Journey With Jesus – Love Your Enemies

Love your enemies scripture verse

Journey With Jesus

Love Your Enemies (Matthew 5:44)

This is an experimental page. It is written as if it were coming from the heart of Jesus to his followers. It was written with the help of an AI tool I use in business. You might ask, isn’t that wrong? The most popular Christian writers have a group of people collaborating with them to write their books. Some use ghost writers who write most of their books to make the authors main ideas engaging for the reader. This is an example of how one man can promote Christlike living using technology as my main collaborator. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. 

Dear child of the Most High,

In the Sermon on the Mount, I spoke words that may seem contradictory to your human understanding, words that urge you to love those who despise you and pray for those who persecute you. Today, I want to delve deeper into the words I spoke when I said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matthew 5:44).”

I know it is challenging and seems unnatural, to love those who have wronged you. I experienced the challenge when I walked on earth. Remember I was crucified for no reason when I died for your sins.

Yet, in this command, I invite you to rise above your human instincts. Instead of retribution and anger,  reflect the divine love of your Father in Heaven. He loved you even when you were not lovable.

Love, my dear ones, is the most potent force in the universe. It knows no boundaries. It does not discriminate between a friend or an enemy. True, divine love is offered to everyone. Just as the sun shines on the just and the unjust alike (Matthew 5:45), God’s love encompasses every one of His children, regardless of their actions.

When I ask you to love your enemies, I am asking you to emulate the love the Father has for you. Be an earthly expression of His divine love. Break free from the chains of bitterness, resentment, and hatred, which only bind your spirit and hinder your spiritual growth. Choose to respond with love, even when met with hatred.

Loving your enemies does not mean condoning or accepting their harmful actions. It is about recognizing that they, like you, are children of our Heavenly Father. They are also often lost in the maze of their imperfections. Loving your enemies is about hoping and praying for their transformation, that they may find their way back to the light. I am the Light (John 8:12).

Consider this: when you pray for those who persecute you, you are not merely performing a charitable act. You are also transforming yourself. In your prayer, you move beyond your ego, embrace humility, and align yourself closer to our Father’s divine love. Each prayer for your enemy is a step towards your spiritual evolution, your sanctification. It’s a testament to the strength of love over hatred.

Additionally, blessing those who curse you, doing good to those who hate you, is not a sign of weakness but a reflection of inner strength and spiritual maturity. It demonstrates your ability to rise above personal pain, to choose love over hatred, and peace over conflict.

Remember, my beloved, in issuing this command, I am not asking you to embark on this journey alone. I am with you, and so is our Father, every step of the way. When you stumble and fall, reach out in prayer, and you will find the strength to carry on.

In the end, loving your enemies is about transcending the limitations of earthly love and reflecting the infinite, divine love of God. It’s about becoming a beacon of love and forgiveness in a world often torn apart by hatred and conflict. I know that it will be a challenging journey, but it is one that brings you closer to your divine self, closer to my likeness. Loving your enemies will be one way you will bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth.

So please, my dear ones, embrace this divine paradox of love. Respond to hatred with love, to curse with blessing, to persecution with prayer. Strive to love your enemies, as your Father in Heaven loves you. Our Father also loves them.

In Love and Light, 

Jesus

Following the commandment of Jesus in Matthew 5:44 to “Love your enemies” can be challenging. But it’s not impossible. Here are some practical examples of how you can apply this teaching in your daily life:

