Turn your eyes upwards and look outwards!
15th of April
I have mostly written about you and me this year. We have been in focus the last six chapters. The theme has been: What to undress and what to put on and how to do it. The purpose has been to make us more like Jesus. He sits in Heaven together with God and He really needs as many Jesus images as possible, people that can establish His kingdom on the earth. I have written earlier that we should turn our eyes upon Jesus since that will make us more like Him. If we only contemplate our own navel, we will not look neither upwards nor outwards. We have to take an inventory of ourselves in order to be healed and delivered, but we should not“live” there. There are those who never cut the umbilical cord to the past and their own emmotions and thoughts. These people will often stay as immature Christians and will seldom come into the perfect will of God. They will be the children of God, but their energy is used on themselves and they will often find that they lack energy. If we weren’t here for the sake of others, we could go home to Jesus right away after we got saved. It is much better there, but the Bible says that we should live a long life. The reason is that JESUS NEEDS US HERE IN ORDER TO BUILD HIS KINGDOM HERE ON EARTH.
When we look upwards, we turn our eyes away from ourselves and see Jesus. He is our rescue and our hope. He has saved us and healed us. He intercedes for us and does everything He can to get us where He wants. HE IS OUR STRENGTH. He has sent the Holy Sprit as our Helper and we really need help.
We are often saying: “I want more of Jesus.” Quite a few worship songs are circling around this theme. What do we mean? Do we want an experience? Do we want to have goose pimples on our back? Do we want to laugh or cry? Do we want to look pious? I have lately heard a lot of people saying: “I want to seek your face.” People close their eyes and look very blissful. I do not mean to ridicule this at all, but wonder what we really mean.(I hope you see that I include myself) I do believe that it is very important to have our focus on Him and praise and honor Him. If we seek Him for His sake, we are on the right track. HE IS REALLY WORTHY ALL OUR PRAISE AND ALL OF OUR ATTENTION. When we turn away from ourselves and get passionate about Him and everything HE IS AND HAS DONE, then our own problems and difficulties will become very small. PRAISE AND WORSHIP ARE MEANT TO BE FOR THE LORD, BUT WE GET MANY BLESSINGS AS A BONUS.
I believe that we often should turn our attention away from the worries of the world and get into His presence. We are doing that when we praise and worship Him, when we pray and when we dig into the Word. In John 1:1 we read that in the beginning the Word was with God and the Word was God. In verse 14 we read: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” We must not seek the glory in itself. They saw His glory. Some people seek the glory and they see many different things in that glory. I recently said that we should seek the things above(Col.3) We must learn to know the difference between the heavenly things and those “down there”.
WE SHOULD CONCENTRATE ON HIM WHO IS THE BEGINNING AND THE END OF OUR FAITH. We increase our faith when we study what Jesus did on the Cross, before the Cross and what He does for us to-day. Without Him, I really can’t do much. I AM VERY DEPENDANT ON JESUS, GOD AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.
JESUS IS OUR EXAMPLE AND OUR TEACHER.
We should worship Him, but also do the things He did. We can read in John14:12 that we shall do greater works than Him. I do not know exactly what this means, but I believe that the fullness of Crist is seen in the Whole Body. We must see the others in the Body. Jesus is the Head, but we, His children, are the Body. We are not created to live alone with Jesus. He might want us alone for a short period, but be sure that this period doesn’t last longer. The Apostle Paul says that we all see in part. I want to see more and more and I must therefore be open to receive from the Lord and my sisters and brothers in Christ. They might have seen parts that I haven’t. WHEN WE SAY THAT WE WANT MORE OF JESUS, WE HAVE TO JOIN THE OTHERS IN THE BODY. GOD DID NOT CREATE A LANDSCAPE OF ISLANDS.
When we look at Jesus, we will get to know what He did and what He wants us to do. I chose the word outwards in the title since I wanted to say that being with Him should lead to seeing others. We can read Matt.6:10: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.” GOD WANTS US TO BUILD HIS KINGODM HERE ON EARTH. He wants heaven to descend to earth and people to see Him through us. He wants us together to do greater works than He did. CAN YOU SEE THAT GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE? Start by studying what He did! I do not believe that you will get finished doing that before you die. I recentrly heard a preacher say: ” Be sure that you finish the things God has planned for you to do before you die. Otherwise we have to do the things you didn’t finish.” I can “hear” some you saying: “I do not know what to do.” Start by doing the works of Jesus! We are all believers, serving Him.
Jesus came to show the world their needs and that He was their SOLUTION. He saved the whole world by carrying their sins. You and I cannot do that. It is therefore very wrong when people get crucified to-day. IT IS FINISHED ONCE AND FOR ALL.
What more did Jesus do? He showed people THE LOVE OF GOD. He showed women, even prostitutes respect and He showed them His MERCY AND GRACE. He used the gifts of revelation when He revealed their sins without condemning them. Sin will always be a sin, but they were pardoned. I believe that we have a lot to learn from Jesus. We can fall into different ditches. One of them is to avoid the word sin in fear of condemnation. I hear that we must love the homosexuals. Yes, absolutely, but we must not be afraid of calling homosex for sin even if the reasons behind it might be many. To-day you will find many couples that are living together before marriage. (Even within the church) “They love each other so much”, do I hear some people say. I do not doubt that, but do they love each other more than the God Who says that intercourse belongs to the marriage? Every confessed sin is forgiven and God always loves you with a devine love.
Another ditch is to despise the sinner. Many homosexuals have been despised by Christians. That is not the nature of God. When some Christians meet drug addicts, they might turn away or look at them with despise. Jesus would never do that. He would have shown them love and gotten to the root of their problems and shown them the way out. He would most likely have set them free. I have worked with drug addicts and I know that I can never reach them without love. They really tested me by setting up “traps” for me. Would I turn my back on them? I really needed God’s wisdom and love.
We read about the “The Good Samaritan”. He is a good example of real love. Are we closing our eyes to the needs of others? I believe we do. How do we treat those in need in our own congregation? We might too easily say that we will pray instead of giving them our time and practical help.
DO NOT BE HARD, BUT SHOW GRACE AND MERCY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!