Meet Jesus – Authority … GSJ16

There is no doubting His positions.

Matthew 7:24: Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26: And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.28: And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” Marie Curie

The Author: Too often we hear varied opinions that sound right. The argument is logical. The reasoning seems to flow. Yet, there is no ring of truth to what we hear. Jesus has the ring of truth. There is no doubting His positions. There is no doubting His stance. There is no doubting whether living like Him will work. It will work. His life example is a solid rock on which we can stand. He has authority because He is the author.

Shaken To Rights: The morning message shook Jake out of his thoughts into a fresh world. Immediately, his attention went to the words being spoken. How could Jesus have authority over his life? Hadn’t he ignored his relationship with Christ for many years. Yet, somehow the message was challenging his thoughts and the most hidden secrets of his soul. He did not even know this preacher lady in the pulpit. Yet, the words had a ring of truth that took him back to his first days of commitment to Christ in college. It was unsettling and settling at once. He was discomforted and placed in a comfortable position. How could this be? How could Christ take him back so quickly after so many years? Yet, that is how he felt. He felt as if Christ were standing right in front of him and holding out the hand of an old friend.

Act! Think through some of your foundational thoughts. Do they match His?

Pray! Father, it is Your authoring in my life that makes such a wonderful difference. Let me move with You. You are in me and I am in You. Your life moves within me. Let me build on the example of the rock of Jesus Christ. He is the chief cornerstone. Let me built from the starting point of Jesus example each day. Let my thoughts find their origination in Him..

This devotion is #16 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

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Meet Jesus – Reality Based .. GSJ15

The mirror of His love reveals the truth of our pretense and provides opportunity to change.

Matthew 7:21: Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

“It takes generosity to discover the whole through others. If you realize you are only a violin, you can open yourself up to the world by playing your role in the concert.” Jacques Cousteau

Outside In: All of us have acquaintances that appear on the outside with one manner, yet inside are quite different. All of us have masks of pretense in some area ourselves. Jesus is interested in reality. Show, pretense, and explosive displays of seeming wonder are meaningless to Him. It is an inside job that is important to Him. When we connect with Him, we connect with reality. The mirror of His love reveals the truth of our pretense and provides opportunity to change. He looks for the change.

Quizzical Stick: Sally looked quizzically at Jake. All morning in Sunday School class he had appeared to be okay. He even knew the scripture which they were studying and the parable of the seed and the sower. Yet, she knew he was not in any Christian fellowship. They had talked about it. Who was this person? What was his real background? She thought she knew him. Now, she was not quite so sure.

Jake laughed on the inside. “If they only knew?” he thought to himself. It had been years since he had studied any scripture or allowed anyone to teach him. Even his wife was surprised at his knowledge of the scriptures. In college, when Greg had separated from his friends, Jake had been driven to find out why. All through the rest of his college years, he attended a small group at a local church. He had even made some commitments of his life to live for Christ. That was a long time ago. The group had blown up over petty arguments. He wasn’t impressed with the reality of this faith after that episode. He wasn’t ready to step into these waters again. Was Jesus really real?

Act! Strip off one mask. Where is pretense ruling in your life? Dig for the truth and let Jesus build His reality into you in that area.

Pray! Ouch! Father, I admit I have areas of pretense. Before You and You alone can they be revealed in an atmosphere of healing. Never are You interested in destruction. Never are You interested in my downfall. You are always on my side to become more like Jesus. Help me to undo the pretenses of my life. In all areas, I want You to be able to say, “Yes, I know that one. Let him enter in with my son, Jesus, into the everlasting kingdom of life.”

This devotion is #15 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

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Meet Jesus: Fastened ….GSJ6

fastenerJesus is fastened to the idea that our service is to God first in private and men second in private when necessary.

Matthew 6:16: And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17: But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18: that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Fast is Slow: Jesus’ fast was always one of dealing between Him and the Father. It goes along with the old English definition of suffering. To suffer means to allow, quietly. For Jesus it was incredibly important that your dealings with the Father not be public until it was absolutely necessary. Our challenge is to be quiet about the sufferings in our lives, especially the chosen ones. Jesus is fastened to the idea that our service is to God first in private and men second in private when necessary.

