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Archive for the ‘example’ Category

“You shall have no other gods before Me.- Exodus 20:3 NKJV

GOD wants more out of us.

I know what you are probably saying or thinking but He does.  He wants more and He deserves more.

Who are we to eek out a meager or mediocre existence when we are divinely directed to have dominion over the things if the earth and to serve as stewards over His majestic masterpiece as His “dear children?”

He wants us delivered by Him.

He wants us dedicated to Him.

He wants us developed in Him.

We are not all that we can or could be, or even what we should be. God not only wants to have us, but He also wants to help us and handle us as His own.

He has once we have accepted His offer of salvation through Jesus Christ. That is the Savior’s work.

He helps us as He works in us and on us, so that He can work through us. That is the Spirit’s work.

He handles us by setting us straight and sharing His purpose and intentions with us. In other words, He makes His will known to us. That is the Scriptures’ work.

He does all of this for us with the expectation of getting more out of us. Therefore, we must confront our own complacency. We must shun our sullen slumps and dives into depression. We must relinquish routine and regulated religious acts done in a spirit of the status quo. We must answer to God for not going beyond the norm and not exceeding the epitome of earthly expectations.

Shame on us when appreciate the acceptance offered by human accolades and applause while heaven rendered silent because we have not preached Christ or His gospel. God have mercy on us when have neglected our first calling, quenching the Spirit and its unction for us to speak peace, love, mercy, grace and forgiveness into the lives of others and share the abundance of what the Lord truly offers us all and expects of every believer in His name.

Let us do better by ever going more to be better as we follow His perfect and humble example foe us.

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV

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5Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, 6Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, 7’Bring me game and prepare for me delicious food, that I may eat it and bless you before the LORD before I die.’ 8Now therefore, my son, obey my voice as I command you. 9Go to the flock and bring me two good young goats, so that I may prepare from them delicious food for your father, such as he loves. 10And you shall bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.”- Genesis 27:5-10 (ESV)

You can blame as much as you want on Jacob’s name.  That’s pretty much where many go when it comes to making commentary on the life of Jacob.  However, look at Rebekah’s actions.

Look at:

  • Rebekah’s Motivation: Even though Esau had sold his brother his birthright in Genesis 25, that doesn’t seem to be enough to ensure that Jacob would inherit the firstborn’s inheritance of a blessing from the old man.  Rebekah is said to have loved Jacob (Genesis 25:28).  her love for one son over the other, just as Isaac’s, caused her to make a move.
  • Rebekah’s Movements:  She was present, within hearing distance, and she went into swift action.  She had heard enough to make a move.  She knew enough of what was about to go down, so she countered with a move of her own.  In fact, she incorporated her favorite son in the move to make it even more dastardly.
  • Rebekah’s Masquerade: She seems to have an answer for everything.  “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, bring them to me” ( Genesis 27:13, ESV).   Those were her words.  She helped disguise goat rather than the “game” that Esau was to hunt.  She even proposed a way for the smooth-skinned Jacob to appear as hairy as his brother.  She mastered the masquerade.

How did she get to be such a way? Maybe we overlooked that her brother was Laban, a natural swindler and crook himself.  He was the very same relative of Jacob’s who did the wedding night switcheroo on the young runaway. 

Her hand in this deception may have very well played out in Jacob’s later life.  Jacob grew and went on to develop similar tendencies.  He favored one son over the others.  He swindled his relative Laban in order to increase his own flocks and herds.  He went on to earn a reputation as a swindler. 

Nonetheless, God changed his name to Israel.  God made him a great nation.  The twelve tribes came out of his lineage.  He went on to become one of the great patriarchs of the Bible.

We don’t have to live out our lives the way Mama did her thing.  We don’t have to take things on like Daddy did.  Each of us can live differently than the dysfunctional examples that our families may give us.  We can simply dare to be different.  We have a shining example in Christ.  He went through things like betrayal, false accusations, and similar offenses.  Let us live to be more and more like Christ, the best example that we have.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV)

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Since that time no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face– Deut. 34:10 (NASB)

 

Moses was a man of God.  In fact, Moses will be counted as one entirely different from other prophets in history’s retelling from generation to generation.  Moses had an intimate relationship with God.  Moses is known as one whom the Lord knew face to face.  That’s intimate.

Moses was molded on Mount Sinai.

Moses was made a prophet by the Maker.

Moses was mentored by the Most High.

Moses was a man in the making even while he was in Midian tending his father-in-law’s sheep.  Moses was getting prepared to be a prophet even while he was being reared up in a palace.  Moses was a man in the making, being made over by the Almighty God for a mission.

