Living more like Jesus:

And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah: Because out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.” Matt 2:6

 

It doesn’t matter where I was born, or into what family; it doesn’t matter my education or lack there of; I have been hand picked by God to make a difference in this world.

 

 

Living more like Jesus:

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, because those who intended to kill the child are dead.” Matt 2:19-20

 

Just like Jesus, my life is in my Father’s hands. I can trust Him to keep me safe until the day He calls me home. As I yield myself in obedience to God’s call on my life, I live in complete freedom from fear of man.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. But John tried to stop him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you come to me?” Matt 3:13-14

 

Jesus humbled Himself as He lived to fulfill the desires of His Father. He was the greatest model for me of a humble servant, yet walking in the fullness of the power and authority given to Him by His Father. That’s true identity.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matt 4:1

 

There’s no getting around it, I’m going to be tempted, and I’m going to be tested. The question is, will I get a passing grade? That’s why speaking in tongues is so important to me, it builds me up (1 Cor 14:4). And when I’m built up in my spirit I have a better chance of defeating the enemy; when I’m built up in my spirit I’m in a position to encourage others; when I’m built up in my spirit I position myself to hear God more clearly.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

It is written …….. Matt 4:5-10

 

Satan tempted Jesus with scripture, Jesus responded with scripture. It is my responsibility to know God’s Word accurately, so I can decipher when the enemy twists it and tries to use it against me. The Word of God is one of my greatest weapons, “It is written” followed by God’s Word is extremely powerful. Knowing God’s Word is not an option, it’s a lifeline. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matt 4:17

 

Jesus’ first message was to repent. Repentance brings the kingdom of heaven a little closer to earth. Most of my repentance these days have to do with the attitude of my heart, a thought from my old nature that has slipped through. I love it that God holds me accountable for my thoughts, and I try to repent quickly when necessary; I want to continue bringing heaven to earth.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Matt 5:3

 

I pray I never get satisfied with where I am spiritually. The kingdom of heaven is here, it’s now, and it’s mine. Normally the word “poor” is associated in a negative way, but in God’s kingdom everything is different.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matt 5:4

 

God doesn’t want me to shut down my emotions, He wants me to come to Him in my grief and sorrow and allow Him to comfort me. As I think about all that’s going on in this world, there is reason to mourn at times. Yet as I come to God for comfort, I must ask Him to show me my part.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth. Matt 5:5

         

Humility has a special place in God’s heart. No matter how famous or rich I might become, humility has to be a priority. I can’t force it, and I can’t buy it, it has to become a part of who I am. When pride starts to creep its ugly head into my life, it’s my responsibility to rebuke it, confess it, and step back under my umbrella of humility.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matt 5:6

 

May I never become satisfied with my own righteous living but continue to hunger and thirst to possess more of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. And may my own righteous living go beyond the walls of my home.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Matt 5:7

         

May I never tire of showing mercy; may my heart never become callous to the things around me. May mercy become a verb and not just a noun in my life.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matt 5:8

 

Only God can see what’s in my heart, and my greatest desire is to keep it pure. It’s not during the good, everything’s going well times that I have a problem with it, it’s during the challenges in life. Just like the “check oil” light comes on in my car when maintenance is needed, Lord flash a neon light saying “check heart” when maintenance is needed.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Matt 5:9

 

Sometimes it’s hard to keep quiet when I know I’m right. But as I learn to walk in my identity as a daughter of the King I don’t always have to prove my point, I don’t have to prove I’m right. I can just relax and bless others in their walk with God; I can allow peace to triumph over being right, when it just doesn’t really matter.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. “You are blessed when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. Matt 5:10-11

 

It’s hard to look at persecution as a blessing, yet here it is in God’s Word. And it’s really hard to look at persecution as a blessing when it comes from other believers, and yet, it so often does. May I walk each day of my life with all the blessings that God wants to bestow upon me.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. Matt 5:13

 

Thank God that if I loose my saltiness, I can regain it again. He never leaves His children without the option of repenting, and turning back to a relationship of intimacy and oneness. In the natural if salt looses its taste it may be useless, but in the kingdom God always provides a way.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Whoever insults his brother or sister, will be subject to the court. Whoever says, ‘You fool!’ (empty headed, stupid) will be subject to hellfire. Matt 5:22

 

This is a very harsh word from Jesus about the words I choose to use. Could it be He is warning me about the power of my words? That by calling someone a fool, or stupid that their soul might start believing it as truth. I need to be so careful about the words I call myself and others. “Hellfire” doesn’t sound like a place I want to be.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matt 5:28

 

Purity of heart is so important to Jesus, and it all starts in my mind, my thoughts. I don’t have complete control over what thoughts pop into my mind, but I do have control over how long I allow them to stay. Also, I do have a lot of control over what I allow my eyes to see and ears to hear. I have to step up to the plate and do my part on contending for purity of heart. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

But let your ‘yes’ mean ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ mean ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one. Matt 5:37

 

How many promises have been made and never followed through on? It’s easy to say yes to something and then never follow though. It’s easy to say “yes, I’ll be there on time”, not so easy for some to follow through. My words reflect my character, and my character reflects the Jesus in me. I want people to see the Jesus in me and be attracted to Him.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. Matt 5:44-45a

 

On a scale of 1-10 how much time is spent talking negatively about personal enemies, state or country enemies, or world enemies? How much time is spent praying for them? My desire is to walk daily as a child of the King and Jesus is telling me part of what that entails  

 

Living More Like Jesus:

If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matt 5:47-48

 

Perfect is defined in the Strong’s as: Complete in all parts, fully grown, completeness of Christian character. It’s derived from 5056 /telos which is: Going through the necessary stages to reach the end-goal, i.e. developed into a consummating completion by fulfilling the necessary process (spiritual journey).       

The Lord has welcomed me to the next journey of my life. I’m not perfect by the world’s standard, but I am growing in “perfect” as I walk my day to day life living for Jesus. As the world is aching for something that only Jesus can satisfy, my desire is that the Jesus in me will leak out as I walk the day to day journey He has me on.

 

Living More Like Jesus

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. Matt 6:1

 

I am constantly asking myself what my motives are behind saying or doing something. It’s human nature to want to be recognized for doing good things, but God’s nature is purity of heart. Doing good things publically isn’t wrong, it’s all in the why, the motive, the heart.

 

Living More Like Jesus

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. Matt 6:14-15

 

No parable here, just black and white matter of fact truth, clearly spelled out. Unforgiveness is a wicked, sneaky tool of the enemy. God’s forgiveness of my sins is His greatest gift to me, that’s where true peace resides. The choice is mine, to forgive or not. Not always easy, but definitely beneficial.

