The Love of God 4

John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

God’s love is exemplary.  John tells us in the next phrase “than this”.  He is sharing with us the example of God’s love in Jesus Christ.  He is telling us that it is exemplary.  That means that it is worthy of imitation and it is an illustration for us to follow.

Look at what Paul tells us in II Corinthians 5:14, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:”  The love of God is our example and it compels us to do things.

What has love motivated you or I to do?  It might do us well to take an inventory and see if we have lost our love for what God has given us love for.

So, how are you doing?

We Need To Be 3

As I began to ponder today’s offering I began to think about how some people are really turned off by Church and Christians in general.  It is sad that we have  come to the place that our testimony is such.  I told those gathered for my Aunt’s funeral that she was “obviously Christian and not obnoxiously Christian”.  This is so very true.

It is sad; but, sometimes our “brand of Christianity” turns people off.  What we need to do is take an inventory and see why this has come to be.  It is one thing for the gospel to offend people.  If it is the gospel that is offensive there really is not much you and I can do.  We can and must pray for that person.  We must pray that the Holy Ghost of the Living God will convict them of sin and of righteousness and of judgement to come.

It is a completely different thing if we are offensive.  Sometimes we can let pride and other sins get in the way.  When we do this we first become ineffective.  A Christian with sin in their lives will not be able to please God like they need to.  Sometimes our personality gets in the way.  I have seen this before in my life.  If this is the case then we need to make corrections to our own lives and move on for God.

If you have a question about how you need to live look at the counsel I found in the Word of God.  Look at John 13:15, “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”  The word “example” means an exhibit for imitation or warning.  Jesus Christ is our Example.  We need to wholly follow Him.

So, how are you doing?

Joseph’s Example

For several years now I have wanted to study the life of Joseph the husband of Mary.  I think he is someone that we need to take notice of and we don’t.  From what I read in the Scriptures he was a level headed and a thinker.  I think this for many reasons.

When Mary became pregnant he could have legally put her away; but, he did not.  I believe (as I have been told) that Joseph was probably an older man.  This would account for much of the way he handled what was going on in his life at this time.

He was an obedient man.  Look at Luke 2:4, “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)”  He was required to do this and he did it.  According to the account of Scripture he did it without complaining or anything.  This is very unlike us today.

The more I read and learn about Joseph the more I would like to be like what I know about him.  Now I must reflect on my own life.  Is there anything about me that would make others want to be like me?  Oh my.  I really don’t want to think about this.  I am afraid of the answer, truthfully.  I know there are some that would call me a hypocrite and for that I am ashamed and deeply sorry.  Yet, there are those on the other extreme that might think I walk on water (like my children).  The truth be known, I am a man of flesh and blood just like Joseph.  As long as I live in this body of flesh I will war against sin and that is the truth.  With God’s help I can overcome sin; but, only with God’s help and His Spirit can I accomplish it.

So, how are you doing?

Act Like

When I used to dispatch for a local police department we would take calls from officers and the public.  One particular guy I worked with so long that we began to sound like one another.  One of the reserve police officers would call on the phone and would say both of our first names because he did not know which one of us he as speaking with.  It was kind of funny.

I remember the day that my mother looked at me and said, “You act just like your father!”  This was unfortunately not a complement.  It set me to thinking and put me on a different path for sure.

There are people that we should act like.  If a person’s life lines up with the Word of God then it is probably safe to act like them.  This is not 100% for sure though.

There is One who you can act like and be totally safe.  That is Jesus.  You must act 100% like Him though.  He spoke a parable to His disciples that we often call the parable of the good Samaritan.  In that parable Jesus told His disciples something important.  Look at Luke 10:37, “And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.”

So, we need to look at Jesus’ example and “Go, and do thou likewise.”

So, how are you doing?

A Model

Last night at the photography club that I attend there was a presentation on photographing a model.  It was quite interesting.  The guy who was the presenter was quite good at his craft.  He is a real professional who produces fantastic work.

As I was sitting in the audience watching him interact with the young model I was thinking about my Christian life and that of others.  Just yesterday family and friends said goodbye to one of the most wonderful men God created.  I thought about his life and the things that people said about him through tears flowing down their faces.

I looked up the word model and it could not be found in the Scriptures.  I looked it up in an electronic dictionary.  Model is described as “representation of something (sometimes on a smaller scale)”.  This definition is taken from the WordWeb dictionary.

Now I begin to think about my own life even deeper.  I wonder if I am a “model” of Christ.  Well this could be a sobering find.  It is my desire to be like Christ; but, I don’t always do that.  I wonder if you and I would be labeled as those long ago in Antioch.  Look at the description given to our forefathers in the faith in Acts 11:26, “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”  They were described as “little Christs”.

So, how are you doing?