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Showing posts from January 11, 2015

Questioning - Being Like Jesus Series #5

How do you communicate care to others around you? How do you challenge what they are saying to you? We think we do this well but we can be abrasive, critical, unloving and authoritarian in the way we speak to others. Jesus used a different process to help others gain clarity about what they were saying and doing. He used questions. Here's a simple example. Jesus came to a man who had been at the pool of Bethesda for 38 years. He was lame and caught in the grip of his disability.  Jesus said to him, "Do you want to get well?" (John 5:1-9) Now that seems at first blush a terrible thing to ask because any person disabled for that long would have wanted to get well, you would think. However, Jesus' question brought forth the excuses which revealed to the man how comfortable he had become just being there. He needed to see the truth before Jesus would act. Jesus then commanded him to "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." (5:8) He did and his life was changed beca…

Spirit Led - Being Like Jesus Series #4

Spirit Led  Have you felt the direction of the Spirit of God in your life? When a decision was before you and you prayed, maybe fasted as you sought God's direction, were you aware when it came? Being like Christ means that you are sensitive and obedient to the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was obedient to the Father and to the Spirit in his earthly life. He prayed, "I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do." (John 17:4) From the beginning of his ministry, in fact the very first statement that is made about Jesus after he was baptized by John the Baptizer is, "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil." (Matthew 4:1) He was identified as, "full of the Holy Spirit" by Luke (Luke 4:1) and did his ministry "in the power of the Spirit." (Luke 4:14)  His own testimony was that, "the Spirit of the Lord is on me." (Luke 4:18) Jesus was led by the Spirit throughou…

Growth - Being Like Jesus Series #3

It has been said, if you stop growing you start dying. That is a powerful thought that can get us thinking about what we do in our own lives to grow. Even at an early age, while Jesus was still under the direction of Joseph and Mary, his mother and step-father, he was growing in four areas of his life. "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (Luke 2:52) There was natural development "in stature" for Jesus. He was a normal child eating, getting comfortable in his own skin, having his mother make him new clothes that fit since the old ones had become too small. Baby fat was turning into muscle. Beyond that, he was growing in "wisdom" which relates to his mental growth. He was a life-long learner. The intellectual and experiential part of his life was growing and through these he grew in wisdom which is the application of these in daily life. He was growing in favor with "people." Relationally Jesus was connecting and felt …

Compassion - Being Like Jesus Series #2

Is there any difference between sympathy, empathy, and over identification with other's problems? Jesus attitude and actions struck the right balance in compassion. Matthew experienced it as a disliked tax collector sitting in his booth when Jesus came and told him to "Follow me." (Matthew 9:9) Matthew did follow and in the process heard and recorded Jesus' words related to the crowds, "he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." (9:36) Further, Matthew records Jesus say, "Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (9:37) Compassion is being moved in the seat of your emotions. Your heart is stirred by what you do see. You do not ignore it (seeing yet ignoring), you do not miss it (never seeing because you are otherwise occupied) but hone in on it. Letting your heart experience a pained feeling at the plight of others. This was common to Jesus as seen…

Image - Being Like Jesus Series #1

You may have, at some time in your life, identified a person whom you wanted to be like. You might have dressed like them, talked like them, sang like them, and acted like them. Think about all those who have tried to be like Elvis Presley or present stars Katy Perry, Taylor Swift or Blake Shelton, plus many more but time is short. When it comes to imitating someone, we need to dig a little deeper than the pop culture. How about imitating Christ? There are four books in the New Testament that reveal his whole life. Is there not enough information there to become like Jesus? Even Paul stated that God's plan from the very beginning for believers was "to be conformed to the likeness of his Son." (Romans 8:29) What about that "likeness" do you know? How many series do you hear on Christ each year? Who is delving into his attitudes, actions, prayers, discussions with others and the like to determine how to better treat others and to find out the ingredients that ma…

Despicable Evil

Sometime you just have to tell it like it is. You and I have both seen men and women that lift themselves up and boast about the evil works they do? They are open about their rebellious attitude. They seem to be void of any good and could be identified as despicable. The Psalmist asks God the question, "Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?" (Psalm 10:1) And then, he presents a picture of what evil persons are doing. These men are continuously searching for weak people, scheming to catch them, boasting about what they desire, blessing those who are like them, using abusive language against God, not considering God in any way or at any time, succeeding in evil, sneering, cursing, lying, threatening, murdering, and capturing and crushing the helpless. (Psalm 10:2-11) The Psalmist asks, where is God in all of this? The truth is that God is aware of the perils these men bring. He is keeping account of their deeds. He will uncover their secrets. He will rule over them. H…