May 28, 2019
If you are a true follower of Christ, you long for your life to count and make a difference for the kingdom of God. And, if your motivations have been rightly purified, you want God to be glorified, i.e., honored; seen; better known and worshiped.
But how can you accomplish that in this life? Here's how Jesus did it, spelled out in His final, high priestly prayer in John 17:
"I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do." (John 17:5)
LISTENING AND FOLLOWING
... was the key to discovering this work. Everything that Christ (the man) did was God-initiated. He kept looking at the things above (as Paul tells us to do in Colossians 3); heard what the Father wanted Him to do, and obeyed.
This process put Jesus square in the middle of God's work. There was not a second in which Jesus was not doing what the Father desired Him to do.
THE END RESULT
... was that His life perfectly glorified God all the time. People saw and experienced God. So much so that, at the close of His life, Jesus could say to Philip, “If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father.” Wouldn’t this be an incredible statement for people to make about your life? “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father!” What better gift could you give to your family, friends, and even your enemies? What great contribution could you make to this world than to glorify God in this way!
MAKE NO MISTAKE
But we must understand this about this God-glorifying life of Christ: It was not easy. Christ’s life was one of continual joy but also continual sacrifice. Descending to earth, living as a man, being misunderstood, being falsely accused and dying for others was all of part of God's will.
He worked hard at His calling. He went countless nights without sleep as He communed with the Father. He prayed unceasingly. But the results were spectacular in His earthly life and bore fruit that will last eternally. God was glorified in every single moment of Jesus’ life and ministry.
The same can be true of us. If we will recognize that God’s will is best, make His word the final authority for our lives, and listen to the Lord and follow Him, we will "accomplish the work which (God has) given us to do" and in so doing, will "glorify God on the earth" in the best possible way.
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June 08, 2019
June 07, 2019
… with most of us modern Christians is that we are stoppable. A little discomfort, a turn from our desired daily routine, or a little resistance from those to whom we’re witnessing throws us off. We have not settled the issue that our greatest joy and highest purpose comes from our witness, and so we are unwilling to push through in sharing Christ with others every day, even in the mildest environments. Even when persecution is not present.
June 03, 2019
These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14)
Prayer is the foundation for all of life. Imagine the emotions and sense of fear and expectancy when Christ had been resurrected, appeared to His disciples, and then ascended. They were instructed to merely wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit who would endue them with power to be witnesses to Christ all across the world (Acts 1:8).
So, what did they do?