Called to Imitate Jesus

<strong>Called to Imitate Jesus</strong>

We are called to follow Jesus’ example on earth.  He is our example, or pattern, of godliness and holiness.  In order to model ourselves after Jesus, we must first comprehend what He was called to do.

Jesus had prophetic Scriptures to fulfill, and He was very aware of those Scriptures.  Let’s turn to the Bible and explore this topic.

  • The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord anointed me to bring good news to the humble; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to captives and freedom to prisoners . . .  (Isa 61:1 NASB)
  • The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.  (Lk 4:18 NIV)
  • The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.  (Mt 11:5 NKJV)

Jesus came to bring the good news of salvation to mankind.  He was sent to heal the brokenhearted, release the captives, heal the lame and blind and deaf, and to declare freedom to the prisoners of evil.

  • But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  (1 Pet 2:9 NIV)

We are told in 1 Peter, chapter 2, that we who have accepted Christ as our Savior and Lord are a chosen people, called out of darkness into His marvelous light.  As His royal priesthood, we are called to live holy, righteous lives that shine before all men to the glory of God.

In imitating Christ, not only should we desire to act as He did, but to do so with the same purity of character and the motivations of LOVE for His Father in heaven and for the people to whom He ministered.  Without the correct heart attitude and inspiration, our actions would become a mere parody of our Lord’s. In order to fulfill our calling, we need to maintain a profound relationship with our Redeemer—a living relationship clearly conspicuous by our obedience, submission and love for the Lord.  Such an ongoing relationship coupled with an honorable character will result in a life of true service to the Lord and to His Kingdom.  God bless you!

God’s Perfect Love Drives Out Fear

God’s Perfect Love Drives Out Fear

When we understand and comprehend God’s perfect love for us, it drives out all fear.  Let’s see what the Bible has to teach us.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  (1 Joh 4:18 NIV) 

The perfect love that we receive from God is unending, unfailing, and persevering.  Glory to God!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  (2 Tim 1:7 NKJV)

The spirit of fear is not from God but comes from not being able to trust God completely and comprehensively.  God has given us the Holy Spirit as well as the fruit of the spirit which includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  (see Gal 5:22-23)  The Holy Spirit is the spirit of power.  (See Acts 1:8)

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  (Rom 8:15 NIV)

The spirit whom we received when we accepted Christ as our Savior is the Holy Spirit.  (See Acts 2:38; Eph 1:13; Rom 8:16)  Once we accepted Christ as our Savior, we became children of God.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.  (1 Joh 4:12 NIV)

The Bible verse above reminds us that no one has ever seen God in His complete, divine revelation.  Even Moses only saw the back of the Lord in Exodus 33:18-23.  However, as we believers imitate the love of God for mankind, we demonstrate God’s love to humanity. 

The perfect love of God—which has forgiven and cleansed us of all of our sins—drives out fear.  It drives out the fear of eternal punishment, as well as the fear of what other people think of us.  It drives out the fear of the unknown because we know that God holds us in the palm of His hand and has provided all that we need for life and godliness.  (2 Pet 1:3) As we believers experience God’s love inside of us, it empowers us to live for Him and to love others.  As we mature and grow in grace and walking in the love of God, we model the love, forgiveness, and mercy of God toward all with whom we interact.  Praise God!

We Were Washed & Sanctified

We Were Washed & Sanctified

God’s Word has given us great and precious promises which belong to every believer.  We need to study and comprehend all of the priceless treasures that we have been given.

“On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.”  (Zech 13:1 NIV)

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  (Ps 51:7 NKJV)

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.  (1 Cor 6:11 NKJV)

Jesus suffered at the hands of His enemies; shed His blood on Calvary; died a shame-filled death; and was resurrected on the third day and ascended into Heaven.  By fulfilling His calling on this earth, He not only purchased salvation for every person who accepts Him as their Savior and Lord.  He also is our source for continuous cleansing, washing, and sanctification.

Jesus is the living Word of God. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  (Joh 1:1)

He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.  (Rev 19:13)

Jesus is the fountain spoken of in Zechariah 13:1.

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’  (Joh 7:38 ESV)

Jesus cleanses us from unrighteousness.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (1 Joh 1:9)

Through Christ we are justified.

. . . and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.  (Ac 13:39)

Through faith in Christ we are sanctified.

. . . to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.  (Ac 26:18)

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.  (Rom 3:28)

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . .  (Rom 5:1)

Let us rejoice and praise the Lord for the benefits and blessings of our mighty salvation!

Our Weakness Reveals God’s Strength

Our Weakness Reveals God’s Strength

How can weakness or challenges in life reveal God’s strength to us? 

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  (2 Cor 12:9)

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  (2 Cor 12:10, emphasis added)

For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.  (2 Cor 13:4)

Whenever we are weak in an area, it presents an opportunity for God’s strength to be discovered by us.  Our weaknesses, when exposed and humbly given to God, invite God’s love and strength to work powerfully in our situations.

Our weaknesses help us to see that there isn’t much that we can do in ourselves and by ourselves.  We comprehend our utter helplessness.  Problems and weaknesses compel us to turn to the true source of ALL help and power:  to the Lord Jesus Christ.  We must learn to rely upon God’s grace and mercy, both of which are abundantly available to us according to the Word of God.

In times of need, trial, or crisis, we reach a point where we are ready and willing to yield to God’s will in our lives.  Praise God!  As the Scriptures shown at the top of this article demonstrate, God is ready and able to meet our needs and to help us.  And when He does, it is a testimony to His love and mercy.

He loves to bless us and to solve our problems because He loves us.  (Joh 3:16; 1 Joh 4:19; Ps 37:40; 46:1; 63:7)

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  (Rom 8:26, emphasis added)  The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses.

After we turn to the Lord and pray about our area of weakness and need, His power will flow into the situation and turn it around.  We then have gained genuine, first-hand experience of the love and mercy of God.  This, in turn, enables us to comfort and to minister to other people who are in similar situations.  (2 Cor 1:4)  It also deepens and matures our faith.

Rejoice in the strength and power of God that is available to you!

God Knows You

God Knows You

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.  You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.  You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.  For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.  (Ps 139:1-4)

God has explored and examined humanity.  He knows each one of us better than we know ourselves. 

According to the Bible verses above, God knows where we’re going; what our plans are; when we will sleep; and all about our individual personalities.  He even knows what each one of us is about to say!  Wow!

Jesus is our Savior and Intercessor.  He intercedes and even pleads for us before the throne of God continuously.  (Rom 8:34; 1 Tim 2:5) 

Jesus always lives to make intercession for us.  (Heb 7:25)

He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.  (Rom 8:27-28 MSG)

Everything that we do out of love for God and in serving God, He has promised He will work out for our good.  Glory to His name.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”  (Joh 15:5)

In the above Scripture, we’re reminded that as the vine and branches are one entity, even so we’re united with Jesus Christ into a unique, spiritual entity.  Since we are united with Christ, we also have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor 2:16) We can know His will and plans for us.

Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.  (1 Cor 12:27)  Even though we are members or individual parts of the body of Christ, we are still unique and individual.  God uses every matchless part of His body to minister in distinct and irreplaceable ways. 

Rejoice in the truth that God knows you very well.