No Life Like It: Thoughts From God’s Heart

Excerpts have been taken from CrossRoads: Prayer Reflections by Pastor Ken Lehman, a weekly publication that was designed to maintain contact, plus offer encouragement and equipping to those who serve on the Altar Prayer Teams each Sunday.

__ 1

A foundational principle in following Jesus is I have begun to follow Jesus, I am depending on the Spirit of Jesus in the journey.

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. (Galatians 5:24, 25 NLT)

Dependency on the leading of the Holy Spirit is framed in the context of a life lived in prayer. A life of prayer will begin to clarify the will of our heavenly Father as it affects every area of our lives.

__ 2

Last week’s foundational principle:
– I’ve begun to follow Jesus, I am depending on the Spirit of Jesus in the journey.’

This week’s principle is I am being sent by Jesus to bless others and invite them to follow him. By prayerfully listening to the Spirit of Jesus, you will be guided to know how to bless each person that he brings across your life each day. As they respond to that blessing, it will give you the opportunity to invite them into the journey of following Jesus themselves.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. (John 3:16, 17 NLT)

Jesus says to us, Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21 NLT)

__ 3

The past two weeks we have focus on two foundational principle in following Jesus. They are:
– I’ve begun to follow Jesus, I am depending on the Spirit of Jesus in the journey.
– I am being sent by Jesus to bless others and invite them to follow him.

This week’s principle is I am learning to be like Jesus in my attitudes, behaviour and character.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NLT)

Once we begin the life journey of following (trusting) Jesus with our lives, his work in us is all about letting him transform us in our attitudes, behaviour and character into being like he demonstrated while on earth. The Apostle Paul says it so well in Romans 13:14, ‘instead clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and don’t let yourselves think about ways to indulge your evil desires.’ How are you doing in this transformational journey?

__ 4

Over the past three weeks we have focused on three foundational principles in following Jesus.They are….
– I’ve begun to follow Jesus, and am depending on the Spirit of Jesus in the journey.
– I am being sent by Jesus to bless others and invite them to follow him.
– I am learning to be like Jesus in my attitudes, behaviour and character.

This week’s principle is I am learning to love God and others.

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these. (Mark 12:29-31 NLT)

Because our God is love, when we follow him as Lord then our lives will become characterized by this same quality. Rather than judging others we will find ourselves moved with compassion, just like Jesus. We will be drawn to ask the question, ‘Lord, enable me to discern what the deeper issue is, and how I might be instrumental in drawing them to an awareness of You and your love for them. Enable me to love, as You love.’ As a follower of Jesus, are you seeing your capacity to love others growing?

__ 5

Over the past four weeks we have focused on four foundational principles in following Jesus. They are….
– I’ve begun to follow Jesus, and am depending on the Spirit of Jesus in the journey.
– I am being sent by Jesus to bless others and invite them to follow Him.
– I am learning to be like Jesus in my attitudes, behaviour and character.
– I am learning to love God and others.

This week’s principles is I am learning the teachings of Jesus.

The Apostle Paul writes, ‘You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teach us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.’ (2 Timothy 3:15-17 NLT)

So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls. And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. (James 1:21-22 NLT)

In our pursuit of becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus, we must remember that His teachings are fundamental to know and live out in our daily lives. Our Lord’s final message on earth, before ascending to God’s right hand, contained these words,… ‘Go and make disciples of all nations,…teaching these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.’ (Matthew 28:19,20 NLT) Dear friends, Christ’s commands are best learned through example. We cannot lead others where we are not willing to go ourselves.

__ 6

Over the past five weeks we have focused on five fundamental principles in following Christ. As a reminder they are:
– I’ve begun to follow Jesus and am depending on the Spirit of Jesus in the journey.
– I am being sent by Jesus to bless others and to invite them to follow Him.
– I am learning to be like Jesus in my attitudes, behaviour and character.
– I am learning to love God and others.
– I am learning the teachings of Jesus.

How are you doing in starting to memorize these for instant recall? My own experience is telling me it is very valuable to do so.

This week’s principle is I am helping someone and someone is helping me be a growing follower of Jesus.

You have heard me teach many things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Teach these great truths to trustworthy people who are able to pass them on to others. (2 Timothy 2:2 NLT)

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:1-2 (NLT)

Following Jesus is all about influencing others to also follow Him. As we mature in these principles we will begin to notice that others are being attracted to Christ in us, as we are to Christ in others. Some will indicate that they want to journey close with us as we follow close to Jesus. Wonderful mentoring relationships will spring up in which we find ourselves stretched personally, as well as stretching others to walk in obedience to all that our Lord instructs us in. Friends, there is no life like it on earth, for it brings us deeper and deeper into the full life that our Lord speaks of in John 10:10b.

__ 7

Well we have come to the final fundamental principle of following Jesus. As a quick review let’s see if we can remember the last six principle that were shared over the past six weeks.
– I’ve begun to follow Jesus and am depending on the Spirit of Jesus in the journey.
– I am being sent by Jesus to bless others and to invite them to follow him.
– I am learning to be like Jesus in my attitudes, behaviour and character.
– I am learning to love God and others.
– I am learning the teachings of Jesus.
– I am helping someone and someone is helping me be a growing follower of Jesus.

How are you doing in assimilating these core truths into your daily life? As I am, I am finding myself more sensitive to the leading of the Spirit of Jesus and am aware more of him walking with me.

The seventh and final principle is I am participating in a community of followers of Jesus on mission to the world.

Let us think of way to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24,25 NLT)

As followers of Jesus, we follow in community not in isolation as a ‘lone ranger.’ It’s a life journey together with others of a similar heart-beat where we do life together with the common mission of living Godly lives; loving each other deeply; giving priority to the lost, the last, the least, the little and the nearly dead; and delighting ourselves in the Lord through worship.

So there you have it, the seven-fold way of following Jesus. I am finding that having put the principles and corresponding bible passages to memory, that I am being deeply influenced by them everyday and they are influencing my sharing with others. By living in them daily I am experiencing new energy and power in my relationship with Christ. He actually is alive and evident in me. I invite you in on this journey too. There is no life like it!

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