  • Forgive and Let Go: When someone wrongs you, your natural instinct might be to hold onto anger and resentment. However, to love your enemies, you should make an effort to forgive them. This doesn’t mean you have to forget or accept their harmful actions, but you should try to release the negative feelings associated with them. By doing so, you free yourself from the cycle of resentment and open up space for understanding and healing.
  • Pray for Them: Another profound way of loving your enemies is to pray for them. This might seem counterintuitive, but in your prayers, you can ask for their well-being, their growth, and their enlightenment. By doing so, you actively wish for God to bless them and make them better. If their actions toward you were clearly sin, ask God to reveal that sin to them and help them avoid it in the future. This  demonstrates true Christian love.
  • Respond with Kindness: If someone behaves negatively towards you, respond with kindness rather than mirroring their hostility. This not only disarms the situation but also gives them an opportunity to reconsider their actions.
  • Resist Gossip: If you are upset with someone, it can be tempting to talk badly about them to others. However, loving your enemies means resisting this temptation and refusing to engage in harmful gossip or slander about them.
  • Seek to Understand: Often, people act out of fear, pain, or misunderstanding. While it’s not easy, try to understand where your ‘enemy’ is coming from. This doesn’t excuse their behavior, but it can help you see them as a fellow human being who is struggling, allowing you to respond with empathy and compassion.
  • Do Good to Them: This is a bold step, but consider doing something nice for the person who wronged you. This doesn’t have to be something grand. It could be as simple as a kind word or a friendly gesture. In doing so, you live out the commandment to “do good to them that hate you Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27-28)”.
  • Respect Their Humanity: Acknowledge that everyone, including your enemies, are human beings who make mistakes. This mindset doesn’t condone their actions but maintains their dignity and your integrity.

Remember, these actions are not about being a doormat or ignoring harmful behavior. Instead, they’re about breaking the cycle of hate and negativity, and choosing to respond with love and compassion, just as Jesus taught. They demonstrate the strength of divine love to transform even the most challenging relationships and situations.

Loving your enemies, as commanded by Jesus in Matthew 5:44, is a divine call to embody the unconditional love of God in our interactions with others. This radical love carries several profound kingdom benefits, transforming not only our relationships but our hearts as well.

    • Spiritual Growth: Loving your enemies is a challenging practice that encourages spiritual growth. It calls you to rise above human instincts of revenge and bitterness, and align your actions with divine love and mercy. By doing so, you come closer to embodying the virtues of the Kingdom of God: love, compassion, forgiveness, and peace.
    • Inner Peace: Holding onto anger and resentment often leads to internal turmoil. By choosing to love and forgive your enemies, you let go of these negative emotions, leading to a greater sense of peace and wellbeing. This inner peace reflects the tranquility of God’s Kingdom.
    • Unity and Reconciliation: Jesus’ command to love your enemies opens a pathway to unity and reconciliation. It breaks down walls of hostility and builds bridges of understanding and respect. This unity echoes the harmonious relationships envisioned in the Kingdom of Heaven.
    • Demonstrating God’s Love: By loving your enemies, you mirror God’s universal love, which is extended to all His children, irrespective of their actions. This practice serves as a testament to the transformative power of divine love, drawing others towards the love and grace found in God’s Kingdom.
    • Developing Christlike Character: The command to love our enemies helps to mold us into the likeness of Christ, who loved and forgave even those who crucified Him. This development of a Christlike character is a significant aspect of Kingdom living.
    • Promoting Justice and Healing: When you respond to harm with love, it disrupts the cycle of hurt and revenge. It can serve as a powerful catalyst for justice and healing, a theme central to God’s Kingdom.
    • Eternal Rewards: Jesus assures us that our loving actions, particularly towards those who are difficult to love, do not go unnoticed by God. He promises in Matthew 5:46-48 that the rewards for such love are not just in this life but in the eternal life of the Kingdom of Heaven.

In essence, loving your enemies brings the Kingdom of God into your everyday life, fostering spiritual maturity, peace, reconciliation, and a Christlike character. It’s a testament to the transformative power of God’s love, extending His Kingdom of peace and justice in a world often riddled with conflict and hate.

Here are some questions that could help your examine your attitudes towards loving your enemies. Answer them honestly and openly. Learning to love your enemies is a continuous process of growth and learning, guided by the love and grace of Jesus.

