Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May 31, 2011 … Our Ultimate Example

Passage of the Day: 1st Peter 2: 21 - 23 … 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. 22 "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth." [quoted from Is. 53: 9]
23 When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.

My Journal for Today: Talk about a role model!

This month I’ve been in devotional study, helped along by John MacArthur’s Strength for Today as always during this year, looking at how we Christians walk [i.e., live] worthy of Christ’s Name (see Eph. 4: 1-2) even when we face trials and tribulations. And in today’s passage from the Apostle Peter, we read of THE Role Model of role models in this regard – Christ, Himself. And it was appropriate that Peter reflected on the prophesy from Isaiah 53 of the “suffering Servant,” Who would suffer for all mankind and still look to His Heavenly Father in the midst of the man’s most horrible trail – His death on the cross.

This month we’ve looked at both Stephen and Paul as wonderful human role models of suffering servants who ended their lives, living out the strength in suffering exhibited by Christ on the cross. We see how they exhibited a Christian’s worthiness in their ability to stand in Christlikeness in the face of pain, suffering, and persecution, … both of them dying as martyrs in the name of their Lord. These were certainly two role models of Christlike humility and meekness in the face of persecutions, much as was their role-model, Jesus.

But you may say, “Stephen and Paul, yes; but can I do it? Can a normal human walk so worthily in Christlikeness, even in the face of great tribulation. And for the answer to that we mentioned the story of Cassie Bernall, who died at Columbine High School in 1999, when one of the teen gunman who had invaded that high school on that November morning asked her, threatening her life with a gun to her head, if she was a Christian, to which she replied without hesitation, “Yes!” And she, like Stephen and Paul became a martyr for her faith.

Can I walk like these faith-worthy Christians? Until I’m challenged as were they, I’ll never truly know; but I would hope that my faith and walk in Christ has matured to the point that I could. I certainly know that my head says that I’m committed to such a walk of faith. That’s why I’m here every morning devoting the best part of my day early each morning, getting to know my God more intimately. BUT, … my heart is challenged daily to be ready to walk into the potentially hot fires of life, still following Christ in fruitful victory … the One Who died on a cross that I might have this walk.

As the author of Hebrews (in Heb. 12: 2) puts it, these martyrs mentioned above walked … fixing their eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of their faith. And once more I turn back the words of that incredible hymn …

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face …
And the things of this earth will grow strangely dim …
In the light of His glory and grace.

What more could we ever say about what we always need to do when we face trials and challenges in life?

My Prayer Today: And may that, Lord, as I come to this quiet place each morning to be with You, be my daily habit. Amen


Blogger’s Note: Well, that concludes my journaling of my daily quiet-times with my God each morning in May, this month focusing on how to walk in a worthy manner in Christlikeness even when things get rough in life. Next month, I’ll be focusing, again with the help of John MacArthur in his devotional book, Strength For Today, on how to maintain INTEGRITY in the face of an enemy and a world who wants to denude Christians of our strength of character. Perhaps you might grow with me as we explore Christlikeness again this next month.

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