Living More Like Jesus:

But seek (continually) first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things (food and clothing) will be added to you. Matt 6:33

 

Jesus is the answer to all my needs, not money. In verse 25 I am told not to worry, which by the way is the number one killer in America. So instead of worrying about ANYTHING, I need to be seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness. Why? Because therein lies the answers to all my needs. Whether my needs are basic survival needs or major decisions in life, I need not worry. Worry kills and separates me from kingdom living, seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness brings life and provision.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Stop judging that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Matt 7:1-2

 

It’s so easy to judge that which I don’t understand; it’s so easy to judge others when I forget my identity, that I really am a daughter of the King. How do I know when I’ve stepped out of righteous judgment (John 7:24) and into sin? It’s a matter of the heart, of motive. Lord get my attention when the purity of my heart, or purity of my motives starts to diminish. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want themto treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matt 7:12

 

A simple yet potentially life changing verse, if only put into action on a daily basis. If very family, every nation, and every culture would apply this verse to their lives, humankind would be so very different. There would have to be a drastic decline in all the ugly behavior that we humans do to one another. Lord, may You remind me throughout the day of the power of this verse. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matt 7:13-14

 

Many think that this is speaking of heaven and hell, and maybe it is. But what if the narrow gate and the “life” Jesus if referring to is the total surrendered life that few believers actually live. How many of us really live the abundant life (not talking about money) that Jesus talks about. Is there a narrow gate for going-to-heaven believers, a gate that few seek to enter that are for the totally laid down lovers of God? Is the gate for those who say yes to anything God asks; a gate for those who want the real “life” that Jesus so desires for us, and are willing to do anything to get it.? Just a thought.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed that very moment. Matt 8:13

 

How often is Jesus telling me to “Go”, your prayers has been answered as you have believed? But because my prayers don’t manifest as quickly as the servant’s healing, I lose faith, and unbelief sets in. How many answers or healings have been aborted because of unbelief, because I didn’t get up and “go”, but instead continued praying and begging for something that has already been set in order?

 

Living More Like Jesus:

When Jesus came into Peter’s home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she got up and waited on Him. Matt 8:14-15

 

Jesus was never one for lengthy prayers, a simple word or two was sufficient. But here, the power of His touch was all it took. May I never underestimate the power and authority I carry as a child of the King. May I never underestimate the power of a touch, or a hug. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Matt 10:1

 

The desire of Jesus heart is for EVERY disease and sickness to be healed, and He gave me the authority to get the job done. So why doesn’t everyone I pray for get healed? I don’t know, that’s not my responsibility, it’s God’s. My responsibility is to believe that He did give me the and authority and to believe that it is the desire of His heart. And so, I continue to pray.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. Matt 11:20 

 

How sad that these cities witnessed first hand the power and authority that Jesus walked in. They witnessed miracles and I assume the Gospel was preached, yet they didn’t repent. My city, state, or country may be guilty of not repenting when seeing first hand the miracles of God’s goodness, but I can. Holy Spirit You live in me, You know my heart and know my every deed. I give You permission to get my attention whenever repentance is needed.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matt 11:28

 

Several places in scripture tell of Jesus finding a quiet place to be with His Father and to rest. Since He only did what His Father was doing, I doubt He ever worked to exhaustion. Lord, show me when I need to take Your yoke and put it on me; show me when I need to learn from You how to balance my life to make sure I am only doing what You’re calling me to do.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; Matt 12:38-39

 

Signs, wonders and miracles are awesome, I want them to be a part of my everyday life. I used to contend for them, to a point of frustration at times. Now I just contend for more intimacy with Jesus, what I see or experience is up to Him anyway. The scribes and Pharisees saw plenty of miracles, and they were never enough to satisfy them, because only Jesus can do that.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” Matt 13:23

 

What kind of soil do I want to be? Lord, I want to be good soil, I want to hear Your word, understand it and bear much fruit. I have the choice of what kind of soil I want to be every time I hear a sermon or read God’s Word.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Matt 16:23

 

If Peter (who verses earlier was praised by Jesus) had trouble keeping his mind on the things of God, how much more will I? This is a day by day, minute by minute journey. I am very seldom in the loop of knowing the big picture of what God’s up to. My responsibility is to be obedient to the things I do know; my responsibility is to stay so close to God that I feel His heart beat; my responsibility is to worship and praise Him in the midst of it all.

Living More Like Jesus:

Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. Matt 19:13

 

Was it selfishness, jealousy, or disregard for children in general that caused the disciples to rebuke the children? How often do I disregard people for not being worthy of my time, my prayers, my blessings? Oh Lord, forgive me, as I’m sure there are plenty. Lord, open my eyes to the “children” in my life that need and deserve my attention.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” Mark 6:30-31

 

After the disciples had been sent out to preach and pray, Jesus commanded them to get away by themselves and rest. We were not created to go, go, go; our spirit, soul and body needs rest, even after doing amazing things for God like preaching and healing. Sometimes we think if we don’t do it ourselves then it just won’t get done; however, we were never called to do it all by ourselves. Holy Spirit knows what needs to get done, and I need to have faith in Him. We are commanded to rest, and if we don’t do it voluntarily, God, or our mortal bodies might just do it for us.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

After bidding them farewell, He left for the mountain to pray. Mark 6:46

 

If Jesus had to get away by Himself and pray, how much more so do I? If I want to be all God created me to be, and do all He created me to do, then I had better spend some time with Him. It’s my responsibility and my choice to make time to be alone with Him everyday.  

 

Living More Like Jesus:

But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Mark 8:33

 

How many times have I put my own interests before God’s without even realizing it? Lord forgive me, I don’t always see the big picture, I only see one little part of it. The desire of my heart is for my mind to be totally focused on God and what interests Him. Lord remind me when my focus gets off of You and onto man.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Many were sternly telling him (Bartimaeus) to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.” Mark 10:48-49

 

Why didn’t Jesus go immediately to Bartimaeus, He had to of heard him calling? And those following Jesus knew He could heal, so why try and keep a blind man from being healed? I just don’t know! Maybe Jesus was waiting for His Father, as He only did what the Father did. Maybe the determined desperation of Bartimaeus pierced the Fathers heart. God, teach me when it’s time to cry out to You, and when it’s time to wait to hear Your voice.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Mark 11:24

 

It’s human nature to believe after I see; It’s kingdom nature to believe after I pray. It’s wonderful when I pray for something, God says “Done.” and it manifests instantly. It’s harder when I pray for something, God says “Done.” and it hasn’t manifested yet. But in the waiting faith and believing have a chance to grow; in the waiting I have the opportunity to thank and praise God for who He is, and for answering my prayers, even though they haven’t manifested in the natural yet.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand (or know) the Scriptures or the power of God? Mark 12:24

 

How often am I mistaken about something because of my lack of knowing or understanding of God’s Word, or of the power that He possesses? And that knowledge of God’s Word and His power doesn’t come strictly from intellect, but from intimacy and heart to heart knowing. I understand why the word “Scriptures” is used here, but the word “power” really gets me thinking. Lord, help me to know and recognize Your power.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Now after He (Jesus) had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. Mark 16:9

 

Out of all the people Jesus could have spoken to after raising from the dead, He chose first to speak to Mary Magdalene. What a heart of honor, compassion and forgiveness. The disciples were reproached for not believing those Jesus had chosen to appear to first. I pray I am never reproached by God for not believing someone He chooses to speak through.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

These signs (miracles) will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 1617-18

 

There must be a part of me that still lacks total belief, as these signs do not accompany me on a regular basis (except tongues). Yet, the desire of God’s heart is that they do. Lord, teach me to believe in You at the level You desire, at the level that these signs will accompany me on a regular basis. Lord, help me to walk in my full identity as a believer in Jesus Christ.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. Luke 3:8

 

It’s easy to repent, words are cheap. But true kingdom repentance is always followed by a change in attitude and behavior. No family name; no governmental status no amount of money can buy my way out of the change that needs to come from true kingdom repentance. Lord I give you permission to get my attention when repentance is needed in my life.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness or forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. Luke 4:1-2

 

Being full of Holy Spirit doesn’t exempt me from temptations, but lack of fullness may result in weakness when strength is needed. It’s amazing how I can go from 100% full to almost empty in seconds during stressful times. Yes I know Holy Spirit is in me all the time, but the manifestations, the fruit is not always apparent. That’s why when I sense myself being depleted, I try and get quiet with God and get refilled. Otherwise, temptations have an easy target.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time. Luke 4:13

 

We only read about three of the temptations that Jesus faced, and responded with, “It is written”. But this verse implies (as does Heb 4:15) that He was tempted a whole lot more. Jesus may have faced temptations on a daily basis just like most of us. Lord, show me areas of temptation that I may not even be aware of, and how to how to be victorious. Temptation is coming, and God’s desire is for me to be victorious over it. I need to find verses to put in my arsenal, so when tempted, I can fight back effectively.  

