Live Like Christ–But Do it in His Power 1 Peter 4

There is a sense of urgency–We should be living as though Christ is returning…Because he is! It is so easy to become complacent in these current circumstances.  No matter how comfortable things seem, we are living for eternity.  That means we seek God, we love others and we act as he would act.  The great news is that we do not have to do it in our power.  The Holy Spirit comes and fills us and guides us to living a Christ like life. 

So what does that life look like, well according to Peter their are three major components–Love, selflessness and humility. If we are selfless and humble, it does not mean we act like EEOre.  It only means that we are always looking for ways to promote others and show them Christ in our lives. Loving others means that we see the from God’s perspective and as members of our family.  We accept them as they are but steer them to the wonderful journey with Christ.  Life is about selfless, loving humility.

Living that kind of life is a sign we are looking to eternity–not simply existing for today!

God Bless You

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Matthew 1–Jesus’ Heritage

God tried to show his love to a nation and by doing so use that nation to change the world.  After several attempts and a few brief periods of success, it became apparent that the only solution to show his love for the world was through his own sacrifice.

So, God became flesh and, by living as we were created to live, he gave us a vision of leadership through sacrifice and humility.  He never had a palace, he never wore finery.  He was not hailed as an emporer or King.  He came from noble heritage, albeight hrough some eye raising characters. Judah that fathered a child through his daughter in law, thinking her a prostitute.  Rahab– A prostitute in Jericho that helped the spies from Israel.  Ruth, the homeless woman that ate wheat scraps. Bottom Line–God did not show off.  A look at the Lord’s heritage should thrill us.  He chose to connect, he chose to be normal, he refused to make anything about his time on earth artificial.

As we study the Bible, we see consistently that–God allows the Good, the Bad and the ugly. He keeps it real.  As we seek him, he takes us as we are-human messes ready to be made into his heirs.

His desire was and is singular–He wants us to know that he truly loves us.  He wants us to finally experience freedom through following a sacrificial king. He wants us to turn loose of the many things that prevent us from grasping the truth of God’s love, authority and power.

As we embark on a journey through Matthew, pray that we can embrace his love and accept his leadership. He is truly noble-a line of kings in his heritage, but a series of frail human beings as well.  Just like us.

God Bless You

This is the genealogy[a] of Jesus the Messiah[b] the son of David, the son of Abraham:

2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,

Isaac the father of Jacob,

Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,

Perez the father of Hezron,

Hezron the father of Ram,

4 Ram the father of Amminadab,

Amminadab the father of Nahshon,

Nahshon the father of Salmon,

5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,

Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,

Obed the father of Jesse,

6 and Jesse the father of King David.

Esther 8–Empowered

Esther could not have asked for more. Haman was dead, Mordecai was promoted and as Queen she was given all the lands and property of Haman. But, one thing yet remained, what to do about the law that was passed to exterminate the Jews. Esther once again trusted God and approached her husband. Once again, provision was made—not just provision but God empowered the Jewish people to defend and take charge of their lives. Mordecai got to write the law, then he had the King’s seal to make it permanent. The King told him to do what he thought was right.
Only God could take a hopeless situation and turn it to the empowerment of his people. The end of the story so magnifies his control without mention of his handiwork. So much that happens in our lives reflects the issues faced by Esther. We are on a journey that changes often. We face insurmountable odds and untenable circumstances only to find that with God nothing is insurmountable or untenable. We continue to lean in to him and he not only meets our needs, but uses his power to make us and our circumstances more amazing than we could have dreamed. God is God—We are NOT. As Haman hung dead on the pole he built to destroy the Jews, Esther and Mordecai began crafting a law to protect and empower them, probably in his library. Never underestimate God’s power or the reward for our trust and submission—Both are incredible.
God Bless You
That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came into the presence of the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her. 2 The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman’s estate.
3 Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews. 4 Then the king extended the gold scepter to Esther and she arose and stood before him.
5 “If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces. 6 For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?”
7 King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have impaled him on the pole he set up. 8 Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring—for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”

God as the Sustainer–Matthew 6

So often we look at God as our Savior and Lord.  He is that.  God sent his son to seek and to save that which was lost.  But he also sent our Lord to provide a picture of the true nature of God.  One of the awesome aspects of God’s personality—is his desire to be sustainer of our lives.  He cares about us as his children and desires that our basic needs are met. He wants us to know he is the keeper and sustainer of our lives.

This sustenance is not only for the physical needs—it is also for the more important spiritual needs of our lives. He offers us His spirit and His word to guide us and lead us to become more like Him. Jesus frustration as he fed the crowds was not the fact they wanted full stomachs; it was the fact that ALL they wanted were full stomachs.  We have to desire the spiritual sustenance he provides because it s that sustenance that has the eternal impact—Help me, Lord to desire the eternal food you provide.

God Bless You

30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’[c]

32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”