Imitators Of Christ

Bible Reading:

Ephesians 5:1-2 Be followers of God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.


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When I was a little girl I loved to be around my father. I loved everything about him. I even had a nickname for him - he was my “cherry pies”. (it was a simple nickname - I loved cherry pie and I loved my daddy). I found myself imitating the things that he would do, how he would walk, and what he would say.

The word of God in Ephesians 5 tells us to be followers of God. The Greek meaning of followers is: to imitate. This means that we are to imitate our Father in Heaven.

If we study the life of Jesus - we find that he was an overcomer. He overcame the world, sin, satan, and death. He did this by:

  1. Spending much time in prayer. We see him often times getting alone with God - away from the crowds and distractions and praying.

  2. He always spoke TRUTH. He spoke the Word of God. When he was faced with temptations of satan - he used the WORD OF GOD as his weapon.

  3. He spoke with authority. Many times people want to make Jesus look like someone who was so meek and kind, but I see someone who spoke with authority. He knew who he was and he knew that what he said would come to pass.

  4. He loved people. Jesus spent his time loving people and putting importance in others. He wasn’t afraid to touch the leper, or pray for the lame. The Bible tells us that he had compassion and that he wept.

With the guidelines above, ask yourself - are you imitating your Father? None of us are perfect, but that cannot be our excuse forever. As blood washed saints - we are to SET APART, different from the world, and STRIVING to imitate our Lord Jesus.

Dear Jesus - help me each day to be more like you. I want to love like you, speak like you, act like you and be more and more like you with each day. Help me to truly have compassion and love for others. Help me Lord Jesus to understand the authority that I walk in simply because I am our heir. Help me Lord everyday to be more like you. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

Walking In The Power Of Christ

Bible Reading: John 10:10

The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.  My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.  


There is a "religious misconception" that Christians believe and that is that whatever happens to them is God's will, no matter whether it is good or bad.  To take it a step further some even believe that whatever happens in the world around them is also the will of God. They don't take time to review whether it is good or bad.  They just believe that God is in control of ALL THINGS and  everything that happens is his will.     

When I grew up I had this understanding.  It wasn't until I got sick and struggled for 10 years that I had God completely redo my thought process on this.  See there is another who is the prince and power of the air and we don't hear a whole lot about him in churches today. We might hear a little about satan.  At least we hear that he's bad and he was kicked out of heaven when he wanted all the power.  But we don't hear about how he is roaming about like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour.    We don't hear about how he actively has an agenda against people to steal, kill, and destroy from their lives.         

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To live a victorious Christian life - we need to understand that what is GOOD is from God and what is BAD is from satan.  It's very easy to confuse these things when we don't understand or when we are hurt.  It's very easy to blame God.    

So what do we do?  Lie down and panic because satan is after us?  NO!!!     We are not alone.  Jesus says he will never leave us or abandon us.     

"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

He has given us authority over satan.    Luke 10:19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

It is time as Christians that we stand up to satan. I am pretty sure one day we are going to laugh at how small and pitiful he looks compared to us in the spiritual realm - but it's time to start to laugh at him now.  We have the power, in Christ, to trample him.     It's time to walk in that power!

 

Reaching Your Promised Land

Bible Reading:  Numbers 14:1-4

Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they complained. “Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?”

Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!”


The Bible tells us in Numbers that the Israelites murmured, or wept loudly, or complained against the LORD.  They were fearful that they would die in the wilderness.  They had seen God perform miraculous signs and wonders as he rescued them from the hands of the Egyptians, but they still allowed themselves to be fearful and complain.   

Moses, Aaron, Caleb, and Joshua were the only ones who remained in faith.  They believed the Lord would lead them into the land flowing with milk and honey.  

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Then the Lord had a conversation with Moses.  The LORD said, "How long will this wicked community grumble against me?  I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Isrealites.  So tell them, 'As surely as I live, declared the LORD, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say:  In this wilderness your bodies will fall - everyone of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.  Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except for Caleb and Joshua.  As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected.  But as for you, your bodies will fall in the wilderness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness." 


Because the Isrealites grumbled, complained, and murmured against the LORD, they never made it to their Promised Land.  They never reached the land flowing with milk and honey.   Their descendants did, but they themselves didn't.     There is power in the words that we say (and that is a whole other devotion in itself). But when we are in the midst of a battle or a fiery trial and we allow ourselves to complain and murmur and grumble - we are not staying in FAITH.    

If you haven't reached your Promised Land - your land flowing with milk and honey ----   make sure that what comes from your lips is speaking FAITH.   

Showing Mercy To Others

Bible Reading:  Matthew 18:21-35

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”

“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

“Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.

“But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.

“But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.

“His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.

“When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

“That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”


As a Christian our sins are forgiven.  A debt that we had no way to pay has been cancelled.  Our future destination turned from the fires of hell to the splendor of heaven awaits us.   It's unfathomable to think that Jesus Christ would go to the cross to pay for the sins of mankind.... to pay for my sin.      When we let the magnitude of that sink in —it is overwhelming.  His mercy is great!  

The parable of the unforgiving debtor tells the story of a man who owed the king millions but pleaded for mercy and received it.  However that same man when someone owed him a few thousand dollars showed no mercy at all.  Instead he had the man thrown into prison.  

When the king heard the news he called the man in and said, "You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?" Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

If you have received the mercy of the heavenly father and been forgiven of your sins, the Bible tells us that you must forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.   

Is there someone that you are struggling to forgive?   Don't go another day without forgiving your brother or sister.    The risk is too great!   We have been forgiven and we must in turn forgive others.   

Ephesians 4:32  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

We Need Each Other

Bible Reading:  Hebrews 10:24-25

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.


I have always admired the Navy SEAL's (Sea, Air, and Land).  Of all the battles they must fight to reach the title of SEAL, the first battle is the most important - the battle of mind over body. 

As they go through the grueling days of training, their mind can say things to them like, "your never going to make it".   "Your not good enough, strong enough, or smart enough to make it through".    The physical body is made to endure amazingly harsh conditions during the training and their mind must be made to ignore the pleading of the body.  On average 70% of the candidates never make it past phase I of training.   

As Christians we too have a battle of our mind over body.    This becomes apparent during a fast when our body is screaming for food, producing symptoms of nausea and ill feelings, but our mind knows that we must be stronger.      We also face the mind over body when we know what the word of God says about our health, but the doctors report or the symptoms in the body say a different thing.   

The hardest part of a SEAL's training is week IV where they endure 5 1/2 days of continuous training.    This week is nicknamed "hell week".    Something amazing happens during this week though. The candidates learn to rely on one another to keep going.   They learn to encourage each other and cheer each other on.   

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In the Christian walk, we will face times in life where we feel too weak to pray, too fearful to have hope, and too defeated to go on.   This is why we are told in Hebrews 10 not to neglect meeting together.    I have heard countless Christians tell me that they don't go to church anymore.   It can be various reasons that cause this but they continue to tell me that they can grow close to God on their own.   I'm sure they can - but what happens when the problems arise?   I can't tell you how many times a Christian friend has lifted me in prayer and been there for me to lean on.  

The truth is that we need each other and we are commanded in scripture not to neglect meeting together and to encourage each other or spur each other forward in our walk with Christ.  

Have you stepped away from church?    Do you think you are ok without finding a good place of worship?     Just like the Navy Seals learn that they need each other - so do Christians.    Make it a point to find a church that will teach you the Word of God and make friends there.     And if you already do this.... look for that person in your church who has a need or is struggling in some way and spur them forward with the encouragement of Christ!