 

It is written: All things are lawful for me, but not all things are beneficial. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Cor 6:12

It is written: All foods are lawful for me to eat, but not all things are beneficial. All foods are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by any.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

While the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and laying His hands on each one of them, He was healing them. Luke 4:40

Healing comes through a variety of ways: commands, gentle  words, rebuking, faith, praying, laying on of hands, etc. How do I know which one to use? I need to listen to my Father, just like Jesus did. It’s amazing how many people were healed just by Jesus touching them. Because I have the blood of Jesus running through my veins, and the power and authority He gave me as a believer, there’s no telling what healings might be released through simply touching those in need.

 

Living More Like Jesus: 

When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them. But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.” Luke 4:42-43

 

I need to know my purpose, just like Jesus. Obedience and staying on the course God has for me, has to outrank the opinions and desires of others. People pleasing can never mean more to me than God pleasing. Sometimes my purpose gets fuzzy, only intimacy with Jesus can keep me focused on the assignments and purpose God has called me to.

Living More Like Jesus:

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Luke 6:35

 

“For He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men”. What must this even look like, how is this done? I don’t think I would even get a passing grade in this area. I obviously need more of the Father’s love going in and out of me to even comprehend the possibility of this. So Lord, I need more! Teach me to position myself for the more.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher. Luke 6:40

 

The greatest desire of my heart is to be more like Jesus. So I position myself daily be a student of my Teacher. I pray one day I will be fully trained, lacking nothing.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For this reason I say to you, her sins (the woman who put perfume on Jesus’ feet), which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:47

 

Repentance comes in many ways. This woman’s repentance wasn’t with words, it was with love for Jesus that came from her heart. She was forgiven for her sins not by what she said in a prayer, but by her actions and love for Jesus. As I meditate on God’s Word I am reminded about religious mindsets that I recognize in my own heart.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. Luke 8:24

 

“Acts of God” some call it, when storms cause severe damage. Yet Jesus would not have rebuked the wind and surging waves if His Father had brought them on. When wind, rain, and waves become life threatening, what would happen if believers united and rebuked them. Lord, remind me of the power and authority that I walk in, in every area of life. May I not watch in fear (vs 25) as severe storms arise, but step out in faith and do something.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

But the crowds were aware of this and followed Him; and welcoming them, He began speaking to them about the kingdom of God and curing those who had need of healing. Luke 9:11

 

Jesus had planned to withdraw with His disciples to Bethsaida (vs 10), probably for some much needed rest. But His plans changed, His attitude possibly swiftly changed from disappointment to compassion and welcoming. Without rolling His eyes or showing any sign of disappointment (if there was any) He just started sharing about the kingdom of God, teaching and healing. Plans can change at any moment, but Lord may my attitude and heart never dwell on the change, but embrace it as we journey it together.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way. Luke 10:4

 

Why were the 70 told to greet no one on the way when sent out ahead of Jesus? I don’t know? Possibly so they would stay focused on the assignment He gave them, and not get side tracked. It’s easy to get side tracked when on assignment, especially for something that seems good, like greeting others, or meeting a need they have. But my responsibility is to be listening to Holy Spirit at all times, and obeying what I hear. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

And He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. ‘Give us each day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.’” Luke 11:2-4

 

Holy Spirit could of had Luke dictate the same words of The Lord’s Prayer as in Matt 6, but He didn’t. Same event in time, but the wording is different. I can sometimes get so hung up on exactness, that I miss the message God or someone else is trying to teach me. I must practice listening with my heart, along with my mind. I must practice listening to Holy Spirit so I know when exactness is necessary and when knowing the character and heart of God is more important. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

As the crowds were increasing, He began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah. Luke 11:29

 

Often when our audience increases, our desire to please them increases as pride might get a hold of our hearts. Not so with Jesus. Whether He was speaking to the 12 or to thousands, He spoke what the Father had put in His heart to speak, even when the message was harsh judgment. Lord, may pride, or the size of my audience never determine my message. May my words always come from Your heart to mine.

 

 

Luke 11:37-54

A Pharisee ask Jesus to lunch and He accepted, but He was not very tolerant or politically correct. He called them out on the wickedness of their motives and their hearts. I am not one for confrontation and I avoid it if at all possible. But there is a time and a place to confront sin head on. I thought Jesus was rather harsh in this passage, but I dare not say He was wrong. God created me with a certain personality bent, so I might confront differently than others (when I have to), but I must not avoid doing so because of fear. I must ask Holy Spirit to give me the words that need to be spoken, and a delivery of the words in a way that the receiver receives them as from the Lord.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

When she has found it (the lost coin), she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ Luke 15:9

 

We were created to rejoice with one another when good things happen. Instead of being envious or jealous when others are excited by what God has done, I am called to rejoice with them; instead of keeping what God has done for me all to myself, I should be so excited that I just have to share it, so others can rejoice with me. Will some be jealous, envious, or offended? Possibly, but that is between them and God.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20b-21

 

It seems that what is within me is so much more important and powerful than that which is outside of me. Pondering this, God downloaded A-Z what is in the kingdom of God that is within me: Attitude, Beliefs, Courage, Decisions, Emotions, Faith, Gumption, Hope, Identity, Joy Kingdom of God, Life, Motivation, Nearness to God, Optimism, Peace, Quiet, Revelations, Strength, Trust, Understanding, Vision, Worship, eXpectations, yieldedness, zip 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. John 4:23

 

There are worshipers, and then there are true worshipers. Is God seeking me to be one of His worshiper? Is He always finding me worshiping in spirit and truth? I wish I could say “yes”, always. Worship leaders do their best to bring in an atmosphere of praise and worship, but they can’t do it alone. True worship comes from the heart, the spirit to Spirit connection, and from intimacy. I can’t be looking at my watch, critiquing the worship leader, pastor, or anyone else around, and have God seeking me as His worshiper.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. John 4:34

 

Food (if eaten several times a day) brings life, nourishment, health, satisfaction, strength, healing, comfort, and I’m sure so much more. So ideally, what should bring me life, nourishment, health, satisfaction, strength, healing, and comfort would be to do the will of God, and to accomplish His work for my life. Now if I would only crave that as much as I do sweets and other things. This is the desire of my heart God, help it to manifest more in my life.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. John 4:36

 

We are called to rejoice together. Many times the reapers get all the praise, but behind every reaper is a sower. Many times sowers never see the their fruit, but they can rejoice nevertheless knowing that God will bring along a reaper at just the right time. And, next time I have the privilege of being a reaper, I will thank God for the sowers. May we all rejoice together, doing the part that God blesses us to do.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. John 6:64

 

Jesus chose Judas to be His disciple knowing that he would betray him. He ate with him, traveled with him and taught him on a daily basis. Did He love him any less than the other disciples; did he treat him differently? Such love and strength only the Father can give to love, teach, or build relationships with those who could potentially betray me. May I live and love in such a way as to risk betrayal, because of my love for my Father.

