We have seen so many crazy and inaccurate portrayals of Jesus today, even by our own churches—but let's go all out, and picture Jesus living today:
1) He’s working with you at your job, and you notice He begins to make strong sexual eye contact with your married coworker! Sits in parking lot and talks with her after work. 2) Picture Him watching movies containing sexually explicit scenes with you, and really enjoying them, then getting on His phone and looking up the sexiest pics He can find of the main star. 3) Picture Him throwing a fit when a coworker does Him wrong, and talking about him to everyone behind his back. 4) Picture Him coming back at a criticizing person with sarcasm, ridicule and pride, trying to intellectually embarrass them and keep His reputation. 5) Picture Him, Jesus, finding out about someone who has lost everything, and saying He can't help out because He'd like to go on a cruise this summer. 6) Picture Jesus being around totally lost, broken, sinful people and not offering a word of hope or encouragement. Just focusing on a good time with you and His friends. 7) Picture Jesus getting so involved in His day-to-day work, and shopping, and living that He stops reaching out, stops healing, stops teaching. It's offensive to even think those things, much less say them—but that is exactly how you and I are portraying Him to the world every day. Not just in the sinful things we do and say, but in the sinful things we don't do and say. In the completely self-absorbed and seemingly uncaring way in which we walk day-by-day and minute-by minute.
We are just like many in this country, whose freedom was bought by other's blood and sacrifice, and we spend each day unthankful, and with no obligation as to how we live this life we've been given, using our freedom to serve ourselves, because we deserve it.
Let's walk through an eye-opening Path of Truth here: Ephesians 5:1-2: Jesus lived every day of His life in love for others, and Paul tells us that is exactly what our mission in life is to be now. What is your life primarily about? Listen to these words spoken by Jesus to the disciples at the Last Supper: John 14:12-14: Notice, "He who believes in Me", meaning everyone who believes "The works that I do he will do also; and greater works...” Obviously we won't do greater miracles and supernatural acts than Him, but, "greater in number", because He is leaving. He means it is up to us to continue these works in His stead. We are to literally be Jesus to our world with our lives. This is literally your greatest calling in life, now that you have died with Him and risen a new person. Your gifts, your job, your money are all simply tools to that end—they are not your reason for being here. So, your obvious next question might be, "Why? Why, do I have to live this life that Jesus lived? Why can't I live a good, moral life, and be comfortable? Doesn't He love me and want me to be happy?" Absolutely, He loves you! And He knows that simply chasing after what you think will make you happy will actually make you miserable—that’s one reason He wants us to live like Him. But, here's the main reason: Is the world around us, especially today, just as broken, misguided, searching, and miserable as when Jesus walked the earth? Is there just as much pain, and feelings of worthlessness, and hatred? Do you think there is less demonic influence in the world, oppressing and hurting unsuspecting victims today, than in Jesus' day? If things are the same today, and Scriptures emphatically say we are to carry on what He began, the question is not, "Why am I expected to live radically for others?", the question becomes, "How can I not give myself to helping and healing this broken world?!" If all we are doing is selling, "Salvation" like a door-to-door salesman, then it would be a terrible, stressful life. But walking like Christ is so far from what we try to make it; it's about doing all that He did when He was here physically—and that is a calling, and an adventure, of a lifetime.
Before we can all rush out tomorrow and begin to live as Jesus lived, and serve as Jesus served, there are a couple of simple things we need to do in preparation. If we are to live as Jesus, and walk as Jesus, then we simply need to prepare like Jesus. Here is where all of these recent lessons have been so important and timely. 1) We have to walk in righteousness and holiness, and resist sin, in order to serve God and truly be used by Him. We can’t possibly think we can hear God's Will, or have the desire to follow it when you do hear it, if we are so controlled by and driven by our own desires. We have to become less important to ourselves than we are right now. Romans 12:2. 2) We have to be completely ready and wanting to follow God's Will for every day of our lives. That means spending time alone with God, just as Jesus did (a few minutes just won't cut it). Not just asking for things; but enjoying fellowship with Him. Seeking to know the Father's will, in confidence that His will could be found. Colossians 1:9; John 10:27. That means spending time in God's Word. How can you walk the earth reflecting the Living Word, when you don't know the very Word that He is? How can you do the right thing, give the right advise and direction, if you don't know God's written Will for our lives? Some, meaning well, actually give people wrong advise and direction in the Name of God—totally wrong because it is based on their feelings and assumptions. If you are going to be about the Father's business, it is a serious and eternal matter—be in His Word. (be accountable) Jesus had such a sweet relationship with the Father, and had such power and knowledge in His ministry because He sought to do nothing but the Will of the Father constantly: John 6:38; Matthew 26:39; John 4:34; John 5:19.
