So many of us allow others lack of faith, doubts or opinions, our situations, and fear keep us from doing what we’re called (by God) to do. When we look at Jesus even from a little boy he never allowed anyone or anything keep him from doing what he was called or set out to do.
He didn’t allow his parents when they found him in the temple after they had left him keep him from being about his father’s business or Satan who tempted him for 40 days or Demons who he refused to allow to speak because they knew he was the Christ or people when they tried to keep him from leaving them. The wind or the pain and hurt he experienced that could’ve brought fear from the death of his cousin John the Baptist who died for spreading the word and convicting others by calling out their sin or Peter who tried to prevent him from going to the cross. He never allowed anything or anyone keeping him from the will of his father and we’re blessed today because of that.
Luke 2:46-49 (NIV)
46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?
12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
42 At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Here’s something to think about. Could it be possible that someone missed out on a blessing because we failed to step out into or do what we were called to do but refused to based off the things listed above like fear, others opinions and doubts or our life situations?
Joseph and Mary left Jesus (Jesus never left them) and after recognizing it (that apart of them were missing) they turned back to find (in search of him) and they found him.
This is symbolic to us his lost sheep. When we stray away. Jesus doesn’t leave us we stray away from him. Here’s hope for those who stray away from him. If you search for him you will find him.
13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
When someone thanks you or appreciate something you’ve done for them it makes you more willing to help a person like that why? Because it makes you feel appreciated right? When someone does something for you or has done something for you it’s important for you as well to be thankful and appreciative.
It’s even more important to give God thanks for all that he’s done for you. Jesus himself demonstrated this for us to see. Before Jesus fed the five thousand or the four thousand the first thing he did before he broke the bread was give thanks. It was after Jesus gave thanks and broke the bread ( breaking it in faith believing God would provide) then God the father multiplied (increased) the food and provided just what they needed to be satisfied. Jesus didn’t give thanks to receive something from God he gave thanks from a sincere heart and the father provided on both occasions.
41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
6 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people, and they did so. 7 They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. 8 The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 9 About four thousand were present.
Like Jesus we should give thanks out of a sincere heart not looking for something in return.
1 Chronicles 29:13
13 Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.
It wasn’t the apostles or Jesus closest crew James, John or Peter or a man who first got to see the resurrected Christ. No it was Mary Magdalene a women who after experiencing healing and deliverance devoted her life completely to Christ a woman who stayed by his side even after the crucifixion when others abandoned him.
A woman who showed by her actions and willingness to follow JESUS support JESUS financially and weep for JESUS showed how grateful she was for JESUS and all the things he had done for her willing to give and risk it all letting nothing keep her from or away from JESUS and what a gift she received by JESUS for being committed to JESUS by being the first to see and experience the RESURRECTED JESUS.
The question is are we as grateful for OUR deliverance from JESUS that would allow us to experience JESUS the way Mary experienced JESUS? Are we willing to follow him with the same passion and as vigorously as Mary M after he delivered us? What can compare to a woman of God devotion? What can compare to a woman that’s willing to sacrifice it all for Jesus one who isn’t willing to deny her Christ not even once let alone three times out of pressure or fear for her own life? What a woman JESUS saving grace and power displayed in Mary Magdalene.
Statistics show that fewer people are getting married now than almost anytime in history. Statistics also shows that the divorce rate in the world as well as the christian community has increased.
When we look at that we ask ourselves why is that? Could it be because our thought and views on marriage is totally the opposite from God? Is it because we look at marriage to meet our need of wanting to be loved and wanting someone to fill a vowed or need that truly only God himself can provide for us and when that vowed isn’t met we say we’ll never get married or we throw in the towel? Only to find out if we remarry that the same void exist within that marriage as well? A void only God can fill.
What if we truly understood that the purpose of marriage wasn’t or isn’t about us and our selfish desires. What if we looked at marriage truly for the reason it was created for. It was created for God by God so that through it we could model what unconditional, sacrificial love and forgiveness looks like being totally committed to another sinful human being. God never gives up on us or divorce us when we don’t do right by him. He sticks with us through all our mess and sinfulness forgiving us and loving us why? Because he’s committed to us. He’s one with us and that’s what he want marriage to represent. Two sinful people coming together as one being totally committed to one another without conditions. He says in his word that the two should become one-flesh.
When I think about the one-flesh and what that model looks like and who we should strive to model our marriages and marriage off of. I can’t help but think about Aquila and Priscilla in the bible. I’m going to share six points I learned about their marriage that we all should strive for or desire to have in our marriage.
1. When you look in the bible every-time you see their names it’s always together. You can’t find their name in the bible apart. That shows me that their marriage truly represented what God called oneness in marriage.
2. They were one in the lord. Their first commitment was to the lord by displaying their own personal relationship with him then to each other. They truly desired to live for the lord in everything they did.
3. One in occupation. I know we all won’t have or will experience this unique gift that they had but we can’t ignore the fact that not only did they serve the lord together outside of that they also shared the same profession. They where tent-makers and I would say hard workers for the gospel and in their occupation.
Acts 18:1-3 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.
4. They were one in friendship with the Apostle Paul who held them in high regards. Not only were they one with him just like them he also was a tent-maker and he lived with them 18 months spreading the gospel right along with them. They had a mutual interest in friendships.
Acts 18:18-19 18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sisters and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchreae because of a vow he had taken. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.
5. They were one in scripture. They knew Gods scripture and spent time-sharing it, reading it and teaching it together.
6. They were one in service of the church. They not only served the church outside of their home. They also together ran a church at their home bringing people together for the gospel of Christ and together they filled Apollo’s a man fervently on fire for the Lord with truth about the of the gospel more adequately.
Acts 18:24-26 24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.
1 Corinthians 16:19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.
Aquila and Priscilla lived their marriage in true oneness. They served the Lord together as missionaries and together they died as missionaries giving up their lives by being beheaded without fear for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Aquila and Priscilla marriage truly represented the oneness in marriage just the way God created it for. Their marriage wasn’t about them but about him.
Now that you have read this and are accountable because of it. How will your marriage now or future marriage be? Will it be for you and your needs or will it be used as a model of Christs unconditional love, sacrificial love and forgiveness? Will your marriage represent like Aquila and Priscilla the love defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7?
When something is made in the image of something else there’s a direct connection. Nothing can change that even if you do not want to accept it. You can attempt to change it or make it over but nothing will change the fact that it was made in the image because below the surface nothing changed.
Genesis 5: 1-2
When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them “man”.