Living More Like Jesus:

So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. John 7:16

 

Whether I’m speaking to one person or to hundreds, the desire of my heart is to be listening to Holy Spirit, and speak only what I here. This can be a bit scary at first, but when Holy Spirit starts downloading it’s the most amazing thing. When Holy Spirit is silent for the first few seconds or minutes it can seem like hours, but that’s where trusting comes in. Holy Spirit’s words and timing are always perfect.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. John 7:18

 

What is the motive when I speak, or when I teach? Who is getting the glory? Do people go away thinking about me, how smart I am, and what a good job I did, or do they go away hungry for more of God? Lord help me to never say or do anything to bring glory to myself, when it belongs to You.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?” So they put him out. John 9:34

 

Jesus just told the man who was born blind that it was not the sins of his parents or himself that he was born blind, but that the works of God might be displayed in him (9:2). Now the man has to make a decision, will he believe what he may have been told all his life, or will he believe Jesus? I too must make decisions daily as to who I choose to believe.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

 

What does an abundant life look like; does it look like Jesus’? In the natural abundance is associated with money. In the Kingdom it may look like, food to eat, clothes to wear, shelter, love, peace, joy, purpose, identity, intimacy with my Father, power and authority to accomplish the desire of God’s heart, and sometimes wealth. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. John 17:24

 

What a way to start a conversation or prayer, “Father, I desire….” Not all translations use the word desire, but it hits my heart with such tenderness. It’s different than “Lord, I need, I want; Lord, would You, could You; Lord, please. Even, Lord, it is written.” Lord, I desire to know You, see You, hear You in new and exciting ways. Lord, I desire ……..

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, Rom 8:5 

 

How can I have my mind set on the Spirit 24/7? Well, it doesn’t just happen, that’s for sure. It’s like a new mom (especially a first time mom), her mind is set on her baby 24/7 for several months at least. With the same love and desire of a new mom I need to desire to have my mind set on the Spirit 24/7. The mindset of a new mom wanes after a while, as her baby grows, as it should. But my mind set on the Spirit must not wane, and that takes purpose, tenacity and a determined heart.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

But in all these things (tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword, vs 36) we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. Rom 8:37

 

It doesn’t matter what my circumstances look like, what my natural eyes see, what my natural mind thinks, I OVERWHELMINGLY conquer, defeat and win the battle through Jesus Christ. Many versions read “we are more than conquerors”. I think this verse is worthy of being in my arsenal, ready to be pulled out when needed. It is written: I am more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ. I declare: I am more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ; my circumstance do not define my kingdom reality.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Rom 12:6-8

 

God gives each of us a specific gift (therefore there should be no jealously). It is my responsibility to figure out my gift, and exercise it to the point where it brings glory to God. This doesn’t just happen, exercising my body or my gifting takes effort. Lord, you have blessed me with a gift, show me how to understand it and use it on a regular basis, to bring You glory.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Rom 13:10

 

There are over 600 laws in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament love takes care of everything. But what does love look like? I must ask myself that very thing before making decisions throughout my day. I must ask that before I speak, or if I choose not to speak. I must ask that before I do (anything), or choose not to do. Love is the four letter word that has the power to change absolutely every area of my life.

Living More Like Jesus:

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Rom 15:13

 

Our God is a God of hope (expectation, trust, confidence). Believing in Him, in His promises, in His Word should fill me with so much joy and peace that it is evident everywhere I go because it permeates my entire being. It’s in the believing that the power of the Holy Spirit gets activated and He can’t resist blessing me with abounding hope, joy and peace. And it’s in the believing that God is glorified.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, Rom 15:30

 

Sometimes we feel unworthy of asking for prayer for ourselves, we don’t want to burden others with our problems. But we were created to bear one another’s burdens by encouraging and praying for them. I was created to love others as I love myself. Part of loving myself is allowing others to bless me with their prayers. Part of loving myself is trusting Holy Spirit to show me who I should share my prayer needs with.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. 1 Cor 1:17

 

Paul knew his purpose and didn’t want to get sidetracked baptizing a bunch of people.  Not that baptizing is wrong, of course not, it just wasn’t what Paul was called/sent to do. I too need to know my purpose, otherwise I might get sidetracked into something very Godly, very needed, very Christ like, but not God’s purpose for my life. I must not allow the occasional, sidetracks in my life to permanently keep me sidetracked, no matter how good the sidetrack is. I will be held accountable to do what God has called/sent me to do.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 1 Cor 2:12-13

 

I no longer have the spirit of the world inside me, I have God’s Spirit. He is teaching me things that can’t be learned through human teachers. He wants to teach me all about God and the desires of His heart. This only happens as I spend time getting to know and listening to Holy Spirit, who is in me and loves communicating with and through me. When I teach, and as I’m also taught, I want it to be through Holy Spirit’s wisdom, not mans.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Cor 2:16

 

What a mind boggling fact – As a child of God I have the mind of Christ! I must admit I don’t always “feel” or “act” like I have the mind of Christ. And herein lies yet another choice I have to make, do I believe my feelings and actions, or do I believe the Word of God? The more I choose to believe God’s Word that I do have the mind of Christ, the more it will manifest in my life.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. 1 Cor 3:16-17

 

I’m not a worm, a sinner, or a wretch; I’m holy. I am a new creation, washed in the blood of Jesus, and saved by His grace. Do I still sin, occasionally; do I feel like a worm or a wretch, probably once in a while? But truth is not defined by my feelings; the truth is, Holy Spirit lives inside of me 24/7, and that is why I’m holy. God wants me to see myself through His eyes, a beautiful, holy, daughter of the King, full of power and authority to change the world.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God. 1 Cor 3:21-23

 

All things in the present and future belong to me. I can’t really even comprehend what that looks like. But I’m thinking that I need to take the words, “I can’t” out of my vocabulary. Because if “all things” belong to me, and I belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God, then everything is at my disposal to be who He’s called me to be, do what He’s called me to do. Nothing is impossible!

Living More Like Jesus:

Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy. 1 Cor 4:1-2

 

I am a daughter of the King for sure, yet I choose to be a servant of Christ. And if walked out, pride is defeated. I am also positioned to be a steward of the mysteries of God, which to me is just pure awesomeness. But trustworthiness is a prerequisite. He will not reward those He can’t trust, those who lie, cheat, manipulate, deceive, have other gods, etc. I choose to position myself to be a steward of the mysteries of God. If He wants to reveal His mysteries, I want to receive them.