    • Can you identify anyone in your life whom you consider an ‘enemy’? Why do you consider them so?
    • How do you generally react when someone hurts or offends you? How does your reaction align with Jesus’ command to love your enemies?
    • Can you recall an instance where you chose to respond with love and kindness towards someone who wronged you? How did it feel and what was the outcome?
    • Do you find it difficult to forgive those who have wronged you? If so, why? What steps can you take to foster a spirit of forgiveness?
    • Have you ever prayed for your enemies? If not, what are the barriers that prevent you from doing so? If yes, how has it impacted you and your feelings towards them
    • How does holding onto resentment or anger towards someone impact your life and your relationship with God?
    • Can you think of a situation where you could actively do good to someone who dislikes or hates you? What might that look like?
    • How does the idea of loving your enemies challenge your current understanding of love?
    • Can you identify any biases or prejudices that might hinder you from loving certain people? How can you address these biases?
    • What practical steps can you take in the coming week to better love your enemies as Jesus taught?
© 2024 In The Image of God 

Journey With Jesus – Go The Extra Mile

Love your enemy

Journey With Jesus

Go The Extra Mile

In most parts of the United States, there is more than enough work for anyone willing to work. My friend JuanJohn Bayardo proved this by traveling through every state in the United States looking for work. He documented his adventure in the book, “Gigs Across America.”

Human resources are often the highest cost to a company. So, companies need good employees who provide at least as much value to the company as they cost.

For a company to thrive, they need exceptional employees who contribute more value than they cost. They need employees who will go the extra mile and encourage other employees to do the same. These kinds of employees are called fully engaged employees because they don’t just work for a paycheck. They are inspired by the purpose of the organization and will go the extra mile to help the organization achieve their goals.

      • A fully engaged salesperson is likely to sell just as hard on Friday afternoon as on Monday morning.
      • An engaged customer service rep will try just as hard to delight a customer at the end of their shift as they did at the beginning.
      • A software developer who is fully engaged will leave the code they are working on cleaner than it was when they started.
      • An engaged factory worker will most likely have fewer accidents, be more productive, and produce fewer quality defects.

Fully engaged employees win the hearts of customers. A company with a highly engaged workforce usually has customers who are loyal and will stay as customers for a lifetime. Those customers refer others to the company and referrals become customers.

Jesus taught that his followers should go the extra mile in everything they do to win the favor of others and stand out. When you do, you will also be sharing your faith through your actions and eventually win the opportunity to share your faith through your words.

Jesus used the extra mile concept to encourage us to love and forgive others when they intend to harm us (Matthew 5:38-41). He used the extra mile concept to encourage us to give more than is being demanded of us or when someone else is in need and we have the means to fulfill that need (Matthew 5:42).

When you go the extra mile, you fulfill the second greatest commandment to love others as you love yourself. It is not natural for us to go the extra mile. Only God can give us the supernatural strength to love as He does.

So instead of planning vengeance when you are wronged, pray for those who hurt you. And if anyone demands restitution from you, give them more than they demand. When someone has a need that you can fulfill or wants to borrow from you, give them more than they requested. When you do this, you will show them the love of Jesus that is living in you.

Where do you draw the line between your rights and the responsibility as a follower of Jesus to forgive?

When was a time when you witnessed love overcome evil?

How can doing good result in a positive outcome when you are faced with a negative situation?

1. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about this directive?

2. What are you going to do about it?

3. Who are you going to tell?

© 2024 In The Image of God 

Journey With Jesus – Keep Your Word

Keep Your Word

Journey With Jesus

Keep Your Word

At the time of this writing, trust in positions of authority in the United States government and justice system that were once revered for their integrity has been shattered. On nationally broadcast news programs, senior members of the FBI and Supreme Court nominees who claim to have integrity one moment and swear to tell the truth tell a bold face lie the next moment.

Even in ordinary conversations, it is common for people to say, “I swear to God,” or “in all honesty…” when they want to emphasize that what they are about to say is the real truth.

It is hard to know who is telling the truth when the idea of truth has become so distorted.

This kind of behavior is not new to our day. People have been breaking sworn oaths since the beginning of time. God knew that no nation could survive unless its system of justice was incorruptible. So, God addressed integrity in multiple places in the law.

In the Ten Commandments, God specifically addressed it when He said, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor (Exodus 20:16 (NIV)).” He addressed it again when He said, “Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God…(Leviticus 19:12 (NIV)).” And, again He addressed it when He said, “When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said (Numbers 30:2 (NIV)).”

