Jesus must be the foundation of the entirety of our lives. We can built our lives on whatever we want to, but if we choose something other than Christ, we will not withstand the tests.
If we are living Godly, there will be some form of persecution; if we suffer no persecution, then we aren’t living Godly.
1. Jesus lived as our example but died as our substitute. If the only thing Jesus did was preach sermons and do miracles, we would be doomed. He did for the world what it could not do for itself. We should have been under the judgment of God.
People not only spit upon Christ, they reviled Him and said all manner of slanderous insults and false accusations against Him. He endured it all.
Jesus left us an example of holiness. We will never be perfect until we leave this flesh and are given our heavenly bodies.
Jesus left us an example of honesty. No matter what it costs us, our character matters more than anything.
Jesus left us an example of humility. This is not an easy practice. Humility often goes against our nature. We will go no further in life than our humility allows. God resists the proud. By pride comes contention.
Jesus left us an example of meekness. Meekness is not a weakness. It is strength under control. Jesus could have crushed his enemies in an instant but chose not to. He came not to fight back but to die. He sought and saved that which was lost. Without the blood of Christ we are all doomed and lost.
Don’t repay evil for evil because God will render His judgment. He judges righteously. Jesus let the will of God progress properly.
2. One of the most difficult things we are called to do is trust God when we are hurt. Our initial reaction is to fight back. But God is our avenger. We can mess up a relationship by shooting back.
Be careful who you share you God-given dreams to. If others don’t share your dreams they may ridicule you.
There is no hurt like “church hurt.” Believers have stayed away from the house of God for a lifetime after being hurt at church.
When you keep your mouth shut, God will bury your enemies and exalt you because you commit to someone who is greater than you. God will vindicate you from those who hurt you.
We have a natural tendency to wander from God. Yet He is the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls. We, as sheep, need a shepherd. We need His guidance and wisdom and direction. The word bishop means “overseer.” Indeed, God is the overseer of our souls.
A human pastor, a human bishop, is frail just like the rest of us.
3. No matter how far we stray, Jesus is a faithful shepherd in our lives. The proclivity of our heart is to leave God and rebel. Yet you can never stray so far that Jesus isn’t willing to take you back. We don’t have to “clean up” in order to come to Jesus. He desires fellowship with His children.