Thursday, August 3, 2017

Doing The Father's Will - Does It Still Matter To You

He…said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem…" —Luke 18:31

{CHAMBERS} “Jerusalem, in the life of our Lord, represents the place where He reached the culmination of His Father’s will. Jesus said, “I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” (John 5:30). Seeking to do “the will of the Father” was the one dominating concern throughout our Lord’s life. And whatever He encountered along the way, whether joy or sorrow, success or failure, He was never deterred from that purpose. “…He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem…” (Luke 9:51).  The greatest thing for us to remember is that we go up to Jerusalem to fulfill God’s purpose, not our own. In the natural life our ambitions are our own, but in the Christian life we have no goals of our own. We talk so much today about our decisions for Christ, our determination to be Christians, and our decisions for this and that, but in the New Testament the only aspect that is brought out is the compelling purpose of God. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…” (John 15:16).”

{ELGIN}  Jesus is called the “first born among many” (Romans 8:29).  He is called the “second Adam”. (1 Corinthians 15:45-47) He was the first of a spiritual nation – the head of the Body of Christ, the Church.  He set the example for us with respect to how we are to live in this fallen world.  His focus was on the Father and doing the Father’s will.  It was Jesus’ preoccupation .. priority .. precondition for doing anything in His ministry … bringing glory to God the Father.  Many times we compartmentalize our lives .. that which is ours, the natural, and that which is His, the supernatural.  Our relationship with the Father is largely about getting Him to use that which is His, to expand and protect that which is ours.  Somehow, that view of how we are to live our new life does not quite sync with the life example Jesus gave us to follow.

Jesus began His day with time with the Father.  He lived His day focused on doing the Father’s will. (If you are not sure what that is, read the New Testament .. pick any book .. any chapter).  I am looking at a picture of the new believer’s class we taught in Bossier Haiti a few weeks ago.  We had some paperback Creole New Testaments that we gave the students to use during the class and let them keep at the end of the class.  When I told them I would let them keep them, there was a buzz of excitement.  They were very happy.  Do you treasure the Word that way.  I believe that the Lord will hold the Church in America accountable for its worldly excesses and spiritual complacency.  Like the Church of Ephesus in Revelation chapter 2.  They had a great appearance, but they had left their first love, Jesus, and their desire to do the Father’s will.  It is an easy thing to let happen when you live in abundance.  There was a woman in the class who was deeply involved in Voodoo.  She was one of the leaders and evangelists in the community.  But she laid it all aside when she met Jesus.  I told her that God could use that season in her life to minister to others who were still involved in Voodoo worship.  I pointed her to 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.  Like the woman at the well, she, too, could go back and tell others about Jesus.  She has such a passion for the Lord.  How about you?  Is the fire of faith still burning brightly in you, or has it dimmed with time and the things of this world?  Something for you to pray about.

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