Friday, March 15, 2013

March 15, 2013 … Doing Life God's Way

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 74

Passage of the Day: John 5: 19 [in the context of verses 18-19] [NLT] …  
18 So the Jewish leaders tried all the more to kill him. In addition to disobeying the Sabbath rules, he had spoken of God as his Father, thereby making himself equal with God. 19 Jesus replied, “I assure you, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. 
Contextual Study of today’s passage: John, Chapter 5 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Luke 9: 23 : [Yes, again; in the context of verses 23-25! ] …[NLT] …  
23 Then He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. 25 And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose or forfeit your own soul in the process? 

Reference Passage #2: Philippians 2: 5 : [Becoming like Jesus! ] …[NLT] …  
5 Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. 

My Journal for Today: Os Hillman begins his devotional today by asking his readers if we’ve ever really looked at a day in the life of Jesus, … especially during the last three years of His life with His disciples. And when one does, I agree with Hillman that most days [except when Jesus disciplined Himself to get off in solitude for prayer and fasting, which He did often] our Lord was a busy man. But as Os points out, He was not a man who seemed harried or stressed out. He always seemed purposeful, peaceful, and poised, didn’t He?

Hillman asks us to analyze why we think Jesus never seemed to be overly pressured; and the answer is found in the M.O. depicted when Jewish leaders of His day tried their best to put Jesus into a pressure caldron of challenge. In John’s Gospel account, in the fifth chapter, Jesus had just healed a man on the Sabbath, which the Jews contended – by God’s Law – was spiritually illegal; and Jesus really stepped into the hot waters (without even breaking a sweat), contending that He, God’s Son, was simply following the will of His Heavenly Father. And if you read on in John 5, you see that Jesus was, very clearly, claiming to be God’s Son; and as the Son, He would never do anything that was not under the will of God, His Father. And this caused the pursuit and pressure of the Sanhedrin to boil over into plans to kill Jesus.

But today, we’re looking at how we should live our lives by looking at how Jesus lived His; and it’s all found in how Jesus yielded – perfectly and powerfully – to the will of God – His Father. And in the great Godly order of things, as Jesus told His disciples in a passage I quote in my journaling, probably more than any other (i.e., Luke 9: 23), our Lord gives us (i.e., His followers) His instructions in Whom and how we are to remain calm, but powerfully purposeful, in life; … and that is to deny ourselves, to take up our crosses daily, and to follow Jesus.

You’ve heard the catch-phrase, ”What would Jesus do?”  But the Apostle Paul would have probably rephrased that discipleship motto by saying, “Are we becoming more like Jesus by living as Jesus lived?”

In Phil. 2: 5, quoted above, Paul said we should have the attitude of Christ in living our lives; and that attitude and Christ’s model for living is really expressed and put on display in John 5 for us. So, I would exhort any readers here with me to go back and meditate on this chapter to see that Jesus never did anything that was not first led by His Father and then enabled and empowered by God’s Spirit.

So, are we living our lives to follow our Savior (again, see Luke 9: 23); or are we living for self … or for the world … or to accommodate Satan? Do you remember Paul’s exhortation in Romans 12: 1-2? I hope you have that one memorized and internalized; because in it we read and learn exactly how we are live our lives in worship of our Lord … not by following worldly ways, but rather by becoming living, bodily sacrifices to God. And when we do, we may be tired at the end of each day; but it will not be a stressful tiredness. It will be peaceful (as we remember from Isaiah 26: 3); because just like Jesus, we’re just following our Lord and doing His will.

Good goal for the day, wouldn’t you say?

My Prayer for Today … Lord, today let me simply do Your will. … Amen

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