given and then the trip would carry on. It was of no ones reasoning that all three of these men would be at this same place, at the same time, and the event take place that did. God’s timing, his divine appointment takes us often to the place where, if we are prepared to meet his calling, he will provide the answers to the needs.

To be like Jesus. We are to learn of him, to know him not in a boastful manner but strong enough that evil will recognize him in us by his presence in our lives. He is our strong tower and that is not a weakness, it is a strength of humility to know that God is greater than all things we can encounter.

“Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have recieved of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20 v19-24 AKJV

To find our right place is beyond men. A day of being popular (captive popularity) has been among us, a day of having prosperity (things of this world) has been among us, a day of recognition (self-recognition) has been among us, a day of community (belonging to anything) has been among us, and more even in my short journey here. Teachings of old in the scripture remind us of the same in the past and the measure of which we can see what is in place.

“The Lord’s voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear the rod, and who hath appointed it. And there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is abominable? Shall I count them pure with wicked balances, and with the bag of decietful weights? For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is decietful in their mouth.

Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins. Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied; and thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and that which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword. Though shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine.” Micah 6 v9-15 AKJV

Recognizing even among the church (the professing body of Christ) such spiritual deficit prevails with evidence-a continual desiring of the things of this world and never becoming satisfied. All things are or will be measured, weighed in the balances of true weight and measure. God’s correction is a correction result of the Love he has for those who are his. His preparation through direction is what sets the body of Christ-sanctification of purpose- apart from the rest of the world who chooses not his ways.

“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise. But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even you. For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached out unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: Not boasting of things without our measure, that is,of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly.

To preach the gospel in the region beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s line of things made ready to our hand. But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.” 2 Corinthians 10 v12-18 AKJV

and at the times we wonder…

“Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be the greatest. And Jesus, percieving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him, And said unto them,

Whosever shall recieve this child in my name recieveth me: and whosever shall recieve me recieveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.

And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him,

Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” Luke 9 v46-50 AKJV

To be like Jesus. At times living life brings us to the unexplained, and as Christians we desire to know many answers. Understanding another’s plight in life helps bring compassion to many circumstances. Wisdom of knowing what to do that brings help provides a choice to a path to be over-comers in the world we are in, not being overconfident of our-selves, but knowing how to trust him and teach others that as well.

In Jesus’s journey here he knew that his virtue in us would be called upon and drained from us at times, (TBLJ 7), but in that moment by faith healing could come. He is the one with life purpose’s in his hands, (TBLJ 8). God has given us enough faith to breathe and have life. To trust in our faith is to find peace given the provisions by the life of Christ Jesus, (TBLJ 9), He trust us to know who he is, (TBLJ 10) because he knows we need and can grow in that measure of faith. He requires us to “deny” ourselves, and to “take up the cross daily,” his direction. (TBLJ 11). He promised us of a comforter, the teacher, the reminder, and the source of strength for us to be overcomers to carry all around the world, by our faith if we so choose. (TBLJ 12). He calls us to prayer.

Lord, I thank you for this day. I pray Lord Jesus for those and for myself that you have blessed with your calling, even if your special calling. It is not of ourselves to understand all things, and many of which we do understand is understood as vanity. I thank you for your word, I thank you for your preachers of the word and pray as I know you will, continue to bless and be with them. Lord, purge us and cleanse us this day of all unrighteousness and strengthen us by your grace to walk closer to you. Prepare us Lord, that we understand your statutes and your precepts that are in place to protect us from all evil and the emptiness that it brings. As our cups of life are filled, let them overflow to others in a good way as you provide healing in both physical and spiritual matters of life. We give you thanks Lord. Forgive us where we fail, and let not the enemy prevail against us or use us in his efforts. Help us Lord, and we thank you that you do, to stand strong in our faith and always for the right reasons. We are so very, very, thankful for all our brothers and sisters in you, and most especially for all that you have done for us. Your rain is good. Amen

January 13

To be like Jesus 12

Today

“And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly departeth from him. And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not. And Jesus answering said,

O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither.