To have Salvation is as easy as trusting in Christ, who did it all. But to truly be ready to go about the work of Jesus on Earth, it requires a life of passion and devotion. You must seek to live humbly and righteous, so that your mind is usable. And you must actively spend time with God, seeking His Written and Personal Will. Each of these things requires passionate desire, and effort. How do we expect to go about the Master's Business—reacting as Him, seeing like Him, loving like Him—if we aren't sold out for Him first? If we aren't surrendered to Him first? This is not just a starting place—this is where we must base all our work done through Him.
If you are willing to live this life of a disciple, which, by the way, requires your life (not a bit of spare time on the side0, here is the life-changing way in which to walk the path of Jesus today: Walking in Jesus' Will does not mean that you spend 100% of your time visiting, ministering, and working; it means realizing that anywhere you go, anytime you go there, people that God loves will be in your presence. At work, at the game, at the party, at the store, these are all people with wounds, fears, pains, and needs that most often don't know the first thing about Jesus and His love. Do you think your steps are not ordained of God? Especially when you are ready to be used? Walking in Jesus' Will simply means that everywhere we are already going, we walk in constant expectation and love. Jesus' ministry was all around Him, everywhere He went, because there were hurting people everywhere He went. We need to begin to walk everywhere we walk in boldness and readiness. That doesn't mean acting like an annoying, righteous Jesus freak, it means we grasp the reality that God is wanting to use us very often, as His Hands and Mouth, wherever we are; it means we stop focusing on what is allowed, and focus on what is needed. Yes, I'm allowed to ignore these people, waste my own money, do my own thing—so was Jesus, in Heaven, as King and God—but aren't we glad He chose what was needed, rather than what was allowed? It means we have the understanding that God may call us at any moment, to give testimony of Him boldly, to give hard truth to a wayward brother, to pray right then and there with a believer or non-believer. It means we see the broken, angry, distraught, and faltering people around us, and we decide once and for all, that it is us whom god is calling to meet the need. We have to stop depending on everyone else while we live comfortably. (Talking family, friends, coworkers, strangers) We have to stop thinking someone else will be more usable. We have to stop letting people die, while they are surrounded by people waiting for someone else to act. Make yourself uncomfortable and useable; take ownership and realize you are the one responsible. Listen for God's Voice everywhere you go, and be ready to get involved. This is where life gets awesome; this is where differences are made.
Walking in Jesus' Will means that you don't just focus on being the nice guy that always gets along. Being Christian doesn't mean just being, "Nice" and not causing waves. True love will sometimes demand that we not be nice. Is correcting your child always nice? Does stopping a rapist or murderer require you to be nice? In the same way, to tell a brother or sister they are in sin, or to tell someone their choices are going to hurt them, or to tell someone they are being selfish and hurtful towards others or God will not always be nice. This is never a free pass to be mean, rude or hurtful: Ephesians 4:29. Truly helping someone we love is more important than being popular with them. Real love wants the best, not what's easiest. Real love brings healing, change, and growth, even when it's hard. Walking In Jesus' Will, means we sometimes suffer in silence (because we realize what is more important than the injustice). Walking in Jesus' Will means, we don't just offer a token, "I'll be praying for you!" Recognize that prayer is a real need, a real weapon. The power and impact of joining in prayer with someone before leaving them may be what makes the difference in letting them feel loved, and in bringing God's hand to bear. We are called to meet the need and glorify Christ. But it’s not an excuse to be publically annoying. (Step aside and be intimate) Walking in Jesus' Will means that we bring all of our resources to Him, to be used as necessary in meeting needs and loving others. Always knowing He will provide for us, always knowing we are blessed to be a blessing, always knowing that meeting a need, is a powerful way to show real love (meet needs of stranger at store). James 2:14-16; Matthew 25:35-36. Walking In Jesus' Will means being aware that everywhere, all of the time, there are spiritual forces literally present and at work, and much of our calling will be to resist, and refute fallen angels. Much of our walk will be to take back overrun lives from spiritual oppression. Does this mean we get imbalanced and blame everything on demons? Absolutely not! Our flesh and our choices bring darkness into our lives, but, we can’t think that all of the spiritual battles that Jesus fought when on earth, went away in the first century. Stop worrying about how you look or sound when you come against Satan's kingdom, and take the fight to him. Ephesians 6:12-13. Live righteously, spend time with God and in His Word, so you can be prepared, then accept that it is our responsibility, our adventure to step out everywhere we are, in prayer, healing, correcting, comforting, providing, preaching, and loving—all in his will, at His leading—expecting. You may be the only one who knows truth, you may be the only one who cares enough, you may be the only hope they will have! We shouldn't just pray for strength, mercy, grace and hope, we should be these things by letting Christ live through us. Christ lived a bold life in helping others. The disciples followed that example. Paul and the first century Christians followed that example. Christians throughout the centuries to come, followed that example. We are part of this incredible honor and tribe. Our lives should be used to help the hurting, save those who are wandering, give hope to other Christians, and inspire those around us to live more boldly in their own walks. Galatians 5:13. Will you step out in a conscious effort? Take on the burden? Walk the walk?
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