Friday, March 19, 2010

In His footsteps... (Compiled by Cortney Johnson)

I think we as Christians forget what our purpose is on this earth. I think we forget the meaning of the name we bear. Christ-in-action, do we really realize what it means to be living out the life of Christ?
Do we really even care? Or are we so consumed with the lives that we live that we forget what following Christ is all about? Lets look at a quote from Mrs. White, from her book steps to Christ, pg 80. “Those who endeavor to maintain Christian life by passively accepting the blessings that come through the means of grace, and doing nothing for Christ, are simply trying to live by eating without working. And in the spiritual as in the natural world, this always results in degeneration and decay. A man who would refuse to exercise his limbs would soon loose all power to use them. Thus the Christian who will not exercise his God-given powers not only fails to grow up into Christ, but he loses the strength that he already had”. Let us also look at the story of the rich young ruler, this story is found in the book of mark 10:17-31. “ And when he was gone forth in the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honor thy Father and thy mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, one thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up thy cross and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answered again and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. Then peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, verily I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospels, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions: and in the world to come eternal life. But many that are first shall be last: and the last first”. I think that many of us as Christians are living the life of the rich young ruler, we have so much and we keep it all to ourselves! We go about life with the attitude that we are living just to gather riches and wealth, and the praise of men and women. Jesus says that these people are so “fat” with wealth and riches and the praise of sinful humans, that they can hardly give up all for the gospels sake, and enter through the gates of heaven. If only we could catch one glimpse of the glories of heaven, I really think we would very willingly give our all, and take up our crosses and follow in our Master's footsteps. For he is our example: 1 peter 2:21 says, ”For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps”. Are we really living this walk? Are we really following in his steps? Lets look at some of the things Christ did while he was on this earth. Lets begin when he was a little child: the desire of ages pg 68-69 says, “As a child Jesus manifested a peculiar loveliness of disposition. His willing hands were ever ready to serve others. He manifested a patience that nothing could disturb, and a truthfulness that nothing would never sacrifice integrity. In principle firm as a rock, His life revealed the grace of unselfish courtesy’. -- Page 70 “From his earliest years He was possessed of one purpose; He lived to bless others”. How much would we accomplish if this was our sole purpose in life as well, to bless others! Instead of always trying to please ourselves. Pg 72 says “ The parents of Jesus were poor, and dependent upon their daily toil. He was familiar with poverty, self-denial, and privation. This experience was a safeguard to Him. In His industrious life there were no idle moments to invite temptation. No aimless hours opened the way for corrupting associations. So far as possible, He closed the door to the tempter. Neither gain nor pleasure, applause nor censure, could induce Him to consent to a wrong act. He was wise to discern evil, and strong to resist it.” So if we are living a poor, hardworking life, we can think of it as a great privilege! Because like my Grandpa used to say all the time before he died, “Idle hands are the devils workshop.”! So the next time we are tempted to complain about our “hard work”(which most of the time really is not that hard!:) we can remember that the Lord went through the same things on this earth with joy, and so we can learn to go through these things with joy in our hearts! Pg 72 says “ by his own example He taught that it is our daily duty to be industrious, that our own work should be performed with exactness and thoroughness, and that such labor is honorable.” In all work we should not just do it happily and willingly, but with organization, and thoroughness. Pg 73 says “He was never so full of worldly care as to have no time or thought for heavenly things. Often He expressed psalms and heavenly songs. Often the dwellers in Nazareth heard His voice raised in praise and thanksgiving to God, He held communion with heaven in song; and as his companions complained of weariness from labor, they were cheered by the sweet melody from his lips. His praise seemed to banish the evil angels, and like incense, fill the place with fragrance. The minds of His hearers were carried away from their earthly exile, to the heavenly home.” What a blessing pure, heavenly song can be! It lifts our hearts and minds heavenward. And it is a wonderful tool in many ways!! I know, because I have used it before too! Sometimes when my brothers are not getting along, I will sometimes sing the song “Love at Home”, and it almost always will work, to cause to them stop! Lets go to pg 87 now, “Jesus worked to relieve every case of suffering that He saw. He had little money to give, but he often denied Himself of food in order to relieve those who appeared more the needy than He.” If only we would be as unselfish as Jesus was, I think we would find much more joy in life. Pg 90 “Whenever it was his privilege, He turned aside from the scene of his labor, to go out and meditate in the green valleys, to hold communion with God on the mountainside or amid the trees of the forest, The early morning often found Him in some secluded place, meditating, searching the scriptures, or in prayer. From these quite hours He would return to His home to take up His duties again, and to give an example of patient toil.” How important it is for us to follow this example, in constant communion with our heavenly father. I believe that, special time should be taken from our day, to go out into Gods nature if possible, to pray, and talk to God, heart-to-heart, as to a friend, The Lord never tires of hearing his children’s prayers to Him. And we would find much strength in doing so. And so, the ministry of Christ went on, at the age of thirty, he was baptized, And from His baptism He went to the wilderness to be tempted of the devil ,an interesting thing to me as I read about this story was, he overcame each temptation with the sword, that most of us forget about, when in the midst of temptation, and that sword was the wonderful word of God! I think we should all take Bible memorization more seriously! And so then from the wilderness He went back into the city, to begin His ministry to man. His first miracle was at a marriage feast, the people had run out of wine, and the mother of Jesus was there and asked him to do something, so Jesus asked for water, and He poured the water into the wine barrels and told the servant to go and give it to the people, the feasting was almost finished and usually when the wine was at the bottom of the barrel it did not taste as good as it did in the beginning, but when the servants gave the people the miracle wine, the people said to the host, you have saved the best for the last! Jesus did many other miracles, there is not enough room here to list them all! Even the Bible says that there is not even enough room in the Bible for all the things that He did! He healed the sick, raised the dead, made the blind to see, made the five loaves, and two fishes multiply to feed five thousand, with some left over, calmed the storm on the sea, taught the multitudes many valuable lessons from nature and every day life. And then He died, on a cross, being mocked by many, even his disciples left Him to suffer alone. He went through much more than any of us can even fathom. But death did not have the victory over our dear savior, His father in heaven looked down upon his son and said, Arise, the grave no longer has a hold on you no more pain and suffering, you have paid the price for each one on earth your work on earth is done come home and be with me. So the savior arose from that dark tomb to the wondering eyes of all, and to the fear of the ones who put Him to death. Before he went home to be with his Father he had a few more things he had to do. He went to prove to His disciples that it was He and that He had rose from the dead. And He gave them a commission, that they where to tell the world what they had seen, here is what he said to them in mark16:15, “And He said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” This is what we all should be doing today, just as Jesus did, and the disciples did in days of old. Weather this be at home, in the church, to our family or to the world, Jesus has a work for all of us to do. Even the smallest child can fulfill this commission! If we would commit our everything to spreading the gospel, we would be on our way home much sooner! Lets try much harder to walk in the footsteps of our dear savior, and be lights in this dark world. I would like to share a couple of my favorite verses with you, they are found in Hebrews 12:1-2, here is what they say, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily beset us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Let us listen to this verse, and act upon it, laying aside every sin, and looking ever to Jesus, our example, and the author and finisher of our faith, and then one day if we are faithful we will be with Him in heaven throughout eternity, “And so shall we ever be with the Lord.”! I really long to be there, don’t you. Lets work very hard at getting this world over with, And soon if we are faithful, Jesus will throw back that pearly gate, and looking to his children will say “well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of thy Lord.” Let us each one strive to hear those blessed words, and lifting our candles high, let us light up the whole world with the Love of Jesus!!! Compiled by, Cortney R Johnson

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