When Jesus came to earth He made the greatest sacrifice of self-abnegation and self-denial possible. He humbled Himself and renounced His Divinity. In other words, Jesus went out of Himself in order to enter into fellowship with us. So why are we so against doing the work to enter into relationship with Him? We’d like Jesus to just save, change, and sanctify us without lifting a finger in the process. Or we’d rather bargain with Him first – (“You do this for me first God, and maybe then I’ll start working on myself.”) The bottom line is that we also must go out of ourselves in order to enter into a right relationship with God…and waiting around until He does all the work in our lives (that we need to be doing) will never happen.
Our Christian journey isn’t perfect, for everyday we mess up. We say things we shouldn’t…or out of anger and frustration we act unkindly. Holiness isn’t something that we’re suddenly bestowed with when we say “Yes” to Jesus…it’s a process…a daily effort towards perfection. Philippians 1:6 tells us, “That being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” This journey towards holiness – towards perfection, is God’s purpose for you. And as you walk in the Spirit, you’ll discover that His ultimate plan and purpose for you is that process towards holiness.
The women had just left the empty tomb when they were confronted by the risen Jesus. They did not flee but rather fell prostrate at His feet. There will be a time in all our lives when we too will come face to face with Jesus…and the decision becomes ours…do we turn our back and run…or do we worship at His feet.
To walk in love means that the love of God has become so ingrained in you that it has become part of your personality. I come from a long line of stoic German farmers who are not huggers, so when I became a Nurse, I had to train myself to touch people…sometimes in very intimate ways, in potentially embarrassing procedures. And over the years, showing compassion and God’s love through touch just became part of me. We all need to determine to walk in love. To respect rather than disregard…to forgive rather than condemn…to show mercy rather than harshness…to be kind rather than cruel.
Jesus and His Disciples were traveling to a town called Nain, when they came upon a funeral procession of the only son of a widow. Jesus looked on her with compassion, for she had not only lost her only boy, but also her sole means of income. This tenderness towards the woman was prompted perhaps by Jesus remembering His own mother and what she soon would be going through. For Jesus then spoke to the corpse , “Get up!” and the young man sat up and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
Jesus and His mother Mary had a very special and totally unique relationship. They shared the traditional Mother-Son bond…but because of the miraculous way Jesus was conceived, Mary had insight into just how life-changing His time on earth would be. When the wine ran out at the wedding in Cana, Mary knew Jesus could do something about it. But why did He change the water into wine if His time had not yet come? He did it because He loved and honored His Mother more than any time-table or schedule.
If Christians can’t find co-operation and devotion to one another in brotherly love…who can? Understanding, peace, and harmony must start within the Christian body and move out beyond the Church walls…for as Jesus said, “So that they may be one as we are one.”
Just like Jesus, Peter walked on the water. Just like Jesus, Peter’s faith was great enough to keep him afloat. But unlike Jesus, Peter took his eyes off his Savior and onto the situation around him and he began to flounder. When the storm is swirling around you…keep your eyes on Jesus. When fear promises to overwhelm you…keep your eyes on Jesus. For as long as Peter stayed focused on the Lord, he walked above the fray.
The mystery of God is summed up in one word…Jesus. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ we have new birth and can fully grasp the foundation and principal of God’s love for us.
Paul was a “spiritual” father to Timothy, but it was at his mother’s knee as a toddler he truly learned about Jesus. (II Timothy 3:15) It was the consistent teaching of both his grandmother and mother that established Timothy’s firm and confident belief in Jesus Christ and His Gospel…which gives all Christian women hope for their children regardless of the family dynamics.