 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. 1 cor 4:20

 

What does this power look like? In the natural power can look like strength, control, money, education, fame, etc.. In the kingdom power can look like faith, peace and joy during persecution; it can look like tenderness, compassion, and love to a wounded heart; it can look like washing the dishes and watching the kids to a tired mother; it can look like love and forgiveness. And it can look like faith in a God that moves mountains, heals the sick, raises the dead, cleanses the leaper, casts out demons, calms the storms, and parts the Red Sea, and He uses His sons and daughters to get the job done.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Cor 6:12

 

When I read this verse I am reminded that I live in a micro-wave era, where fast food isn’t fast enough at times; where an attitude of I want what I want when I want it, too often comes into play. There is so much freedom in Christ Jesus that at times I forget that the only thing that I should allow to have power over my spirit, soul, or body, is Jesus. I have to remind myself that I will not be controlled by any food, people, emotions, anger, situations, or anything else, except by Jesus Christ.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 1 Cor 6:18

 

I am called to flee immorality because it is sin against my own body. I also believe when I disrespect myself (my spirit, soul and body) by verbally abusing myself, putting myself down, false humility, devaluing the body God gave me to live in, that I am also sinning against my own body. I need to be proactive in building my body up morally, physically and spiritually, not tearing it down through sexual or verbal abuse.

 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Cor 6:19-20

 

Oh the ramifications of this verse. How can I glorify God in my body? Living more like Jesus, is number one for sure. I also believe taking care of my physical body is important. Without my physical body, I cease to exist on earth where God has chosen to put me. Eating healthy foods and getting plenty of exercise might just mean I can live a longer healthier life, that I can finish the race God has set before me. I want to finish every assignment and purpose God has for me. Without my physical body, Holy Spirit has one less body to be glorified in.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 1 Cor 10:13

 

Temptations come in numerous ways, and so do the ways of escape. Temptations can be physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual, and selfish, just to name a few. If I don’t acknowledge the temptations I’ve had in the past, the way of escape may not be recognized in time. God says there is a way of escape, what could this look like? Planning ahead when possible, choosing godly love as a first response; choosing to believe, trust, hope and rest in the promises of God; choosing joy, worship, praise, and thanksgiving in the midst of temptation. I don’t have all the answers, I just know that God’s Word is truth, so there must be a way of escape, I just have to find it, or the strength to endure it.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 1 Cor 12:7

 

Every single believer has at least one manifestation of Holy Spirit to share with other believers, to think somehow God missed me is just plain ridiculous. Paul names 9 gifts (wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, and interpretation of tongues). I think this is just a drop in a bucket of the manifestations of the Spirit. I may have something to offer that’s not on this list, or anywhere in the Bible. It’s easy for me to get religious about this at times. But as I sit with my Lord, He reveals to me from time to time what I do for the body of Christ that’s not found on a list, or word for word in the Bible, but none the less manifestations of Holy Spirit.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Cor 13:1

 

It doesn’t matter how big a church I pastor, how great and accurate a prophet I am, how much money I give to missions, how many people I raise from the dead, how many orphans I feed, or how many people I pray for that get healed. What matters is what I am like behind closed doors, when no one sees what I’m doing. The greatest command of Jesus is to love, and it’s not always easy. But the more I fall in love with Jesus, and the more time I spend with Him, the easier it gets.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 1 Cor 14:1

 

God never called me to be passive regarding His love or His gifts. Here He specifically tells me to go after spiritual gifts, He doesn’t want any of His children to be giftless. Yet many assume He will just give them the gift He desires to give, and sometimes He does. Yet here I am called to go after His gifts, especially that of prophesy. How? Praying, intimacy, reading, studying, listening to speakers who have the gift. If it is the desire of my heart to learn, it is the desire of His heart to show me how.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. 1 Cor 14:4

 

People have been kicked out of churches because they spoke in tongues, and there has been great division in the body of Christ over this very thing. I am told to love my neighbor as myself. If speaking in tongues edifies, builds up my character, encourages (Strong’s 3618) me to be a better me; if my spirit is speaking mysteries given by Holy Spirit so God can build me up, I will do it all the more. Some might consider it selfish to build myself up by speaking in tongues so much, I call it loving God. Because the more I love myself, the more I become who God created me to be, and the more I can love others.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. 1 Cor 14:14-14

 

If I add up all the minutes I do mindless things throughout the day, it can add up quickly (making breakfast, going to the bathroom, cleaning the house, driving familiar roads, walking the dog, just to name a few). Over the past year I have worked at making a habit of speaking and singing in tongues during those mindless minutes in my day. Singing especially brings me into the presence of God every time. There is also medical research that shows speaking in tongues builds up my immune system and so many other things. Seems like a win win to me.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue. 1 Cor 14:18-19

 

Some churches have used this verse religiously to speak against ever speaking in tongues in church, and I do understand that. So where did Paul do most of his speaking and singing in tongues? Probably privately, or when he was with close friends. I wish I understood what I say when I speak or sing in tongues, or what is happening in the spirit realm, but I rarely do. But that doesn’t matter because the intimacy I have with my Lord has increased greatly since It has become a daily habit. Thank You Jesus for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues, it has changed my life forever.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies (pity, compassion, favor, grace) and God of all comfort, 2 Cor 1:3

 

God desires to bless me with His total and complete comfort. But too often my first instinct is to run to other things to bring me comfort, like food, people, places, shopping, etc. Too often these things just put a temporary Band-Aid on my need, which at the moment seems just fine and adequate to me. However, God’s comfort (if I choose to receive it), goes deep down into my soul, bringing comfort from His heart to mine. There is no comparison, but the choice is mine. Remind me Lord, in my time of need to turn to you first, the Father of mercies and God of ALL comfort.

 

 

  

Living More Like Jesus:

For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. 2 Cor 1:20

 

God’s Word is full of promises that He has already said “Yes” to. Now I have to do my part, I have to say “Amen” (yes, so be it, may it be fulfilled). I have to grab hold of His promises, His “Yes”, and say my “Amen”. Then comes my choice to believe His “Yes”, believe my “Amen”, believe with all that is within me that I can trust Him to fulfill His promises. It is also my choice and my responsibility to seek His wisdom in positioning myself to receive His promises.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Cor 3:16-17

 

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (freedom). And where is the Spirit of the Lord? In me! So if I am not walking in the freedom that is mine because Holy Spirit is in me, is it possible that I have turned away from the Lord (not completely, but in some way), and the veil has been put back on me? I use to think that salvation meant the veil was taken away permanently, but maybe it’s my responsibility to keep the veil off by keeping my eyes on Jesus, and in doing so, comes the freedom. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 2 Cor 4:8-9 

 

Now that’s what I call a good attitude. I may not have any control over everything that happens in my life, but I do have control over how I react. Paul did not deny the hardships happening to him, and I shouldn’t either, stuff happens. However, my greatest weapon is to continue believing God is good, so that no matter what happens I can choose to get up and continue living for Jesus, and praising His name.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

for we walk by faith, not by sight— 2 Cor 5:7

 

What a powerful, life changing verse. My responsibility is to know what and who I have faith in. Faith says: do not worry, fear not, come to Me and I will give you rest, God loves me, I have power and authority in Christ Jesus, I can heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the leper, cast out demons. Sight may say something entirely different. I have to daily choose faith over sight, sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s hard. The choice is mine, and I choose faith.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 2 Cor 5:13

 

