December 26, 2014
Friday 4:30 a.m.
I woke up thinking about how Jesus is our friend but He is also King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Our relationship with Jesus should bring us to love Him even ever more and in humility. The more we get to know Jesus, the more we love Him and the more we see how holy and righteous He really is and how much in need of Him we are. To see His beauty and grace and to see my true self – only makes me love Him more and walk more humbly with Him.
Being friends with Jesus doesn’t make us better or more special than other people – it should make us more humble and compassionate. Jesus was humble and compassionate as He walked on this earth and among us. He humbled Himself to come and walk in our shoes and to grow up among us from a babe in a manger, to a lowly carpenter, to a ministry full of compassion and teaching and healing and love – to die on a cross for everyone’s sins so that whosoever would call upon His name could and would be saved. Truly, we have a LORD who understands us and our sorrows and flaws and who was willing to come and do what He has asked us to do. God was willing to come here, walk among us, be tested and tempted and to persevere, obey the Father and ultimately to overcome and to conquer so that His victory could be transferred to us and repeated by us because He defeated the curse of sin and the grave!
He is a God who understands. Jesus is a Savior who understands. He has sent us the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to live in us and teach us and guide us into all the Truth.
When we see or hear of someone that seems to personify evil to us – like a murderer or a rapist, or a child abuser or drug addict – we need to check our hearts for humility and compassion in the likeness of Jesus. If we find ourselves thinking something like the following statements, then our hearts are not right:
“I would never treat someone like that!” “I am so glad I am not like her, I know
better than to do something like that.” “I can’t understand how a person could do
something like that – I’d never do that!” “That creep needs to burn in hell for
Friends, Jesus would rather us pray for that person that they repent and turn to Him and have their lives transformed by His work in them that they do good instead of evil. Our first thought should not be about how much worse that person is than us. Our first thought should not be how much better of a person we are than others who are caught in sin. We are not here to condemn others. We are not here to gloat over others’ failures and flaws and use them to make us feel better about ourselves.
We should recognize that we are only “not as bad” as someone else because of the grace and mercy of God and His work in us. We all fall short of God’s glory. We all sin and mess up and fail and fall. Some people sin differently than we do, but all sin is sin. All sins, whether they are big or little, horrible or seemingly justifiable, are enough that Jesus died to cover them with His blood to pay the price for them. The cost for all sin is the blood of Jesus Christ.
So let us all be moved with compassion for others and pray for God to work in others as well as ourselves to bring us all to godly repentance when we sin and to bring us all to a saving knowledge of Jesus and a love relationship with Him. Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to minister to each one of us who seek to know the Lord, to bring forth and bear kingdom fruits in our lives. Let us pray for conviction and repentance. Let us pray for the transforming of our minds and read God’s Word and allow our minds to be renewed in Christ Jesus so that we do become more like Jesus. While we may not be addicted to alcohol – are we giving ourselves credit for what God alone is doing in our lives? While we may not be murderers, are we taking the credit for that by believing that something we are doing is actually responsible for that?
Our hearts as humans are wicked and our good works are like filthy rags. Only through Jesus and His blood are we able to become God’s children. And as God’s children, our goal is to make Him known and to love Him supremely and our neighbors as ourselves.
Following all the external rules is not all we are to be doing – if we are not loving as Jesus loves us, then we are missing the mark just as much as the thief who steals from his neighbor. When we withhold the love of Jesus from others and act out of condemnation rather than love and compassion, we are stealing blessings from our fellow man. How can those who are in darkness be brought into the light if we do not tell them of God’s love by sending Jesus to bring them out of that darkness and into His glorious kingdom of Light? If all we do is stand in judgment and see and remark about the wrong that they are doing, but offer no answer, share no love or light with them, then how are we different from them? Is the love of Jesus and His Light within us? If so, then we are compelled to share this love and His Light with others, especially with those who are still in the darkness.
Bottom line of this morning’s thoughts:
I cannot take credit for where God has brought me from and for the work that He is doing in me to change me from the lost and wretched sinner that I was. It is only Jesus and the work of God through the Holy Spirit in me and in my life that I am not who I once was. I was a lot of things that I am not now. I am now a new person and I do desire to be fully surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ and to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. But once, I was not this way and I can only thank God for the change in me and in my family. I can never look down on anyone or condemn anyone. I have been forgiven of so much and I do choose to follow the command of Jesus to forgive others or I will not be forgiven. I remember the parable of the man who was forgiven of a huge debt and when he went out, he met a man who owed him very little. Instead of forgiving him of his small debt, the man who was forgiven of the huge debt threw that man who owed him little into prison. The one who forgave the man of the huge debt heard about it and was very angry. He could not believe that this man whom he had forgiven of such a huge debt had someone else who owed him little thrown into prison. I do not want to be like that. I led a life of such wretched sin. The Lord Jesus looked beyond my faults and saw my need – my need for a Savior, a Redeemer, a Deliverer, a relationship with a Heavenly Father who created me and loved me and wanted me to know Him. I am so thankful that Jesus loves me and has made a way for me to be forgiven and to know Him, to know that Father and to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
For those that do not have this same relationship with Him, I am filled with compassion and pray for them to know just how good God is. I long for others to know the love that I have found in Jesus and the freedom from worry and strife. I so wish that I could explain and show you just how good God is. But you have to taste and see for yourself, by faith. I pray that you do. I really do. God bless you!