And as he was a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him, And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father. And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples,

Let these sayings sink deep into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.

But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.” Luke 9 v37-45

To be like Jesus. In some circumstances it seems more is required of us than we think we have. The struggle with the unclean spirit was more than a slight challenge to the disciples and yet the boys father had faith enough to bring him to the disciples and to Jesus. Our strength in these matters rely’s on Jesus’s provisions to us.

“And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said,

John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.

Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”  Acts 11 v15-18

and there’s more…

“These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14 v25-27

and where our strength and witness comes from…

“But ye shall recieve power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.” Acts 1 v8

Jesus told his disciples of the day that his days on earth would come to an end but that the power of the Holy Ghost would sustain and strengthen them to be the witness of him in all the earth. Power, Holy Ghost power is not one of a boastful spirit, but it is one in the hour of need, that by faith we stand against the fiery darts of Satan, to rebuke wrong and to witness God’s healing in people. There is a time our strongest intentions may require more…

“Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them,

Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If he have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit, this kind goeth out but by prayer and fasting.” Mathew 17 v19-21

Lord, our strength is in you. I give you thanks. Lord, this day is yours as we go forward. We give you praise and we thank you for life. Amen

January 12

To be like Jesus 11

Today

“And he said unto them all,

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.” Luke 9 v23-27 AKJV

To be like Jesus. Christian, to be like Christ, and of course we have not arrived to a divine state of eternity as yet but we are to-take up the cross of our mantle (role or responsibility) daily and do as he would do.

“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.” Romans 12 v1

We are not directed to do more than we can even though at times what we are facing seems more than we can handle. To what degree can we afford to gain in this world above the plans God has for us and our lives. No material possessions, nor any legacy we leave of this life, other than our service to Christ and the testimony of our faith, will be of any value when eternity comes. We are to live our lives, work, and enjoy the fruits of our labor and all the same time as following God’s commands in the love and spirit of our savior, Jesus Christ.

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even as a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4 v14

Every day will count to someone, someday and how will the fruits of our labor in the kingdom of God fare? Daily, I am checked by others and by myself as well. Yesterday, it was mentioned that I would need to go home and repent, as yes I engaged in what seemed harmless humor and activity but obviously could have been viewed another way. I do know that there is an accuser of the brethren, yet I must not use that as an excuse not to check myself. My witness of Christ in me must stand the test, not the test of men, but the test of the one who lives in me and then there is no worries.

“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vane babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.” 1 Timothy 6 v17-21

God gave us the gift of life.

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2 v7

And Jesus came and gave his life that we might have eternal life.

“For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: like-wise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. Ye are bought with a price; be ye not servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.” 1 Corinthians 7 v22-24

Humility/humbleness. Our joy in the Lord is knowing that we are a part of the family of God. The humility and humbleness of our lives is displayed through our respect and reverence for God. The way we live, and the words we share carries that joy, or at least the opportunity to experience that joy onto another. Is it always easy? No, but it is always good.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8 v28

Lord, we thank you for this day. Amen

January 11

To be like Jesus 10

Today

“And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. And the people, when they knew it followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.

And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place. But he said unto them,

Give ye them to eat.

And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people. For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples,

Make them sit down by fifties in a company.

And they did so, and made them all sit down. Then he took the five loaves and two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets. And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying,

Whom say the people that I am?

They answering said, John the Baptists; but some say Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. He said unto them,

But whom say ye that I am?

Peter answering said, The Christ of God. And he straightly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; Saying,

The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.” Luke 9 v10-22 AKJV

To be like Jesus. What Jesus did here in feeding thousands seems like a task that would be impossible to us, and it is, but…

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Phillipians 4 v13

So we continue to do our very best at what we know to do, and then, as Jesus directed the disciples to do-bring our biggest problems to him and then trust him. Jesus gave specific directions and fed the thousands. He showed great compassion and a large display of strength in feeding the thousands. One thing to consider is the people had a desire to follow him.