I am to be “beside myself” for God. Strong’s 1839 – removed from a standing position, astonished, amazed, out of my mind, mad. Not very sophisticated or dignified in my opinion, and maybe that’s the point of this verse. Oh Lord, don’t let me remain so dignified in Your presence that I miss experiencing the fullness of who You are.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Cor 5:16-17

 

I am no longer to look at and recognize believers (including myself) according to the way they look in the flesh, I am to see them as God sees them, as new creatures in Christ. Easier said than done, for me anyway. So I need to purposely choose to treat people, to encourage people and to see people as God sees them, as His new redeemed sons and daughters. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor 5:21

 

When I look in the mirror I need to remind myself that I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Jesus died so I can say that statement, so how dare I not receive it. Do I always feel righteous? No! But I choose not to live by feelings but by the Word of God, by His truth. And the more I believe I really am the righteousness of God, the more the manifestations of that are displayed.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections (inward parts; the heart, feelings, emotions) . 2 Cor 6:12

 

Paul talks about his afflictions, distresses, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, sleeplessness, and hunger in vs 4-5. Yet he also talks about his attitude through it all being positive and praising God (vs 6-12). My attitude is everything, without a good attitude my insides will restrain me from living a life of freedom. When my insides suffer my whole body suffers resulting in stress and illness. As I make a habit of praising God in the little things everyday, when the big things come I have a better chance of continuing that praise with a healthy attitude.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 2 Cor 12:7

 

God will go to great lengths to keep His children humble, He takes the sin of pride very seriously, as should I. As God increases His revelations, His gifts, His anointing and power, I must increase my humility. If I’m not receiving revelations from God as much as I’d like too, maybe I need to check my pride level.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Gal 5:13 

 

It seems so simple, but it’s not. For one thing, few of us really love ourselves. When we really love ourselves we take care of our spiritual, emotional, and physically needs. When we really love ourselves we have no need to control or abuse others through verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. It’s not until we really love ourselves and who God created us to be, that we can start loving others the way God wants us to.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Gal 5:22-23

 

 If I am led by the Spirit, if I walk by the Spirit, and if I live by the Spirit (vs 16, 18, 25), this fruit should be manifesting in my life since Holy Spirit lives in me. So when I see myself walking in the opposite spirit, producing the opposite fruit, I need to stop and evaluate how I’m living. Am I really allowing Holy Spirit to lead me in every area of my life; am I walking where He’s leading me to walk; and am I living life totally surrendered to Him? God gives me freedom to choose what kind of fruit I want to produce in my life.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Eph 2:10

 

I am saved by grace (vs 9), yet created for good works. God prepared good works for me to walk in before I was even born. I believe some of these good works are for me individually, and some are to be in unity with other believers. I would love to have a list of good works to check off as I go along in life, but it doesn’t happen that way, for me anyway. Each day offers opportunities for me to be led by Holy Spirit to the good works that God has for me to fulfill. Therefore, there’s just no getting around the need for intimacy with God in Kingdom living.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups (Jew and Gentile) into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, Eph 2:14

 

Wouldn’t is be wonderful if the hundreds of Christian denominations could become as one, breaking down the barriers that divide the body of Christ. Think of the ground we could take for the Kingdom fighting with each other instead of against each other. I pray that I can do my part even when doctrine differs; I pray that I won’t let petty differences build a dividing wall; I pray that Jesus Christ and Him crucified can bring unity to the Body of Christ.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), Eph 5:8-9

 

 We WERE darkness, but now we ARE light. I must admit I don’t feel like light most of the time, but feelings don’t define me, God’s word does. Light is very powerful and is taken for granted most of the time. But as we all know when the electricity goes out at night, one light makes all the difference. So though I don’t necessarily feel like light, I walk by faith that I am just that. Just as one light in a dark house makes a difference, my light might just be someone’s hope when they are walking in total darkness.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another (yourselves) in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; Eph 5:18-19

 

Here’s a recipe for being (completely) filled with Holy Spirit, and I don’t think Paul was talking about just reading the book of Psalms. I am called to make up my own psalms, poems, hymns, and spiritual songs. They can be silly, serious, long, short, in tune, or out of tune, it doesn’t matter. There is no denying it, music is a part of God’s kingdom, therefore it needs to be a part of my life. Since I have started making a practice of this on a regular basis I can honestly say it’s changed my life, I am filled to a fuller level of Holy Spirit.

Living More Like Jesus:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might (power). Eph 6:10

 

God did not design me to be fearful, wimpy, cowardly, defeated, or beaten down. He designed me to be strong and powerful in Him. We’ve all seen the six foot 300 pound man crumble under to stern look of a five foot 90 pound woman, because that little woman knew who she was, and knew she carried power, strength and authority. As a child of God I am called and designed to be strong, filled with His strength and His power. I am designed and called to take a stance against evil, and I am designed and called to win.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Eph 6:13

 

I was created and designed to resist and fight the enemy, and at the end to be standing firm. We all know about the armor of God in vs. 14-17, but there is more to the armor of God than the six weapons named. Verse 18 talks about praying in the Spirit at all times as a powerful weapon. I also believe as part of the armor of God I should include praise and worship, singing and dancing, talking and singing in tongues. I have so many weapons available 24/7 just waiting for me to take hold of and activate. I was created and designed to win, it’s in my DNA, and I choose to walk in it.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:6

 

I use to look forward to the day that I would “arrive”, the day I would be everything God created me to be, to know Him completely, all the boxes checked off concerning His desire for my life. However, the more I get to know Him and His word, the more I’m aware that I will always be a work in progress. God is always working in me, desiring me to be more like Jesus every day. I’m now enjoying each and every day of my journey with God, knowing that He will be growing and perfecting me until I breathe my last breath on earth. And when “stuff” happens and all the work He’s done in me seems to disappear, He’s there to pick me up, so we can continue this journey together.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances (imprisonment) have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, Phil 1:12

 

What a way to look at life’s not so pleasant circumstances. No matter what my circumstance look like in the natural, if my spirit, soul and body are surrendered to God, If my heart is full of praise and thanksgiving, God can use it to bring Him glory and advance the gospel. Paul CHOSE to have a an attitude of praise and worship; Paul CHOSE to believe God would work out everything for His glory, Paul CHOSE not to take offense because of unjust circumstances in his life. I also have a choice how I will react to the circumstances in my life that aren't particularly pleasant.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith. Phil 3:1

 

Rejoicing in the Lord safeguards my faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6); and without faith my relationship with God crumbles.  So it seems rejoicing in the Lord needs to be a part of my everyday life, not just when I feel like it, or not just on Sunday mornings. Whatever happens, in all things, during all things, through all things, I am called to rejoice in the Lord. Besides, there is no better, faster way to get an attitude adjustment than rejoicing in the Lord.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, Phil 3:13

 

Focusing on the past is the enemies playground, and it can keep me from being all God created me to be. The past can be a powerful tool for learning what worked and didn’t work in my life, but I can never allow it to keep me paralyzed from walking in my present and my future. It’s always nice to reminisce about the good old days, but if I allow myself to stay there too long, I miss out on what God has for me today. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7

 

Here’s a recipe for peace:  Don't worry, tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He’s done. THEN, you trust Him as you go about your day enjoying His peace as it flows through every cell of your body. Peace can’t come until worry is surrendered to God; worry can’t leave until we can trust God with our circumstances. Praise, worship and a thankful heart is like shooting deadly arrows at the enemy’s plans.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. Phil 4:8-9