 Sally’s Commitment: Sally was committed to seeing her friend blessed.  Life had been cruel to Jake.  Sure, he had made plenty of mistakes.  That was not the point.  He needed a breakthrough in his relationships and his finances.  He needed to get on solid ground to start over.  She was committed to pray for his breakthrough.  For a week, she took time every day to listen to God for Jake and pray blessing over his life.  Jake was on his way to a new life in Christ through Sally’s prayer and fastened commitment.

This devotion is #6 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT! Start a fast. Maybe just one day. Stay away from whatever food group you love the most. Do it just to draw closer to God.

PRAY! Faithful Father, in Jesus I have all the strength necessary to fast His way. I repent of being more concerned about public recognition than that for which I have fasted. Allow me Father to continue to grow strong in you. Fasten me to Your presence. Fasten in me the concept that it is Your worship that is important. It is Your recognition by me that is important.

Meet Jesus: Us Too …GSJ5

domeNo body treats me as good and forgiving as He does.  And He expects me to do the same for others.

Matthew 6:14: For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Do Me Like Jesus: Funny thing about Jesus, what His Father does, He does.  What He does, He expects us to do.  So He expects us to do like His Father.  An old song sings, “Can’t nobody do me like Jesus.  Can’t nobody do me like the Lord.”  That is true.  No body treats me as good and forgiving as He does.  And He expects me to do the same for others.

Team: Leadership was all about example to Greg.  Over and over he mulled on the characteristics he needed on the team for the new member.  They did not need to have a lot of experience leading others.  It was more important that they had experience leading themselves.  How had they handled life?  How had they advanced their skills?  How had they overlooked others’ problems in light of their own?  Could they handle rejection of ideas without personalizing?  Could they give examples of having to just accept offenses and get the job done?  

 Those thoughts pushed into his mind and challenged him in his own life.   How had he been doing in being gracious to his co-workers?  What about his family?  What about his friends?  Again, he went to prayer as he realized he was holding some things against other managers.  He needed to get those settled and forgiven in his heart before he brought on a new team member.  Otherwise, his angst would overflow onto the team.

This devotion is #5 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT! What did God forgive you of yesterday?  Who needs your forgiveness?  Write it off!  Quit looking for payback.  Set them free.  Don’t even ask them to say, “I’m sorry.”

PRAY!  Father, my hide is so tough.  I like to do things my way.  When I am honest, I know I would just like to do what I like to do.  Help me forgive and forget.  Help me not hold anything “against” another person.  Help me be like You.   Show me something to forgive today.  Help me take a burr out from under my saddle and get free.

Meet Jesus : Daily Provider …GSJ2

Each means the manna for the day is enough.  Don’t worry about tomorrow’s manna.

 Matthew 6:11: Give us this day our daily bread.

 Enough: Jehovah Jireh in the Old Testament was a name for God that foreshadowed this text of prayer.  In Jesus, we meet The LORD, Our Provider.  Provider is a compound Latin word just as ji-reh is a compound Hebrew word.  Each means “to see beforehand”.  Each means that the “pro-vision” for the journey is in the path waiting for us each day.  Each means the manna for the day is enough.  Don’t worry about tomorrow’s manna.

Sure Enough: Sally had been praying for her friend for months.  The job he had was good, but not what he wanted.  Family had to take second place to every decision of the company.  Her friend, Jake, was struggling.  His marriage was strained.  His time with his kids was pressed.  He had lost many years of good time with his family.  Maybe God could provide him a different opportunity.  She was encouraged after talking with Greg.  A new opportunity in Greg’s office might be Jake’s answer.  God could provide.

 This devotion is #2 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT! Take one worry about what you will need for today and throw it away. That’s right, throw it away.  Place it on the altar of prayer and don’t look back all day.

PRAY! Jehovah Jireh, You are my vision before I get there.  You have put in my path all that is necessary for life and Godliness.  You have made me a partaker of Your divine nature.  You have ordered my steps.  You have made my lines to fall in pleasant places.  Thank You, Father, for giving me my daily bread.  Thank You that in Jesus I have all I need every day according to Your riches in glory in Him.

Meet Jesus: Transcendent …GSJ1

 

While His Father is in heaven, He talks to Him in familiar terms as if He were standing beside Him, and asks us to do the same.

