Bring It On #likeJesus

In Luke 12:35-48, Jesus tells two parables about His return.

In the first, the master goes away to a wedding banquet and his servants are watchful, waiting for his return, preparing to welcome him home.

Jesus uses this to illustrate, “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Then, He tells the story of the faithful and wise manager who is put in charge of his master’s servants.  He’ll be rewarded for his faithfulness.  But suppose he mistreats the servants, gets drunk and abuses his master’s trust.  What will be his fate?  That servant will be punished as an unbeliever.

Jesus uses this to illustrate, “From everyone who has been given much, much will will be demanded.”

Then Jesus makes this jarring statement in Luke 12:49-50.

“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed!”

First, for those who might think the cross was easy for Jesus because He is God, think again.  As a man, knowing what He would face- the suffering, bearing our sin, being separated from the Father- Jesus was greatly distressed.

But what jars me is Jesus’ statement, “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!”

This is not the Sunday School image of Jesus, meek and mild, almost emasculated.

These are words you’d expect to hear from Clint Eastwood, from John Wayne, from Sylvester Stallone…  words you could imagine in the script of Rocky, Die Hard, Rambo, Braveheart, the Avengers!

Jesus wants to strike the match and ignite judgement!  Why so anxious for a moment that will eternally seal the fate of billions?  Why so anxious for a moment that will separate families, some ushered into God’s eternal kingdom, others cast into the Lake of Fire?

Ultimately, Jesus wants to defeat His enemy. Our enemy.  Satan would be dealt a mortal blow by the cross, by the empty tomb, but Jesus wants to finish him off.  Jesus can see the deceit, the disgrace, the destruction.  He wants to end it, to finish him off.

This is the image of Revelation 19:11-16.

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and wages war.   His eyes are like blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns. He has a name written on Him that no one knows but He himself.  He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God.  The armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.  Coming out of His mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”  He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.  On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

To Satan, in the words of The Terminator, “I’ll be back!”  The image of that moment, the ultimate defeat of evil, brings added motivation to be “watchful” and “faithful” servants of the Most High.

 

To learn more about Walking As Jesus Walked and Discipling As Jesus Discipled, visit:  SONLIFE.COM

Choosing #likeJesus

“Mary has chosen what is better.”

Every day I have a choice, just like Mary.  Every day I have a choice, just like Martha.

Jesus visited the home of these sisters.  While He was teaching His disciples, Martha was busy preparing a meal for everyone.

Enraptured by Jesus’ words, Mary sat listening with the others.  But this was her home too.  These were her guests too.  Caring for them, preparing the meal, was her responsibility too.  I can identify with Martha.  I’d be ticked too if all the work had been left for me.

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Every day, there are “many things” that can distract me from “what is better.”   They are probably all good things, or at least most of them are.  The good becomes the enemy of great.

Mary chose what is better.

Mary chose Jesus.

Mary chose His presence.

Mary chose His Words.

Mary chose His companionship.

Jesus is the ONE THING that is needed.  Will I allow Him to be my One Thing today?

Will I too choose what is better?

 

To learn more about Walking As Jesus Walked and Discipling As Jesus Discipled, visit:  SONLIFE.COM

Satisfied #likeJesus

Where does my satisfaction come from?  In what ways do I settle?

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.  Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”   By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive.  Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Jesus gives insight into the impact of the Holy Spirit in our lives as one who brings “streams of living water flowing within.”

The Spirit is my “stream.”  He is my constant source.  To go to any other source will leave me unfulfilled.

The Spirit is my “living water.”  He produces life.  Lasting fruit.  Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Gentleness. Faithfulness. Self-Control.

The Spirit is “flowing within.”  He lives inside me.  Indwells me.  Empowers me.

How do we access the incredible benefits that are ours through the Holy Spirit?  Jesus makes it simple.

“Come and drink.”

Come…

Turn toward.  Follow.  Pursue.  Engage in the relationship.  When is the time and what is the place where I will connect with the Father through His Spirit?  It has to be a priority.   There is no better way to show this than through prayerful dependence.

Drink…

Act.  Withdraw.  Take in.  Consume.  To take a drink, I need to withdraw water from the source and then lift the cup to take it in.  I withdraw when I dive into God’s Word and listen for God’s voice.  I take it in when I apply  it to my life.

Father, I don’t want to be a “settler” or a “trifler.”  I want today, tomorrow and every day to be lived out of the overflow of the living streams of your Spirit within me!

 

To learn more about Walking As Jesus Walked and Discipling As Jesus Discipled, visit:  SONLIFE.COM

Free Indeed #likeJesus

I wonder what it feels like to be a slave.  What does it feel like to be imprisoned, oppressed, controlled, overpowered, dehumanized?  Can we truly appreciate the privilege, wonder and joy of freedom without knowing the pain and devastation of slavery?  I’ve seen the ugliness, the evil, the devastation that slavery brought in places like Haiti, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa…

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free….  I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.  Now a slave has no place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  John 8:31-41

Why am I so often blinded to the truth about myself?  I do know what it feels like to be imprisoned, oppressed, controlled, overpowered, dehumanized.  Sin did this to me.  Sin enslaves!  Sin destroys!

And I do know the overwhelming privilege, wonder and joy that comes with freedom.  The power of the cross has broken my chains and set me free.  The power of the gospel, the power of grace, the power of my Father’s love.  I’m free!

I rejoice in my freedom!

I’m amazed by grace!

I will walk in freedom, live by grace and never forget the price that was paid to set me free!

 

To learn more about Walking As Jesus Walked and Discipling As Jesus Discipled, visit:  SONLIFE.COM