When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, he directed us to be honest in our private dealings as well as our public statements.

Knowing that deception had become a way of life for many people, Jesus said God’s people must not give in to it. Jesus was saying if you always speak the truth, there shouldn’t be a need to swear an oath.

We break this command of Jesus by neglecting to tell the whole truth when we leave something out of a story. We break this command when we tell a fabricated version of the truth or a complete falsehood.

God warns us against deception. Even though deception is a way of life for many people, God’s people must not give in to it!

Jesus said your word alone should be enough.

How truthful is your word?

In what situations do you find yourself swearing or using phrases like, “in all honesty” or “to tell the truth?”

Why is it inappropriate to swear on God’s name?

1. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about this directive?

2. What are you going to do about it?

3. Who are you going to tell?

© 2024 In The Image of God 

Do Not Commit Adultery

Adultery

Journey With Jesus

Do Not Commit Adultery

I was searching for a brother in Christ who I had not seen for over a decade. I could not find his status on any of the social media channels I knew he was on in the past. I began to wonder if he had died and all his social media accounts were closed. Then, I learned that he fell victim to the pull of pornography. This pull was so strong that he was lured into areas that are not accepted even in these sexually liberal days. The reason I could not find him is because he was arrested.

The seventh of the Ten Commandments given in the Old Testament is, “You shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14).” In the Old Testament, there are several ways that a man could commit adultery. They all include having physical sexual relations with a woman who is not the man’s wife.

Jesus expanded the definition of adultery to include any lustful thoughts or fantasies toward a person who is not your spouse. Jesus said, ““You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:27-28).” Jesus was saying that the desire to have sex with someone who is not your spouse is the same as the physical act. He emphasized that the intention is the same as the act.

Jesus is not condemning the natural interest that men and women have in each other. He is condemning the deliberate filling of your mind with fantasies that, if acted out, would be a violation of the Old Testament definition of adultery. Like all sin, adultery in Jesus context is allowing a temptation to lead to a desire to commit adultery even if the desire does not lead to a physical act.

Left unstopped, a wrong desire will lead to a wrong action and end up turning a person away from God in shame.

This is why pornography and premarital sex are so damaging. Before I was married, I had premarital sex. In college, pornography was all over the fraternity house for which I was a member. The memory of those premarital sexual encounters and pornographic images are permanently etched in my brain. It took me years to get to a place where I could banish them from my consciousness. When they try to resurface, I have to call on the Holy Spirit to give me other thoughts.

Jesus knew the damage that lustful looks can cause. That’s why he said, “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell (Matthew 5:29-30).” We know he was speaking figuratively because even if you remove your eyes and limbs, your lustful thoughts will still remain.

What form of adultery do you struggle with today? Is it pornography? Is it lusting over a woman or man who is not your spouse? Do you flirt with a person who is not your spouse? Even if they are only in your heart, Jesus commands you to bring them to him so he can help you eliminate them. 

1. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about this directive?

2. What are you going to do about it?

3. Who are you going to tell?

© 2024 In The Image of God 

Journey With Jesus – Settle Disputes Amicably

Settle Disputes Amicably

Journey With Jesus

Settle Disputes Amicably

Matthew 5:23-25. 1 John 4:20

A Christian businessman made a business decision that he thought, at the time, was in the best interest of his employees. When the economy took a downturn, the decision ended up negatively affecting the balance of all his employee’s retirement accounts. This man admitted his mistake to his employees and committed to make restitution.

One of his employees, who was also a Christian, brought charges against the businessman. The new state prosecutor, looking to make a name for himself, decided to charge the businessman with the maximum penalty which included spending time in prison.

The time away from his family and the emotional distress after his release from prison ended up having a devastating affect on the business man’s marriage, family, and some professional relationships.

Jesus’ directive to the employee in this situation was “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4:20-21).”

Jesus’ directive to the businessman before the court proceedings began was, “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court (Matthew 5:25).”

