On Becoming Like Jesus

 

During my devotional reading came across this devotion that I did found this very inspiring writing. The author is John G. Butler, Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals.


If we desire to be like Jesus Christ, then there are four of His characteristics we are to emulate:

1. Give up all our rights:

“Let Christ Jesus be your example as to what your attitude should be. For He, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to His prerogatives as God’s equal.”

Prayer: “Lord, I relinquish all my rights: To family. To finances. To recognition. To pleasure. To quietness. To health. To privacy. To be loved. To be treated with respect. To justice.

2. Become nothing:

“[He] stripped Himself of all privilege.”

Prayer: “Lord, I surrender my position. My status. My heritage. My career. My capabilities. My resources. My experience. My reputation. My education.

3. Become a servant:

[“He consented] to be a slave by nature and [be] born as a mortal man.”

Prayer: “Lord, I abdicate my desire to climb the social and economic scale. I renounce all my rights. I ask you to give me a heart to serve you and others on your terms, not mine. Lord, I love to be regarded by others as a servant; help me to be joyfully willing to be treated as a servant.

4. Surrender to His Lordship in total obedience:

And, having become man, He humbled Himself by living a life of utter obedience, even to the extent of dyingthe death of a common criminal.” (Philippians 2:5-8 – Phillips Translation)

Prayer: “Lord, I choose to obey you on your terms, not mine. Whatever the cost: Loss of health. Status. Finances. Family. As did Jesus, I pick up the cross you have assigned me, and by your grace I will carry it to the death. In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

 

The Second Reformation

During this morning reading from R. Dwight Hill, Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals.

“The first Reformation put the Bible in the hands of laymen; the second reformation will place the ministry in the hands of laymen.” – John R. Stott

Ever wonder why we are so sluggish in reaching the world for Christ? If so, consider this:

A few years ago I was attending a conference of Christian leaders when a businessman stood up and asked, “How many of you came to Christ through a ‘full-time’ Christian worker?” Out of the 5,000 delegates, (98% of whom were “full-time” Christian workers) about 50 people stood up.

He then asked, “How many of you came to Christ through a layperson?” The rest stood up.

Historian K. S. Latourette observes that throughout the history of the church, whenever the Word of God was put into the hands of laymen, the Gospel tended to spread like a prairie fire. When, the Word of God remained in the hands of the clergy, evangelism ground to a near halt.

It is significant to note that Jesus’ primary approach to world evangelization was to selectively invest His life in 12 laymen for three years. When He had completed His task of discipling, He then commissioned them to go out and repeat the process. The command, of course, applies to all of us:

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you… “(Matthew 28:19-20a)

They obeyed, and that next generation of believers “turned the world upside down.” (Acts 17:6)

So, which method, do you think would prove more effective in impacting the world with the Gospel?

  1. Imagine 20 Billy Grahams daily reaching 20,000 people for Christ, or

(2) One layperson discipling another for a year, after which the two of them would split off and each disciple another, etc.

The answer: In 30 years the Graham method would reach 2.9 billion people with the Gospel, while the one-to-one approach would reach 8.5 billion.

QUESTION: So, tell me, are you, as a lay person taking Christ’s “Great Commission” seriously by investing your life in others with a view toward their salvation and/or spiritual maturity? If not, what explanation do you plan to give your Heavenly Father the day you face Him in eternity?

The Complete Man!

Lately, a dear friend wrote a quote saying, “If it is true that the male is made up of boys and men, however it is a boy by birth but man by decision!”

There are two types of men: there is the natural man and the spiritual man. I will incorporate another word to help explain my point. When I use the word “complete” man I mean the person who adds the spiritual dimension to his natural life. First a man is a boy by birth; he then becomes a man with time. However, the mature man must also become a complete man. The complete man is the one who adds the spiritual dimension to his life.

Nicodemus was a mature and religious man; but he was not a spiritual man. One day by night he came to Jesus. Remember that Jesus was one the only man to be a complete man from the beginning. Why did he come from heaven to us? He came to tell us how to become complete men.  We read in John 3:6 Jesus explaining to Nicodemus that “Flesh and blood gives birth to flesh and blood, but the Spirit gives birth to things that are spiritual.” The complete man is a person in whom the Spirit of God gives birth to his spiritual dimension. The spiritual dimension was lost when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.  Jesus, the man from heaven, came to show to the natural man how to become a spiritual man.

The complete man, not surprisingly, wants to become a disciple of Jesus. A disciple’s desire is to dedicate his life to the Savior. Romans 12:1 explain how to avoid conformity and to choose transformation instead. There must be that once-and-for-all dedication of the person and his body to the Lord. That means letting him deny himself and taking up his cross daily.

Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum wrote, “The dedication of a man’s body has two elements; a negative one and a positive one. Negatively, the commitment is: denying himself. That means, “Saying ‘no’ to himself,” and that is what happens when a man dedicates himself and his body to the Lord. Then the positive of the commitment is: taking up his cross daily. To “take up the cross” means to identify with the Messiah, more specifically with His rejection.”[1]

The complete man concept does apply to woman as well.


[1] Arnod G. Fruchtenbaum, The Messianic Bible Study Collection, vol. 140 (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 1983), 9