Thursday, December 14, 2023
Where Do You Go? Do You Even Look?
Where Do You Go? Do You Even Look?
by David Brenneman
"He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” John 14:21.
"Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:1-2.
As you look at the four Gospels...what do you see? Do you see men of God, chosen by the Father, seeking to learn from Jesus?
These are our examples. The examples for all for over 2,000 years. Godly men who set aside themselves in order to become what the Father knew was possible for them. Think about that...because the Father has a specific, special, plan in mind for you as well. It's specific to this point in human history, it's that precise. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:31 "I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily." Does this not mirror what Jesus Himself said? "And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." Luke 9:23-26.
Do you seek His kingdom at all?
Do you at all die to self? That is, to make what the Spirit is telling you of first importance in your life?
Paul taught a lot concerning putting off the old self and it's practices. Practices means what we willing do, say and think. In Romans Paul spoke of practiced sin. It's the very same thing. Sins that we willingly are engaged in with no regard to what God's Word says about it.
You're always seeking something whether you are aware of it or not. You are always looking whether you perceive it or not. The question is: what are you looking for?
The Disciples learned, over time, to die to self. Pay close attention to that. It means, my Dear Reader, that it's not going to happen overnight. It's not a 6 week course and you get a diploma or certificate of achievement. It's also not about getting a participation trophy either. It's a lifestyle that's learned. Not a choice made one time, but thousands of times a day.
Jesus spent 3 and a half years with a dozen ordinary men. No doubt there were ordinary women nearby. Teaching them, and now us, how to let go of self and to embrace what the Father was saying through Jesus in how to live.
By all means note that we are the same as these Disciples with respect to being in the same shoes learning. After these men became the Apostles, aside from Paul and Matthias, there would never be any more Apostles. Disciples yes, Apostles no. Apostles were the foundation of the Church that Jesus was building. To say there were more means that Jesus messed up n had to rebuild that foundation. Disciples were to be made from these Apostles from that time forward until the return of Jesus Christ. That would be all who've come to Christ for salvation. The Great Commission was to send them out to make disciples of all nations. King David had plans but King Solomon built the Temple. King Jesus has the plan, the Apostles with the Spirit, are building the Church.
You, my Dear Reader, if indeed you are saved in Christ Jesus, are part of that building. You are in a very unique relationship with Jesus Christ that's unique to you and Jesus. It may not look like the brother or sister in Christ who's next to you. What the Spirit needs to do with and through you is for you. You are to work together with others in Christ in the local Church to achieve the plans of God both for your own personal needs as well as the needs of others.
Are you at all seeking to know what Jesus is trying to teach you? The Disciples did.
Are you making an effort at all to understand what you are reading about in God's word? The Disciples did.
Are you making any efforts to deny yourself and instead live for Jesus? The Disciples did.
Our examples are in four books that give various perspectives on what a disciple is.
We read in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought for a price: therefore glorify God in your body."
Will you find yourself excited at the return of Jesus Christ or will you find yourself feeling shame because you should have been living differently all along? Coming to Christ for salvation isn't a golden ticket to gain entry into Heaven only. We don't come to Christ for salvation and go live life our way. Our next steps are to learn from the Spirit on how to be fully devoted followers of Christ Jesus. Just like our examples, the Disciples.
Maybe today is your beginning day to start walking with Jesus as you know that you should have been all along. Pray open and honestly to Jesus. He knows everything you might say before you do, but it's on you to say it. He knows what you're trying to hide from Him as well as yourself. Get your relationship growing and going the way He wants it to be like.
Only Jesus has the words of life.
All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.