Walk This Way

www.bible.com/1713/1jn.2.6.csb

In Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” the stranded party happens upon Dr. Frankenstein’s castle. They are met by the butler/ assistant to the young Dr. who tells them to “walk this way” to meet their host. Instead of just following their guide, the party apes the man’s walk as well, with a pronounced hunch. I wonder if that is what John had in mind?

John had literally walked with Jesus. He had followed Him around Judea and Galilee. John knew how the man moved. He would be able to recognize how Jesus walked. We recognize this today as kinesthetics, or identifying someone by the way their body moves. So for John, walking as Jesus walked had a different dimension to it. That causes me to wonder how much John intended is to walk like Jesus? Would He have walked like Jesus to show his followers how the Master did it? Would he have demonstrated, even into his old age, what Jesus was physically like? What He ate, how He slept, or how He prayed?

We have watered this concept down through 2000 years of church history, and we’ve probably missed some things along the way. The sound of His voice, the gentleness of His touch, all of those we’ve missed, but His message, His love and His joy remain. Would you follow Him? We may not know how He walked, but we know His walk was faithful and upright. And that’s probably more like what John was after anyway.

May you make today a day walking with Jesus. Follow in His steps, both mercy and sacrifice. Giving and loving. Sternness and encouragement. Offering wise counsel and stern rebuke when needed. Every day we face the same situations Jesus did. Like Jesus, we need to follow His counsel in dealing with them. Read His Word. Listen for His voice in it. You can hear it. He is saying, “Follow Me.”

God bless you today.

Grace is a Man

www.bible.com/1713/tit.2.11-12.csb

His name is Jesus. Paul’s oblique reference becomes immediately obvious. Only Jesus could bring salvation. Only Jesus’ example could instruct us to deny godlessness and embrace righteousness. So why call Him grace? Grace is a free, undeserved gift. But this man is a gift, a free undeserved gift from God. For we could not have earned this gift, and when we received it, we killed it. We have done everything possible to tell God we don’t want His help. We still do.

So what could God do? He raised His Son from the dead. He brought Jesus, who had done nothing to deserve death, into a life that cannot be killed. Why?

Because if God is infinite, and God is love, then God’s love is infinite. He sent His Son because He loves us. He raised His Son because He loves us. He raises you because He loves and there is no exhausting that love.

All of that to encourage us to holy living. Because He loves us into His presence. He wants to love us for eternity, where even then His infinite love cannot be expended.

May God bless you today!

Greatness

www.bible.com/1713/mat.23.11.csb

Do you want to be great? Sounds like the Bible has the perfect formula for you to follow.

Serve.

That’s it. Just serve. If you serve others, you will become great. Was just watching the Christmas Carol last night with Patrick Stewart. The Scrooge at the beginning was a wealthy man, with house and rooms to spare. He had more money than he needed and could afford anything he wanted. No one liked him.

By the end the story, he is buying gifts, spending time with others, offering to help where needed, and giving raises to his employee. The narration at the end said everyone loved him, and few were greater than he. Moral of the story? If you want to be great and loved, give. Hmmm.

Some men are great, and others have greatness thrust upon them. But few can actually be good people who are great. The “public servants” in Washington may be great, but they’re not that great. True greatness comes with humble and genuine service. In what ways can you serve today?

God bless!

I Long For You

www.bible.com/1713/isa.26.9.csb

Need someone? Isaiah’s words here encapsulate what I’ve been feeling for a long time. Night time can be a lonely time. It when you long for a companion, one who is true and present with with you, you can’t go wrong with God. Of course what he is speaking to here is prayer and meditation on God. He is speaking to soaking in the Word of God to hear the voice of God.

As you prepare for rest tonight, take a moment to soak in His word. Speak His words of promise back to Him, so that you can abide with Him for a while. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

God bless you today!

Not from Works

www.bible.com/1713/eph.2.8-9.csb

Being the last month of the year, how do you evaluate how well your faith is doing? Do measure how many Sundays you went to church, Sunday School or small group? Do you measure your faith by how many good deeds you did? Or how much money you donated? Maybe just now you are thinking that you put money in the little red bucket so you are now a good person. But what Scripture tells us is that our faith is not measured by our works, but by the grace we’ve been given.

We understand God’s goodness to us not in what we do for Him, but what He has done for us. He has given us this marvelous salvation by grace through faith. Our faith is measured in our relationship to Him. His faithful love endures forever. Ours, well not so much.

So what I might ask is how well your faith has held up this year, through crisis, tragedy, highs and lows. Did you feel close to God during that job transition, or the loss of a loved one, or difficulty in family relationships. You find your church attendance means nothing when you are arguing with your wife. Your contribution to the kettle will mean nothing in the face of job loss. They may help measure your faithfulness and obedience, but the true test is whether you are still faithful when times are tough; when no one can see your pain. Who you are behind closed doors will determine how faithful you truly are.

Works will not save you, but they will offer some proof of your growth in Christ. But the real test of faith takes place when you suffer.

Will you still believe when it isn’t easy? God still believes in you. Never forget that. He doesn’t pull you out of the game until He’s ready.

The Battle of Good and Evil

www.bible.com/1713/rom.12.21.csb

Which is stronger? Good or Evil? Are they opposed to each other, or just certain points of view? Depends on who you ask. When the Nazis were overrunning Europe, did they think they were committing evil? When Americans were breaking treaties with Indians and taking their land, did they think they were committing evil? When the Catholics hunted down heretics because they didn’t believe in the authority of the Pope, did they think they were committing evil? It depends on who you ask.

Good and evil take different sides and different forms. Only discernment will help you here, and more importantly, the knowledge of Him who is good. You can’t know what evil is unless you know what good is. You cannot say something is wrong without knowing what is right. And you cannot know right without knowing God, who put His own holiness and justice in us so that we would know right from wrong.

We know from this verse that good is stronger than evil. How? Because we are commanded to overcome evil with good. We could not do that if it wasn’t possible. God is good. God is all-powerful, this God’s goodness reigns supreme. Evil cannot overcome good, but it can overcome us. Which is why this passage also serves as a warning.

Christian it is possible that evil can overcome you if you allow it access. Close off every avenue to sin to possess you, because sin is crouching at the door, waiting for an opportunity to pounce. Every temptation to doubt, to dally, or to despise God’s word is an opportunity for evil. Take every thought captive to the throne of Jesus. Don’t let evil win. Overcome evil with good.

God bless you this weekend as we prepare for worship!

Save Much Today?

www.bible.com/1713/jhn.3.17.csb

Folks venturing out early this morning are either heading back to work or looking to save some money. If you are in the latter category, have you saved much today?

A few people would rise early to save 10%, and a few more for 30% off. But who would get up for 100% off? And what would you do to get that discount on big ticket items, like a new car or a house on the beach? What would you value so much that you would spare no effort to receive if it was given to you at no charge?

And so we move into the realm of our text today. The single most valuable asset that God possesses is His Son. And yet He considered Him a fair exchange for all humankind. God gave His Son, paying the highest price, to save all people. What He offers, at no cost to you, is the most valuable commodity He can offer. He offers you salvation from the consequences of your sins, which would otherwise result in your destruction. What would you do to obtain this fantastic gift?

Would you rose early in the wee hours of the morning just do spend some time with Him? Would you give up precious sleep just to be near Him? What effort would you expend in exchange for the free gift of Hos salvation?

Something to think about on this Black Friday. God bless you today!