Friday, November 15, 2013

November 15, 2013 … Being Jesus to Others

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 319

Devotional Song: Go to this link – Please take your time to see a video of a poignant song performed by Nicole C Mullen, One Touch, reminding us how we, as Christians, must GO and be available to others to let the love of Christ flow from us. … And then to this link for the Heritage Singers singing the old Gaither hymn, He Touched Me, with the message that when we are touched by Jesus’ love, we are changed.

Highlight Passage: Luke 8: 43-46 … [Jesus went out amongst the people with His healing love..] … [NLT]  
43 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. 44 Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped. … 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.”
Highlight Passage: Luke 8: 40-56 … GO TO THIS LINK … [NLT] … 

Reference Passage #1: 1st Corinthians 2: 3-5 … [Paul learned that the best method of evangelism and ministry was to go and be available to people.] … [NLT] …
3 I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. 4 And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 5 I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.

Reference Passage #2: Matthew 5: 16 [NLT] … [Will we shine His light today?]  
16 … let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Reference Passage #3: Acts 1: 8 [NLT] … [As believers, In faith, our primary witness to the world is being a living Jesus to others.]  
8 … But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

My Journal for Today: Years ago, a dear mentor taught me that my primary goal as a Christian should be to know my Savior. He taught me a chain of results which comes from knowing God more intimately. He said, “To know God is to love God; … to love God is to obey Him; … to obey Him is to serve Him; and to serve Him is to be blessed by Him.” Therefore, if we desire to be blessed by God, we should do all we can to know Him, love Him, obey Him, and serve Him. In other words, we should have Jesus as our living model so that we can be like Jesus as we live out our lives in the midst of others who don’t know Him.

We often think that what we should BE as Christians is wrapped up in what we say to others. And when we see gifted evangelists like Billy Graham or theologians like ____________ (well you fill in that blank) preaching with powerful words, we come to think that this is (or should be) our model of ministry or missionary work. But shouldn’t Jesus be our model [?]; and He in His ministry life, He was more about being amongst the people and just being available to them as God, the Father, sent those in need to Him for His love.

There as so many examples; but the one which came to my heart/mind today was Jesus just out-and-about with the people; and a woman with a bleeding condition pressed through the crowd just to touch the hem of Jesus’ clothing [see the graphic above]. That moment is captured in the song to which I link anyone following this, sung by Nicole C Mullen; and a second song by the Heritage Singers about how Jesus changes lives when He touches them in a special, personal way.

Yes, and I know that touch myself; because a caring friend was Jesus for me a little over 30 years ago when I was an angry atheist seeking spiritual strength. He simply loaned me a cassette tape; and listening to that tape TOUCHED ME with Jesus’ love; and I was changed forever.

The message I get here today, and pass along to others, is that we, as Christ seekers, should do all we can to be Jesus to a hurting and dark world. The Apostle Paul learned that lesson even though he was a powerful preacher when he needed to be; but Paul used the Jesus model as he expressed in the 1st Cor. 2 passage copied above. He knew that following what Jesus Himself preached in Matthew 5: 16 and Acts 1: 8 was the way to GO and fulfill Jesus’ great commission (see Matthew 28: 19-20).

And that’s the model which I try to follow … to know God as much as I can, which leads me to love God more and more, … which leads me obey and serve my Lord by doing all I can to carry His light in what I say and do in a very dark world. And in that process, I have learned that He blesses me beyond anything I could have ever desired.

So, here I go again today … doing all I can to shine my Lord’s light in the world.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I beg You to shine – somehow – through this humble servant so that others my be touched by Your love. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online blog entitled Today God Is First [TGIF], authored by Os Hillman. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read Hillman’s TGIF blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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