1 John 4:17 reads, “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world” (KJV). The last phrase in The Message reads, “Our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s.” Is my standing in the world today identical with that of Christ? And what about the standing of the church? Representing Jesus today needs careful scrutiny. It seems that the world is resisting what the church is doing and the church is resisting what God is doing. Many years ago, the Lord answered a prayer of mine audibly. He said, “It does not embarrass Me to shut down a church if it is not doing my will.” Trying times are coming and there are at least four principal things Jesus did that we must do.
1) Dependence… Jesus was dependent upon the Father. John 5:30… “I can of mine own self can do nothing” (KJV). These are not the words of a helpless Christian; these are the words of the Son of God. He taught and did miracles under the direction of the Father (John 8:29). Jesus said to His disciples in John 15:5, “Without me ye can do nothing.” What would have happened if Jesus was independent of the Father? What happens when we are independent of Christ? There will be a breakdown of obedience, of responsibility, and of accountability. Jesus calls us to follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21). Saints, we are connected to an eternal plan. What an honor, what a blessing. Are we like Him?
2) Working with the Holy Spirit… Jesus was filled with the Spirit and He had a relationship with the Holy Spirit (John 3:34). Proverbs 8 teaches that the Holy Spirit stood beside Jesus as the master craftsman. “I was there beside Him,” the Spirit says in Proverbs 8:22-31. Jesus had a simple dependence upon the Holy Spirit. How is it that we complicate the simplicity that is in the Holy Spirit? Victorious living is not me fulfilling myself, but the Holy Spirit fulfilling Himself in me (note Luke 4:18-19). Ephesians 5:18… “Be filled with the Spirit” (KJV). If I am to accomplish the will of God in my life, it will be accomplished by his Spirit who dwells in me. Jesus will not build His church upon my personality, upon my gifts, or upon my abilities, but by His Spirit that is within me.
3) Mission… Jesus had a mission. His mission was to redeem mankind. We have a mission too. John 20:21… “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (KJV). (Note Mark 16:15-20.) Jesus bore witness of the Father so must we bear witness of Jesus (John 17:18). People are waiting for Jesus to do something. Jesus is waiting for us to speak up so that He can work through us. We must speak up the gospel; works follow our speaking, our testifying. The gospel is the power of God at work (Romans 1:16).
4) Suffering… Jesus suffered (1 Peter 2:21). This was not human suffering such as you would experience through sickness. This is suffering as in persecution, “For Christ’s sake.” The world hates you; when it resists you, do you stay faithful? Whenever you live righteously, you will suffer. Jesus found joy in what was set before Him when He was on the cross (Hebrews 12:2; see also Isaiah 53:10-11). Jesus suffered because the light that He brought was always in conflict with darkness. Paul found joy in being willing to be sacrificed on the altar and in serving the believers (Philippians 2:17). The early disciples found joy in being counted worthy to suffer shame for His name (Acts 5:41). Whenever you pursue the will of God for your life the devil will rise up and challenge it. Peter teaches in 1 Peter 3:16, “Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath” (MSG). In Psalm 68:30 the writer prays, “Scatter thou the people that delight in war” (KJV).
Pastor George Belobaba
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