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Showing posts from January 18, 2015

Praying - Being Like Jesus Series #10

Twenty-first century living does not allow much room for prayer. It is a fast-paced and surface focused world. We are being trained to “need” to have “it” now, rather than later. Many are “driven” but going nowhere; full of things, but empty in their souls; swimming in the shallow end of relationships. We have forgotten connection to our heavenly Father. Our souls have Father-hunger and that is only fulfilled with Him. His presence is available all the time. Paul stated it this way, “For through Him [Jesus Christ] we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:18) Our "access" is for communication, prayer, speaking to God, or whatever you want to call it. Jesus communicated with the Father. In Jesus' prayer called the Lord's Prayer, we see Jesus “praying in a certain place.” (Luke 11:1-13) He is allowed to finish and then, because of the great example he set, is asked by a disciples to "teach them to pray." The prayer he utters as an example o…

Impartial - Being Like Jesus Series #9

When Jesus looked at people he saw them all the same. Some had power or position, or both. Others were terminally ill. He saw Matthew, the tax collector, the same way he saw the Pharisees and Sadducees. He viewed women like Mary and Martha the same way he viewed Peter, James and John. The spies of the Sanhedrin came to him and said, "Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth." (Luke 20:21) It was obvious that Jesus was impartial and truthful in his dealings with all persons. He spent time in all the class levels and he charged them all with the same message. Reading through the Bible, this idea of favoritism or partiality comes up many times. I have catalogued thirty-one verses which discuss it in areas of legal justice, religious law, family law, national and relational settings, class impartiality and even instructions made by Paul on being impartial in obeying his in…

Restorative - Being Like Jesus Series #8

Have you ever done something that caused you to lose a friend? Or, has a friend done something that caused you to step back from your friendship with them? It is difficult when we have been hurt to ignore it and go back to the way things used to be. As Jesus was being interviewed by the Sanhedrin, Peter denied him three times while standing around a fire the night before Jesus went to the cross. To do this and then watch Jesus go through the crucifixion must have been gut wrenching for Peter. He was so distraught that he determined to go back to his old occupation. He said to six other disciples, "I'm going out to fish." (John 21:3) In the Greek text this statement is in the present tense, meaning that he was going back to fishing as his livelihood. But Jesus wasn’t going to give up on Peter, so after he appeared and called the fishermen back from their night of fishing, he provided breakfast for them on the shore. With a full stomach Peter and Jesus had a discussion ab…

Obedient - Being Like Jesus Series #7

As adults, obedience is something we don't choose to think about. We feel that we can direct our own lives; we don't have to bow our head to other's directions. But consider this in any job, we ultimately do what the boss says. We may feel we have more freedom but what our impression is, if not agreed upon by the "company," will mean release from our duties. God said that children are to "honor your father and your mother." (Exodus 20:12) It's right there as commandment five of the Ten Commandments. Paul added to the front of this statement a clarification by saying, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." (Ephesians 6:1) Then he goes on and repeats the Exodus verse. Obeying certainly is a part of honoring. Obedience is clearly defined in Scripture as doing exactly what you are told to do, immediately, with the right heart attitude. Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit and he immediately went. (Luke 4:1)  …

Joy Filled - Being Like Jesus Series #6

Joy Filled  When can you say was the last time you were full of joy despite your circumstances? Now I'm not talking about being at Disneyland or at a party, I'm talking about in your daily life. When was joy just busting out of you? We have been talking about being like Christ in our series and this means that we also need to understand what it means to be joy filled because Jesus was consistently filled with joy. It was not the result of his circumstances because he was facing an uphill battle for the people to see him as the Messiah. His disciples were often disappointing to him and he was also facing the daunting end of a terrible death on a cross. However, Luke identifies him as "full of joy through the Holy Spirit." (Luke 10:21) So how could we be joy filled like him? We must recognize that joy is an inward ability to be content in all situations and an inward exhilaration of the spirit, not the soul or the body. It is not produced by circumstances (that is hap…