Life Abundant: Pleasing God in the Mundane Deep Dive

a long obedience

In Acts 11:19-26, we read about the disciples’ doings, which led to the coining of the term ‘Christian.’  Others saw that their way of life was different from everyone else, but similar to that of Jesus Christ, so they called them Christians.  They were labeled because of their Christ like actions.  Let’s take a look at what Jesus did.

He Prayed Hebrews 5:7; Mark 14:35-38; Luke 9:28-29; John 17:1

Jesus regularly prayed to stay in touch with His Father.  Prayer is how we communicate with God, so as we cross from the natural into the supernatural, we can expect resistance.  But we must keep at it.  Even when we’re confused and don’t know what to pray.  Or when we are scared to pray the wrong thing.  Jesus looks at our hearts, and makes intercession for us – read Hebrews 7:25b.  The Holy Spirit also helps us with groanings that cannot be uttered.

He StudiedLuke 2:46-47

Even as a child, Jesus established a routine of being found in His father’s house, listening to the word being taught.  As we grow in our Christian walk, it will no longer be sufficient to just read by skimming through passages.  We need to study and dig deeper.  The Bible was written in a different language than most of us are used to, so there are some things to be learned from studying translation of key words.  Recreating the time and meaning of Bible passages can be very beneficial.

He Surrendered to Endure Suffering1 Peter 2:21

It can be very easy to take the Cross for granted.  But remember, even though Jesus asked the Father to remove the cup from Him, He ultimately surrendered completely to His Father’s will.  Suffering and Christianity go hand in hand.  Trials shape us, and teach us to deal in the supernatural – faith is not naturally developed.

He Humbled HimselfPhilippians 2:6-8

God Almighty came as a mere man made of dust.  Can you imagine yourself taking the form of an ant?

He ObeyedHebrews 5:8-9

Humility and obedience go hand in hand.  You must have first humbled yourself in order to obey someone.  Nobody really likes to take orders; we want to do things our way and at our own pace.  But Jesus showed us a better way.

He Resisted TemptationLuke 4:1-13, Hebrews 4:15

How did Jesus do it?  He used the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  If that word wasn’t within Him, He could never have wielded that sword.  But it’s not enough to just quote Bible Passages.  We must absorb them into our Spirit – the meaning and intention so that our resolve will be firm.  Otherwise, they will just be empty words.  And don’t play hide and seek/peek-a-boo with temptation – flee!

He Loved –  Mark 10:21; John 11:33-36

Why did Jesus weep?  Because Mary was distressed, not because Lazarus was dead.  He knew what He could do about Lazarus.  But He identified with Mary’s pain, and came alongside her suffering.

He BelievedMark 5:39-40, Matthew 21:18-22

Without faith, it is impossible to please God – Hebrews 11:6.  Believe God is who He says and will do what is best.

He Praised & Gave ThanksJohn 11:41-42

Praise and thanksgiving take our focus off ourselves, and put them where they belong.  In the midst of our difficult circumstances, it is only to easy to forget God’s manifold blessings.  But the truth is, no matter what we’re going through, we are being blessed in some way – food to eat, health, caring family and friends, work, life itself.  Thank God for the best, and trust Him for the rest.

He Showed Compassion & KindnessMatthew 9:36, Matthew 14:14-16, Mark 1:40-41, Luke 7:21, John 8:10-11

Jesus responded to the weary and harassed.  This is what drew people to Him.  Do we attract people or repel them by our behavior and attitude?

He ServedMatthew 20:26-28; John 13:12-17

To truly be used by God, we must have the heart of a servant.  Otherwise, pride will rear its ugly head and make us unfruitful.  Jesus washed his disciples’ feet…is there anything too low for us to do?

He TaughtMark 4:1-2, Matthew 7:28-29, Luke 13:10

Jesus came to show the way, and He never stopped doing and teaching that.  And He has given us clear commands to go out and do the same in the Great Commission, even as we point others to Him.

He forgave – Luke 7:47-48, Mark 2:3-5, Luke 23:34
Conclusion

Read your Bible, Pray everyday…if you want to grow.  A catchy children’s tune, but it contains a timeless truth.  Spiritual growth and wholeness takes doing, consistently and with perseverance, running with patience the race that is set before us.  Just like Jesus did.  The journey may be long and hard, but we can look up to the one who has gone before, and who urges us forward – Jesus, the author and perfecter/finisher of our faith.

Be blessed,

R

Image Attribution:

http://spiritualityofdogwalking.tumblr.com/post/90455245200/epigraphics-a-long-obedience-in-the-same

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