The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.- Exodus 33:11 (NIV)

With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?- Numbers 12:8 (NIV)

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2When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”
4Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see

– Matthew 11:2-4 (NIV)

Jesus dealt with doubt.  This episode in the midst of Jesus’ earthly ministry offers us some insight into staying true to our mission.  When we deal with doubt, we don’t need to get off into the tangents of why would someone ask such a question or where they may havegotten the notion in the first place.  Jesus sets a prime example for dealing with doubters among our membership and in our ministries.

Jesus responded to those who brought John’s inquiry to Him.  He simply told them to relay a message to John.  Jesus answered by showing these messengers that the work was being done. The lame healed and the blind given sight. The Word was being preached to the poor.  He told the disciples of John to go back and tell John what they saw and heard.

He didn’t lay out some excuses or explanation of what He was doing and what He planned or in the works.  He simply offered an exhibition of what He was doing in Galilee and other places.  Jesus showed them by what He did before their eyes and ears, and then told them to go back and share that with John.  What Jesus did caused those who came with an inquiry to walk away with insight into what He actually was doing in word and deed. 

Let us see where we can do likewise.  Deal with doubt directly.  Deal with doubt without delay.  Deal with doubt deliberately.  Deal with doubt.  Demonstrate before the ears and the ears of the doubters.

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Can you stand to take the test? I am speaking of the tested strength that withstands abuse amid sacrificial outworking for the blessing and benefit of others.  At the very time that you are offering yourself in a servant’s posture, can you stand the ridiculous ridicule of the ungrateful and the shameless? Could you echo the words of Jesus?

 Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

I would imagine it would be difficult for us to say whether or not we could stand the test.  Images of Calvary emergeThe prophecy of Isaiah’s suffering Savior come to mind.  Would you still forgive despite their harsh and cruel insults hurled at you? Even the two who hung at either side of Him chimed in with the others.

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Those who seek to serve like Christ must be willing to sacrifice like ChristYet, our greatest service may be to love. He said He came to serve and not be served.  Are you willing to offer your all for the sake of His name?  And, while we love with our full hearts, we allow our love to cover a multitude of sins with an abundance of forgiveness.  The Apostle Paul spoke of a more excellent way and instructing believers to forgive as the Lord forgave.

How would you react when the very people you are helping keep hurting you more and more? What words would you use at that point? Would you still be loving and kind? Would you pass the test?

Could the Lord count on you?

Would you pass the test?

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

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11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. – Titus 2:11-14 (NKJV)

Good works are to be part of the Christian church’s DNAPaul stressed that to Titus, his “true son” in the ministry of sharing the Good News, as he instructed him about establishing elders and setting things in order in Crete. Paul instructs Titus, as the appointed pastor over the Cretan believers, to show himself as a pattern of good works.  The people are to learn to become zealous for good works as the Lord’s “special people” by following after the Lord’s example and the example set by their spiritual leaders in the name of the Lord.  The people have to hear about it by sound doctrine and they have to see it by demonstration.  The church becomes more engaged with good works due to what the Lord showed and shared with the world over 2,000 years ago and what the pastor shows and shares with the congregation as the spiritual leader day by day.

We are not to simply sign up and show up for opportunities to do good works.  That’s not the essence of the message from Paul to Titus.  We are to become “zealous for good works,” according to Titus 2:14, demonstrating a fervent spirit for our calling to do good works in accordance with Ephesians 2:10Paul stresses that godly people should not only “be ready for every good work,” as in Titus 3;1, but also learn to “maintain good works” in Titus 3:8, 14.  According to Titus 3:14, our good works lead to our fruitfulness as we meet urgent needs.

  • Is your ministry demonstrating a “pattern of good works?”
  • What sort of trail are you leaving behind? Good works and good fruit?
  • Are others learning to minister to others based upon the example that you are providing?
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works – Hebrews 10:24 (ESV)

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And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. -John 1:14 (NKJV)

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. He is Immanuel (Emmanuel), called “God [is] with us.” Imagine the majestic and masterful presence of God being in our midst. John writes that He came to His own and His own did not receive Him (John 1:11).

What we discover is that the Word is beyond the beginning. The Word serves as a model for us and our living, a guide for our actions and interactions on this earth with an eternal outlook. He became flesh to provide us an example and provide the sacrifice necessary for our salvation. As the Word, He speaks life and truth to all who believe in Him. He lives as the Logos and the rhema; He is the Word as well as its utterance that speaks life.

He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. – John 1:11 (NKJV)
Warn those who do not understand who He is to this world. Help others to learn more about Him. Live as an example to others as Jesus lived as an example among His own people. Make a difference by becoming and being different.
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.- Ephesians 5:2 (NKJV)

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