 

Changing my stinkin’ thinkin’ is another recipe for peace. My thoughts are more powerful at changing my life than all the self-help books around. If the majority of my thoughts aren't true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and worthy of praise I need to change my thinking. The more I purposely meditate and fix my thoughts to be Godly, the more they will naturally become a part of who I am. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. Phil 4:11-12

 

Being content didn’t just happen, it was learned, it was a process. It’s easy in America to develop a spirit of entitlement, instead of contentment. I think faith is the stepping stone to contentment. When I am one with Jesus, and when I can totally trust in Him no matter my circumstances, then I can learn to be content. Lord, show me when the spirit of entitlement starts to raise it’s ugly head, and remind me to walk in contentment. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Phil 4:13

 

It’s easy to forget that right before this verse (that is so often declared by believers) came the verses on contentment. Could it be that as I learn to be content with what I have, that Christ gives me strength to do what is needed to be done? 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Col 1:9

 

I don’t know what it’s like to worship something made by human hands, all I know is how to worship the One who made human hands. And to think that He wants to give me complete knowledge of His will for my life is just out of this world awesome. He’s not aloof; He’s personal and knowable. And to top it off He wants to give me spiritual wisdom and understanding; He doesn’t want me to be lost, unprepared, or unaware of what’s going on in the spirit realm. Lord, I position myself to receive all you have for me, to know You and Your kingdom better.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Then (After knowledge of His will, spiritual wisdom and understanding, vs 9) the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. Col 1:10

 

My journey should be a never ending adventure of honoring and pleasing God as I get to know Him more and more each day. As a result I will be producing every kind of good fruit, not just one or two. I can’t even fathom producing every kind of good fruit, I’ll just have to trust that God’s Word is trustworthy. Life with God is never boring or uneventful, and it may take me until the day I die to finish producing fruit for Him, and I say “Yes Lord, more fruit”. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. Col 1:11

 

Endurance and patience is something most of us never pray for, but is needed at any given moment. I need to strengthen myself in God’s glorious power on a regular basis, so that when endurance and patience is needed I will have access to it. Bill Johnson wrote an awesome book “Strengthen yourself in The Lord”. Strengthening my physical body doesn’t just happen, it takes effort, and so does strengthening myself in God’s glorious power. How? Read the book, or just continue pressing into Jesus, getting to know Him intimately, listening to His voice, reading His Word, and becoming one with Him.  

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Col 3:1

 

I am to “keep seeking” the things above, it’s not just a once in a while thing to do. I am to “keep seeking”, and never become totally satisfied with where I’m at. I am to “keep seeking”, because there is so much more to know about God and His kingdom. I am to “keep seeking”, because therein lies everything I need to do life abundantly. 

Living More Like Jesus:

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. Col 3:2

 

Easier said than done, that’s for sure. But when life happens and I wonder why “this” is happening, or why “this” is not happening, maybe I need to check to see where my mind has been. It takes effort to keep my mind set on the things above, and I have to choose whether I want to put in that effort or not.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know. 1 Thes 3:4

My first thought was: “I guess Paul never heard about word curses and that you aren't supposed to say negative things like that, because they might come true.” But I remember reading somewhere that Holy Spirit  told him to expect suffering. I suppose if Holy Spirit tells me to expect some affliction in the future I shouldn’t go into denial, and that it might be ok to own it and actually prepare spiritually for it, which may include talking to others about it. And maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to judge others if they’ve been warned my God that some hard times are coming; maybe I should be supportive and encouraging as they go through it.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. 1 Thes 5:17-20

 

I’ve longed to know God’s will for my life since I was 18, and here it is. Rejoice, pray, and give thanks ALWAYS! Then God can start training me for the more. And while I’m doing that I can get to know Holy Spirit personally, and practice allowing Him to have His way, even when it might not be neat and tidy. I can start embracing prophecies, taking them to God for discussion. Then when I have a firm foundation of His basic will for my life, He will show me the desire of His heart for the more in my life. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 1 Tim 6:6

 

To receive all that godliness has to offer I have to learn to be content. There are godly people who live in mud huts that are more content than many believers in the states. We’ve come to depend on our luxuries in life to bring fulfillment and contentment instead of our relationship with Jesus. Godliness and contentment starts and ends with my attitude, and my attitude is completely up to me.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Tim 6:10

 

I’m sure many have come before the Lord laying out their rationalizations for wanting or needing more money. But when money becomes the focus more than Jesus; when anything becomes the focus more than Jesus, I’m setting myself up to be led astray from my faith, and coming face to face with grief. It doesn’t matter if I make minimum wage or have a six digit income, what matters is my heart. Who or where is my love, my devotion, my longing? I want to live my life in such a way that God can trust me with any amount of money, be it little or massive; where He can trust me to always love Him more, and love Him first.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 1 Tim 6:17

 

How exciting to know that God wants me to enjoy my life, and that He will supply me with everything I need to do just that. My part is to fix my hope on Him, not money, people, status, possessions, or anything else. There are people who can afford to buy anything they desire, and yet are still unhappy, and don’t really enjoy life. True happiness, true enjoyment of life comes from keeping my eyes fixed on God. And God doesn’t want to just supply me with things to enjoy, He wants to richly, abundantly, lavishly supply me. I just need to get my hope of enjoying life off of things or riches, and keep it on Him.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— 1 Tim 6:20

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity (cowardice) , but of power and love and discipline. 2 Tim 1:6-7

 

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had someone lay hands on me to release giftings from God. But God’s gifts have to be activated, and continue through a burning deep within me for more of God. I can’t sit back and just hope my gifts manifest, I have to be proactive.  God created me to walk in power, love and discipline. It’s my responsibility to keep my relationship with God growing.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you. 2 Tim 1:14

 

I have to guard everything God reveals to me: His truth, purpose, plans, peace, visions, freedom, forgiveness, ALL the treasures He’s entrusted to me. If I am supposed to guard them, it means they can be taken from me. By allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to continue to work in me, He’s protecting me from the enemy’s plans to rob me of my treasures. Holy Spirit, I ask you to continually remind me of God’s love, truth, Word, prophecies, purpose, etc. for my life. Remind me of my identity as a Child of God. Remind me to guard what I have by continually growing in my love for God.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;  so that the man of God may be adequate (complete), equipped for every good work. 2 Tim 3:16-17

 

What are some of the benefits of reading the Bible? God Himself teaches me, He corrects me when I get off track, He trains me to be more like Jesus. Reading the Bible helps me become the person God created me to be, and it equips me for the work God has for me to do. I don’t read the Bible just to learn about God, I read it to get to know Him on a personal level, and there is a huge difference. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Tim 4:7-8

 

The desire of my heart is when I see Jesus face to face at the end of my life, I can honestly say, “I fought the good fight”, I did not give up when things got tough. “I finished the course God set before me”, no mater how many times I failed or fell down, I got back up. At times I ran at full speed, at times I crawled on my hands and knees, and at times I limped along, but no matter what, I did not give up I finished the course. “I have kept the faith”. And at times when my faith seemed to be hanging on by a thread, I’d build it back up by growing closer to God, declaring His promises, and reminding myself of testimonies of His goodness and faithfulness.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. Heb 4:2

 

How many thousands of hours have I spent listening to the good news being preached and profited nothing from it, and remembering very little from it? I have to combine my hearing with faith for it to do any good, otherwise I’m just wasting my time. Without faith it doesn’t matter how many awesome sermons I hear, or how many Bible verses I memorize, my life won’t change. On my journey to be more like Jesus, I have to put faith into action on a daily basis.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest (Sabbath), so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. Heb 4:11

 

My spirit, soul and body needs rest on a regular basis. To think that I am exempt from that command, or that my ministry will fall apart, or if I don’t do whatever it won’t get done is disobedience, and the consequences could be fatal. It says here that I have to be diligent to enter His rest, it doesn’t just happen automatically. So again I have a choice to make, do I enter God’s rest on a regular basis, or do I choose disobedience?