He also knew to look forward to the events he knew were to come that others did not know of and gave another specific direction-“tell no man that thing.” The reason is, he knew going to the cross was coming for him. He was not trying to avoid it, but knew that men would involved in trying to manipulate circumstances so they did not need to know his every move, until the timing was right for it. Many times, depending on what we know our own future looks like, it is better not to tell all of our business. There is no reason for us to give our adversary an unnecessary advantage.

Looking forward, today is a good day. Lord, we thank you for this day. Amen

Thursday 1/10/2019

To be like Jesus 9

Today

Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them,

Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.

And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere. Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead; And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again. And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.” Luke 9 v1-9

To be like Jesus. To have confidence, to trust in our faith is to find peace and bring others peace as well. Faith destroys controlling fear and the divine word spoken and heard strengthens our faith.

“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10 v15

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10 v17

Many are sent to give opportunity to others, yet all will not receive the word. As I travel, I see some who are controlled by fear-even on their jobs, and witness or tell of the confidence that can have by faith. Even then it seems some rejection comes. Prayer overcomes that rejection. As we walk through life, we struggle with our own issues and work to overcome them, and some are very challenging.

Our purpose is not to know always, who, when, or why, but to go and share the gospel of peace. Jesus, he was born a virgin-conceived of the Holy Ghost, lived a perfect-sinless life yet suffered the pains and temptations we all do, gave his life on the cross-as the perfect and final sacrificial lamb, and rose again to return again one day for his own-those who choose life and follow him.

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.” Psalm 37 v23,24

As I walk, I pray. Lord, I thank you for this day. To be like Jesus, engage in the right way, with confidence and not overbearing, a relationship to others that will help their own faith. Let me know when to “shake of the dust” and move on when needed, and to stay when I need to stay. We thank you Lord again for this day. Amen

January 9

To be like Jesus 8

Today

“While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him saying,

Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole

And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said,

Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.

And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying,

Maid, arise.

And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat. And her parents were astonished: but he charged the that what they should tell no man what was done.” Luke 8 v49-56

To be like Jesus. Share the word and accomplishments of faith, believe.

Lord, I thank you for this day and the breath we breath. The breath of life that comes from what we do not see yet sustains our entire health, we give you thanks for even this small measure of faith, just to breath. We thank you that you will be with us this day. Amen

To be like Jesus 7

Today

“And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him. And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay dying. But as he went the people thronged him.

And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said,

Who touched me?

When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng and press thee, and sayest thou,

Who touched me?

And Jesus said,

Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her,

Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole, go in peace.” Luke 8 v40-48 AKJV

To be like Jesus. The crowds pressed around him, crowded him, and followed along with him. One woman had a great desire to be healed of him. She pressed through with great desire and reached to touch him believing that he could bring to her the desires of her healing. When she touch him, she received by faith her healing.

To be like Jesus. He turned, he knew one had touched him because the “virtue”-good had gone out of him. As you and I, bear one anothers burdens, we remember,

“Let us not grow weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galations 6 v9

As we go through our days with that in mind, we can take the time to enjoy the day and what God is doing around us. Yet, our day is not done.

“He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord, he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.” Romans 14 v6

and there’s more…

“Let not your good be evil spoken of:” Romans 14 v16

So much we consider throughout of day, and our desire to do well with the Lord. As he is in us, his good-virtue transpires and we to can become crowed and pressed with others of desire in our helping them. Our realization when this takes place begins to have bearing on us and becomes real and can be draining to us.

The divine appointment of others we cross pass with is important to them as God directs our paths. The virtue-Humility, kindness, abstinence, chastity, patience, and diligence-is drawn upon. Our replenishing, our reviving, our renewing is in our rest and trust in the Lord. Lord, we thank you for this day and for what you are doing. Amen

January 7