In this case, the businessman attempted to settle the matter out of court. The employee saw the error in his actions and attempted to drop the charges. But, the prideful state prosecutor, who was intent on strengthening his name, insisted on proceeding with the case against the businessman.

The businessman served time in prison. The time away from his family and the emotional battle to rebuild his life after being released destroyed his marriage and marred his relationship with his children.

Jesus’ message to both men after this ordeal was “if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-25).”

After realizing what his action did to the businessman, the employee sought to reconcile with the business man. The businessman did accept the employee’s apology but their relationship will never be the way God intended it to be on this side of eternity.

Why is it preferable for two people who love Jesus to quietly resolve conflicts rather than battle over them publicly? In this case, the two men had a relationship that was furthering the Kingdom of God on earth before the employee took the matter to court. They could have done other great things together. They could have weathered the economic storm together and built the business into a business that sought the welfare of the city (Jeremiah 29:7) and brought glory to God. Instead, a business, businessman and family were broken. The regional press from the court case tainted the name of the businessman. It also discredited God’s name when people who knew the two men were Christians were exposed to this case. 

Why is settling a dispute out of court better than a judge’s decision? Court battles are messy, time-consuming, and expensive. The cost can be more than financial. In this case, it cost a marriage and family. It took an emotional toll on the businessman, his wife and his children who had to be without their husband and father during an important time in their life.

Taking a dispute to court also causes a great divide between the two parties that may never heal until the two parties are in heaven. Even small disagreements that may not end up in court stand a better chance of being resolved peacefully if they are dealt with right away.

What unsettled disputes are keeping you and another believer from living fully for God’s glory?

1. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about this directive?

2. What are you going to do about it?

3. Who are you going to tell?

© 2024 In The Image of God 

Journey With Jesus – Honor God’s Law

Ten Commandments

Journey With Jesus

Honor God's Law

Recently, I met with a group of men for a regular bible study. To answer a study question, I discussed what I was learning while writing about the Ten Commandments. I explained that I was writing about the relevance of the Ten Commandments today. Some of the men graciously said that since we are saved through grace alone, the Ten Commandments don’t matter much. 

The same week, I was reading a book by a well-known pastor from China. One chapter from that book bothered me. He was trying to convey that God’s grace is sufficient for us. His point was that the old covenant (laws) could not accomplish what the new covenant (Jesus’ sacrificial death) could. 

I agree with him up to that point. The commandments of God were given to us to reveal our need for a savior. Following the commandments will not save us. Our salvation comes only through faith in Jesus. 

I disagree with the statement in the author’s thesis that “God found fault with the old covenant of law.” And that “God’s Word tells us in no uncertain terms that the covenant of Moses is antiquated and obsolete.”

The author uses the following scripture verses to support his claim that God found fault with the Old Testament commandments and that they are antiquated and obsolete.  

“By calling this covenant “new,” He has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear (Hebrews 8:13)”

“For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second (Hebrews 8:7).”

If the verses from Hebrews were the only verses on this subject, I would agree that the Bible is saying the Old Testament laws are antiquated and we can disregard them. However, Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish, but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:17-19).”

Jesus’ point was, the Old Testament laws were never meant to save anyone. God’s plan from the beginning was that the Old Testament laws, which we could never fully obey, were intended to point us to the need for a savior. That savior is Jesus. His sacrifice provided all people a way to be saved by faith alone. Jesus was also saying the Ten Commandments and his elaboration on them have as much relevance now as they did before he came to save us. 

What is the basis of your eternal salvation? Are you following the law or following the Savior?

What do you think Jesus meant when he said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets (Matthew 5:17)?”

What do you think Jesus meant when he said, “until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished (Matthew 5:18)?”

If you agree that Jesus is saying the Old Testament laws still have value, what will you do to understand their full intent?

1. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about this directive?

2. What are you going to do about it?

3. Who are you going to tell?

© 2024 In The Image of God 

Journey With Jesus – Let Your Light Shine

Let Your Light Shine

Journey With Jesus

Let Your Light Shine

God, in His infinite mercy, has determined that I am a worthy vessel for Him to use to draw people to Himself through Jesus. Often, when I travel on airplanes, at work in the office, on a subway or just about anywhere, He will orchestrate a conversation between me and someone who needs to know Jesus. I am honored that He is willing to use me after the very stormy early adult life I lived.