 

Living More Like Jesus:

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. Heb 5:12

 

God does not call us to remain infants in our walk with Him. He wants us to take in the Godly lessons and sermons that we hear, and to take in what His Word says, and apply it to our lives. As we apply it to our lives we grow in wisdom and in our relationship with Him, then in return we can teach others. As cute and cuddly that babies are, they were not created to stay in diapers and just drink milk for years on end. In the same way, we were cute and cuddly when we first accepted Jesus as savior, but He wants us to graduate from milk to solid food. Thankfully, we can stay cute and cuddly as we mature in our relationship Him. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Heb 11:6

 

Faith is the key ingredient here. Faith that God is pleased with me and rewards me as I seek Him. Faith that He really is who He says He is. Faith that He keeps His promises even when I don’t see anything happening yet. There are times when I seek God and it doesn’t seem like anything is happening, but God rewards my desire to know Him, and to seek Him, whether I feel or see anything or not.

Living More Like Jesus:

And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, Heb 11:39

 

It’s always exciting when we pray and God answers quickly, and it’s always exciting when we declare and claim God’s promises to us and He answers quickly. However, it’s not so exciting when our prayers and promises go unanswered for years. But it’s during these times that we have the opportunity to gain approval through our faith, by not giving up. It’s a choice we have to make, to continue to believe by faith in what we don’t see, or believe only what we see in the natural.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Heb 12:1

 

What is the race God has set before me? Who are the witnesses cheering me on? What needs to get stripped off so I can continue running? What sin keeps tripping me up? How can I continue to run with endurance? We all have a race we are running during this season of our life, how we choose to run this race is up to us. Holy Spirit is here to help, to answer these questions, so we can run to win.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne. Heb 12:2

 

How do we run the race God has set before us (vs.1)? Only by keeping our eyes on Jesus. By keeping my eyes on Jesus I can strip of every weight that slows me down. By keeping my eyes on Jesus I can confess and repent of the sins that easily trips me up. By keeping my eyes on Jesus I can run with endurance and finish the race. By keeping my eyes on Jesus I perfect my faith. By keeping my eyes on Jesus I can endure the hard parts of the race that is set before me.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Heb 12:11

 

Thousands of young men and women sign up for the US military every year where they have to go through weeks of boot camp. I don’t think anyone likes going through boot camp, but they like the end results. There’s no doubt about it, disciplined people stand out. I want to stand out as one who has been disciplined by God, raised up and yielding the peaceful fruit of righteousness. God’s discipline doesn’t last just a few weeks, it’s ongoing and I never know when something might be brought to my attention by my loving Father. Heavenly Father, I welcome your discipline, I want to be the best me possible.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials (testing, temptations, affliction), knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

 

I don’t think joy is the first thing anyone thinks about when going through a season of trials. But if the joy of the Lord is my strength (Neh 8:10), joy is a powerful weapon, especially when going through trials. My mind has to be reprogramed to the point where my current circumstances don’t dictate my attitude or my reality. I live in God’s kingdom where the rules are different, where I look at my circumstances as opportunities to become more like Jesus. Is it fun, not so much? Is it worth it, definitely? 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

 

Oh, if it were only that easy; if I could ask for wisdom now, and receive the answer in 10 minutes. God is a generous God who wants to give me what I need, especially wisdom so I can make Godly decisions, but not without faith (vs 6). So I have to have faith that God really does want to give me wisdom, then I have to position myself to receive it. I have to have faith that as I seek the Lord for wisdom, as I search the scriptures for answers, or as I sit with God discussing my situation that answers will come. And if I don’t receive the wisdom I’m needing after positioning myself to receive, I have to have faith in God’s perfect timing for my answers.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar James 2:21

 

I must admit I have struggled with the word “works” in the past. Am I doing too many works, or not enough? Here, a simple (or not so simple) act of obedience was called works. I’ve often thought of works as feeding the poor, sharing the gospel, being a servant, and that is true. But works is also my obedience to God, even when it doesn’t make sense. 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. James 5:17

 

We hear from God in different ways, and sometimes we think we are hearing correctly but we really aren't. If, during my conversation with God, or during my seeking wisdom from above I ever feel shamed, unworthy, or just plain yucky it’s not from God. Ninety nine percent pure is not good enough. God’s words, His wisdom is 100% pure; His discipline when needed is done in love not shame. And if I ever receive words that are opposite from the words above I need to question where they came from.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

 

I must submit and come under the authority of God, before I can even think of resisting the devil, and it doesn’t just happen because I believe in Jesus. I must purposely position myself to submit to God; I must know His commands and be obedient. Then I can position myself to be able to resist the devil; then I can take a warrior’s stance against the enemy. How? Jesus used scripture, so that’s a good way to start. The answers to any of my needs, any of my temptations are in Scripture. And with today’s technology it’s so easy to find what I’m looking for.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

 

God is so good, and there is no sin so big that he won’t forgive if we just confess. The problem arises when we just don’t believe God, which I guess is really calling Him a liar. We don’t have to totally understand God’s Word to believe it, and if He says He forgives our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness we had better believe it and not keep repenting of the same thing over and over. It’s a waste of precious life here on earth not to believe God’s promise of forgiveness. So it’s either the enemy or myself that continues to bring up past sins like they haven’t beef forgiven, and that doesn’t deserve space in my mind to be thinking about because it’s been dealt with.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. 1 John 2:6

 

 

 

Living More Like Jesus:

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

 

Oh the power of this verse, if only we all believed it. This verse is quoted so often, and I think most of us really believe it’s true. It’s when our circumstances and surroundings don’t manifest this; it’s when we can’t see or feel the “greater He” who’s in us that the doubt can start to creep in. I must keep my eyes on Jesus and my mind on the truth so I can walk in this truth daily.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:5

 

Wow, since I believe, I am the “one” who overcomes (conquers, is victorious, prevails, subdues) the world. I need to start thinking of myself as the superhero that I really am; I need to start looking at challenging situations from the position of an overcomer and not a victim. Holy Sprit, remind me of who I am if I start to forget.

 

Living More Like Jesus:

This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. 1 John 5:14-15

 

This is one of those verses that I just have to take by faith and not by sight. It’s easy to know many things that are God’s will, it’s in the Book. What’s not easy to know is His timing, and how it will be accomplished to bring Him the most glory. What’s not easy is the waiting, and the waiting, and the waiting at times. But that’s where my faith has a chance to grow and mature. My job is to believe His promises, His job is to fulfill His word.