So, how’s this living In Jesus’ Name working out for you? For me? How many times have you wanted to take that Jesus name tag off for the sake of His name not being tarnished by your actions…feelings…thoughts? Personally I can think of a few. This walking in The Way that is worthy of His call, it is surreal some days and “for real!?” other days. But I am learning as I pay attention to how Jesus lived; I am learning how real this all is. It’s not a Sunday and Wednesday, goosebumps on my arms, all the pieces are in their place way of life. No. This is a ‘today didn’t start out quite right, I don’t feel up to this right now Lord, I can’t believe You’re asking this of me, You know my limitations, I might…get…dirty…or worse…burned’ kind of life. And if I’m truly seeking to be just like Jesus, that is the life I must live. It is the one He did.
That makes me uncomfortable.
That will interfere with my “me time.”
That will require a lot of my time and energy.
My personality just doesn’t fit well with that person; I don’t think I’m the one to befriend her/him.
My gift isn’t ________, so I know I’m not called to do that.
I didn’t get enough sleep last night; I have a right to be moody, frustrated, maybe even angry!
A person can only take so much!
A person can only give so much!
And at different times the world would “Amen” you, but it is not the world you are living for. and to. and in. What I find I’m most thankful for is that Christ didn’t let any of those thoughts stop Him from loving me.
The doing life with sinful people, the homelessness, the days of fasting and temptations, the cross…uncomfortable.
The many times He just tried to get away, even up a mountain, to be alone with His Father and the crowds would follow and find Him and He would look at them with…COMPASSION. We have never been an interferance or an interruption to Jesus. We are always His divine appointments.
Jesus just trying to walk to heal one person and another would have a need. He would be up til all hours and wake to a faithless people. And He did it, with love and gentleness and a firm faith that never wavered due to His physical condition.
A Jewish single man, confronted by tax collectors and adulterous women; a Jewish single man who confronted the tax collectors and adulterous women. A holy God-man surrounded by completely unholy men and women…holiness in the midst of sin.
Thank you, God for coming out of the Holy of Holies to meet with us when we were not permitted to enter!
Our gifts do not originate in us. He is the Giver; He is not limited. Nor are our gifts to be used as excuses to not love…that is a gift we all have!
And when we start despairing, throwing our hands up in the air, and saying “Enough!”…well, I guess I just want to remember that Jesus didn’t say that…He said, “It is finished” after more than enough was given.
4 So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. 2 You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God…7 The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. 8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.
10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.
14 So be happy when you are insulted for being a Christian, for then the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. 15 If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. 16 But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! 17 For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? 18 And also, “If the righteous are barely saved, what will happen to godless sinners?” 19 So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you. (I Pet.)
To end, a very specific word has come to me recently. There are relationships that are “at the brink” in my life – ones that I could have if I’d follow Him there. Ones that I have used many of the above excuses to avoid in the past. And I’ve been wondering why. Is it because the mess of it all is uncomfortable? And I could get burned if I walked into that fire with her. I believe it is that very fear that has kept me from fully living like Christ. I want to get by with tossing out scriptures and good Bible-based books and blogs; I want to write about what they should do and what I should do but to actually do it, that might get my shirt dirty. I might actually walk out of that day smelling like the smoke of their fire. Their life might just require something of mine and isn’t mine demanding enough. I mean, I’m in the midst of trying to raise children to
Yeah, He listens to my prayers, prayers saying, “He must become more, but I must become less.” He listens to the songs I sing on Sunday morning with hands lifted and tears falling; songs about surrender, redemption, loving like Him, breaking like Him. He listens. He acts. He shows me the way. And…I have kept Him waiting. And them…a lot of them have been waiting on me to live…really live…
In Jesus’ Name.