Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Imitate Christ

1 Peter 2:21
"For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:"
Romans 8:13 "For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." NKJV 

1 Corinthians 11:1
"And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ."
1 Corinthians 10:31-32
"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,"
 1 Corinthians 15:31
"For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done in you."
1 Corinthians 1:18
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."

Romans 8:36-37
"As it is written: 'For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.' Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
John 13:8-9 Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!" NKJV

2 Corinthians 4:11-12
"For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you."
2 Corinthians 10:5
"casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,"
2 John 1:5-6 "I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning." NLT
2 Corinthians 4:7 "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." NKJV
Lamentations 3:21-23
"This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness."
Romans 15:2
"Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification." 
Mark 8:35 "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it." NKJV

My Comments: Did you know you could be the means for someone coming to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior by your actions, words and being? It is so true or you could turn them away from the Gospel just as well. Hopefully if that happens the Lord Jesus will move through the Holy Spirit to reach out to that person. Yet the fact remains that our thoughts become actions, our action and words show our Lore of the Lord towards others and by loving with the Love of God we can be used of God to bring others into the Kingdom of Heaven.
I find this especially interesting when we consider the fact that slavery was huge at the time the Lord walked the earth and taught the Apostles and Disciples, and even slaves were told to serve in Love. Of course those who accepted the Lord were likewise encouraged to treat their servants and slaves with love as well. Yet we do not have to look at this in terms of slave and master.
We look at it in terms of employer and employee, of parent and child, husband and wife (though one is not telling the other what they should or should not do), and any other relationship where people interact. We should always treat each other with the Love of Jesus; sacrificially and with mercy and compassion. I remember a story of a woman in China years ago and how her steadfast Love of Jesus and kindness to her guards, who were very cruel, converted many in prison.
She was a young woman. She was a non-believer who needed milk for her child. A Christian lady helped her and sent her to some believers who also helped her more; they brought her to Christ. Then she was arrested for being a Christian. She was pregnant. During this time she got her husband and one son out of China. Her job was to break rocks and carry them in two buckets on a pole over her shoulders. This she did for long hours and with very little food which she shared with others. The prisoners watched her and so did the jailers who mocked her and abused her.
This abuse she turned back with love. Eventually after a great time while she went overdue with her child she carried and could barely walk or sit, God had her release come through and the head of the prison had to let her go. The love of Jesus sustained her through it all and His love touched the hearts of many through her faithfulness and love for others.
Love is what John tells us in the Bible, is the most important thing we can do or learn or give. It is everything that Christ did, gave or taught us. Jesus is our guiding light and the one we model our lives after. He gave His all so that we may live and live abundantly. That doesn’t mean here on earth like some name it and claim it teachings of today. It means we will have life eternal as Children of the God of the universe. He is King of everything and as His Children we will have life abundant. To have this life abundant, means we can expect this life now, to have hardships, trials and tribulations yet as we persevere through them (and know Jesus goes with us through them) we grow in the strength of Jesus. As we show His face to those who torment us we are the instruments of God to soften the hearts of the unlovable of which we once were.
Sometimes we forget what we were before Jesus entered into us and changed our lives. We should never forget so we continue to have compassion and mercy, love and forgiveness to all who come into our lives. God brings them into our lives for a reason so treat them with the love of Jesus. Treat them as He treated and treats you. Remember He went to the Cross gladly for us and died in our place that if we accept Him as our Savior, confess our sin and follow Him we will be Children of God and justified through the blood of the Lamb.
Abba Father, fill our hearts with Your love, compassion, forgiveness and mercy for all we encounter, live with, work with and interact with. Give us discernment to know what to say and when to say it. Remove all anger, hurt and hardness of heart from us so all will see and feel the love of Your Son, Jesus through us. Thank You for sending Your Son to die in our place and take our sin upon His pure flesh. We praise You and glorify You Abba for all You do and have done and will do for us.
Jesus, Messiah thank You for Your Love. Thank You for all You taught and are teaching us. Thank You for showing the Way to Salvation. Thank You for always being with us through all the hardships and trials of this life and the assurance of life with You when we leave this life, when You call us home or come to lift us into the clouds with You. We praise You for Your love and we hope we become more like You each and everyday of our lives.
Holy Spirit, fill us with the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the Word of God and all He desires for us to know. Give us we pray the words to say when we talk to others. Help us to live lives exemplifying our Lord Jesus Christ the Messiah and Redeemer, the Lamb of God and our Savior. Unstop our ears, open our eyes and pour forth Your words from our mouth and may our hearts be filled with Love for all peoples. May we never be a stumbling block to those who would know Jesus and follow Him. Thank You for filling us with Love.
In Jesus name, in union with the Holy Spirit, I pray and thank You Lord. Amen.


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