Posts Tagged 'Following Jesus'

A Genuine Servant

JESUS SPEAKING

    But Jesus called them to himself and said, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  However, it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.  And whoever desires to be first shall be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10: 42 – 45.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    As children we are taught that dominance is better than submission, and that a higher social status means a better life.  Many therefore seek to acquire positions of great power and authority.  Yet Christ’s teachings are in direct opposition to such worldly principles.  Those who follow Jesus must deny what they have been taught, in order to embrace the doctrines of genuine faith and divine humility.  Only by abandoning the desire for greatness, can one completely and lovingly serve others. [Note: This does not mean you need to quit your job or stop seeking a higher wage or position. However, we must always be humble, no matter our station in life.]

    For years young men from across the country have flocked to the church where I used to serve, seeking to do pastoral ministry.  Many hopefuls were initially referred to a pastor named Romain, who employed a special technique designed to separate the qualified from the unqualified.  As the prospects approached, he would hand them a broom and tell them to go sweep a portion of the church.  Although many were obedient, others felt insulted and became upset.  One common response sounded something like this, “I came here to be a pastor and to teach the bible, not to sweep floors.”  Pastor Romain knew then that they did not have a servant’s heart; they had not come to serve and to practice humility, but to acquire power and authority.

    Those who follow the Son of God must give-up the desire for worldly greatness in order to pursue lowliness and humility.  Seeking to serve others rather than to be served, we become the men and women God has called us to be.  We can serve at home, in the community, at work, and in our church.  We can serve our family members, coworkers, friends, neighbors, and even complete strangers.  Only through selflessness and sacrifice can we be transformed into the image of our great Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.     

    “Lord Heavenly Father, inspire us to seek lowliness and humility.  May we hunger to love and serve others in sincerity and singleness of heart.  Provide us with opportunities to place the needs of our fellows ahead of our own, that we might be examples of Your great mercy and everlasting affection.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!

The Destination

JESUS SPEAKING

      And when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave a command to depart to the other side. Then a certain scribe came and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus spoke to him saying, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to rest his head” (Mathew 8: 18 – 20.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

      Jesus Christ was born as a human being and raised in the house of Mary and Joseph. Yet his true home was with God in heaven. He was a sojourner; a traveler, perpetually mindful of his eventual destination. With no earthly residence, every miracle, act of love, and profession of truth brought him one step closer to home. As he traveled, he sought to persuade others to join him on his journey toward the Kingdom of God. Through his faithful followers, this divine mission continues even to this very today.
      In the Old Testament, Moses led millions of Israelites out of slavery and bondage in Egypt. After passing through the Red Sea, they wandered in the desert for 40 years; roaming the wilderness; living in tents, with no stable place to call home. Yet God swore an oath to eventually provide them with a permanent dwelling place; a promise that kept them alive as they embraced a life of hardship. After many long years of sacrifice, God fulfilled His pledge; safely guiding them into the land of Israel.
     Similarly, Jesus Christ leads many out of bondage to sin. In turn, they become travelers; reliant upon God’s provision. As believers, they begin clinging to the promise that they will one day enter His permanent dwelling place. During our journey toward the Kingdom of God, we must embrace a life of sacrifice, humility, and service. By denying our love for this world, we can lay hold of the world to come. The road to heaven is long and the way is hard; but the destination is more wonderful than anything we could ever imagine.
      “Lord Heavenly Father, may we cling Your promises. May we deny our own desires and embrace sacrifice. Strengthen us as we continue journeying toward Your kingdom; make us ever mindful that we are merely travelers heading home. May we always reach out to the lost and persuade them to join us on our journey. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you.

Letting Go and Grabbing Hold

JESUS SPEAKING

        “Again, the kingdom of God is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Mathew 13: 45-46.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

        The message of “The kingdom of God,” is a priceless treasure; a treasure more valuable than gold. For contained within it is the gift of eternal life and the love of God. As Jesus preached the message, a fortunate few recognized the truth and were willing to trade in all of their possessions to receive the Lord’s everlasting gift. Many who came to believe, sacrificed great wealth, time, relationships, homes, and lofty positions within the community in order to take hold of the true riches of God’s eternal kingdom. As believers, we must let go of the world in order to fully embrace the Lord.
        Some people actually make a living letting go of one thing, so they can grab hold of another. Trapeze performers, for example, swing effortlessly back and forth, high above cold concrete floors. For these men and women, timing and precision can often mean the difference between living and dying. The man, who risks his life to spin through the air, must know when to let go of his swing and when to grab hold of his partner, dangling from the opposite swing. So too, the gospel is a message about ‘letting go’ and ‘grabbing hold;’ no one can ‘grab hold’ of the Kingdom of God unless they fist ‘let go’ of whatever they are clinging too in this world. For the Christian, the pursuit of worldly rewards must end, and the pursuit of Godly rewards must begin.
        Sadly, during the Lord’s public ministry, thousands simply passed by him as he spoke; they chose to cling to their own lives rather than to grab hold of God and the life He was offering them. Today, the Lord is still speaking; his message is still being proclaimed throughout the world. Many still choose the temporary pleasures of this life over the eternal peace of God. Most refuse because the Christian life is not easy. There are many trials and hardships that accompany genuine faith. Self-sacrifice and self-denial aren’t always popular, but they are necessary. May we all choose to let go of our selfish pursuits. May we loosen our grasp on the things of this world; and may we grab hold of and embrace the free gift of God.
        “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and we ask that You give us the strength to avoid selfish living; we long to serve others, and to sacrifice our lives to accomplish Your desires. May we receive your kingdom with gladness, and may we let go of anything that is hindering us from completely submitting to Your perfect will. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.” God bless all of you!


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