Matthew 6: 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:   Our Father in heaven,  hallowed be Your name.  10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

 Building Transcendence:  Jesus is at once at home in heaven and on earth.  He is transcendent.  He easily moves back and forth in His thought and access.  While His Father is in heaven, He talks to Him in familiar terms as if He were standing beside Him, and asks us to do the same.  While there is a will of God declared in heaven, He expects it to be walked out fully here on earth.  He is transcendent.  He refuses to be held away from the best His Father has for Him.

Greg’s Transcendent Moment: The decision for the new team member was looming.  As the team succeeded, it became evident they would need an added member.  Who would join?  Would they fit the group?  How could they find the right person?  Greg moved to prayer.  He needed divine wisdom.  Surely God was aware this need would arise before this day.  Surely God would provide.  As Greg quieted himself in his office in prayer, his phone rang.  Sally was calling.  She had a friend looking for a position similar to what the team needed.

 This devotion is #1 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT!  What is it you need to transcend? To get over and above?  To do it like it is done in heaven not as it is on earth?  Start acting the part.

PRAY! Father, I need You to transcend my life.  So often, I am tied to my earthly expectations, joys, and achievements.  It is hard for me to transcend with Jesus and see what You see and do what You do and fulfill Your will spoken in heaven here on earth.  Help me to transcend with Jesus and live to the fulness of Your will and presence here on earth.  I commit, Father, to see Your will done on earth in my life as it is in heaven

Live the Call

Genesis 18:19 For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”

callLive your call, friend.  There is a specific destiny in each of us, a call, a voice waiting to be heard.  May God give your voice words and actions for others to hear and see and follow.

 A Specific Destiny

 Abraham had a call.  He had a way of righteousness and justice that was imbedded in all he did.  It commanded itself into the lives of others.  It commands itself into our lives.  Without Abraham there would be no Isaac or Jacob or Israel or a tribe of Judah or Jesus born of man.  He was selected to birth nations.

 Abraham had specific promises.  These promises were delivered as he lived his call.  They were brought to him by God as he lived his call.  In the path of obedience, he found all he needed and abundance for others.

 A Christian Disciple

 Live your call.  There is a general call to obedience in Christ that applies to all of us.  Prayer, meditation, witnessing, giving, service, thankfulness, gathering, and loving others are part of your call if you live in Christ.  To not do them limits God’s ability to deliver His general promises.  He places them in the path of living the call of a disciple of Christ.

Mistaken Identity

 I can make a good living and have many benefits as a salesperson.  Give me the right product and right list with the right affinity and right relevance and right distinctive proposition and I can sell it for you.  But, that is not my call.  Sometimes, I help clients with marketing and sales.  It is not my call, though it is a talent.

 Mistaken identity can cause us to live full of financial and relational prosperity and think we are following a call.  The evidence of a call is the delivery of promises related to that call. The evidence of a talent is the delivery of results of  principles related to it.  Present a well priced product with value to the right person at the right time and you have a sell.  Be friendly and you will have friends.

 Discerning the Difference

 Live the call.  It’s fine to live the talent as long as it does not rob the call.  Most folks stumble through life with no thought of call whatsoever.  As long as progress is being made we can ignore God’s voice forever.  Humans are like that.

What is your call?  Has the still voice of God talked to you in the night about influencing legislation or pastoring or starting a business or being a great administrator?  Has He intimated promises along the path?  The promises might not include the world’s success formula.  They might include martyrdom or families being restored or they might include great wealth.  They might.  Have you listened?  Have you stepped back from the rush and press of performance long enough to really listen and examine?  It might seem too big.  Usually His call exceeds our capability.  It should look to big.call

 Live the call.  God is speaking.  You don’t need to doubt that.  He is speaking your call.  Maybe you have heard it.  Maybe you have never listened.  Maybe you’ve been too busy trying to live up to someone else’s call or your personal desires and need to sort through motivations and voices. Maybe it just seems to big to get started. No one hears your call for you.  It is between you and God.

 Prayer:  Father, here is a friend.  This one has  a call.  I call it out.  I stir it up.  Cause Your Holy Spirit to stir deep and make clear.  That call, that voice, that destiny can awaken and change our world. As they obey and follow, Father, bring quickly those things you have spoken to them that they would have confidence and continue.