I used to keep these supernatural encounters a secret because I did not want to be seen as prideful. Jesus said, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them … “ and “when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do …” (Matthew 6:1-5). At the time, I had a prideful heart and needed to heed these verses.

As the Holy Spirit changed my prideful heart, my motivations changed and I wanted to see God get the glory for what He did through me. In Matthew 5:16, Jesus said, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” This seems to contradict Matthew 6:1-5, but it does not.

When your heart tends to be prideful, you need to be very careful not to practice your righteous deeds so that others can see them. When your heart is in this state, their complements will go to your head and you will take the glory yourself rather than give it to God.

When your heart is in the right place, Jesus wants you to let your good deeds shine so others can see them and you can give glory to God for them. Jesus goes further and says, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).”

When my heart was humbled and God started using me regularly to share the Good News, Gary Pauley, the pastor of the church I attended, encouraged me to share those stories to give glory to God and to encourage others to be open to God’s promptings to be the light of the world and let others see Jesus through them.

Where is your heart right now? If God were to use you in a way that glorifies Him, would you be more likely to accept the glory for yourself? Or, would you give it all to Him. He wants your heart to be humbled so He can use you to shine the light for all to see.

1. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about this directive?

2. What are you going to do about it?

3. Who are you going to tell?

© 2024 In The Image of God 

Journey With Jesus – Rejoice Always

Rejoice Always

Journey With Jesus

Rejoice Always

Kids can be cruel to each other. And so can adults. It is especially cruel when someone Is picked on because of their faith. In the beatitudes, Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:11-12).”

Just one verse before, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:11-12).” You will be ridiculed for taking an unpopular stand for the sake of righteousness. When this happens, Jesus is saying to rejoice about it. You are blessed because of your stance.

The apostle Paul explains all the hardships he encountered because of his faith in 2 Corinthians 6:3-9. Then, he says he was, “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything (2 Corinthians 6:10).” He gave up everything to follow Jesus and to seek and save the lost. But, he saw that in giving up everything in this temporal life, he possessed everything that matters for all eternity. All for the glory of Jesus. Knowing this, he could rejoice always.

How do you need to change your thinking so that you can rejoice through all things?

1. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about this directive?

2. What are you going to do about it?

3. Who are you going to tell?

© 2024 In The Image of God 

Journey with Jesus – Do Not Worry

Don't Worry

Journey With Jesus

Do Not Worry

My wife and I know the kind of challenges that can cause people to worry. We had cause to worry when our son was going through a rebellious youth, when Jennifer had breast cancer and every time I am between consulting projects and there is no revenue coming in to my business. But, worry has never been as effective as prayer.

Worrying is feeling uneasy or overly concerned about a situation or problem. Excessive worrying, causes your mind to go into overdrive as you constantly focus on “what might happen.” According to the WebMD website, “Chronic worrying can affect your daily life so much that it may interfere with your appetite, lifestyle habits, relationships, sleep, and job performance. Many people who worry excessively are so anxiety-ridden that they seek relief in harmful lifestyle habits such as overeating, cigarette smoking, or using alcohol and drugs [1]“How Worry Affects Your Body,” https://www.webmd.com

Worrying leads to stress. Stress has been linked to several health problems. People who suffer from high levels of stress can be more prone to cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal issues, weight problems and even certain cancers. All of these medical conditions can compromise the quality of life and potentially shorten your lifespan.

When Jesus told his disciples he was about to go away, he said the Father was leaving them and all of us with the Holy Spirit who would teach us everything Jesus taught the disciples. He ended by saying, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:27).”

Regarding worry, Jesus said, worry cannot add a single hour to your life (Matthew 6:29). He assures us that God the Father is taking care of everything we need. Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they (Matthew 6:25-26)?”

When you worry, you are saying I don’t believe God’s promise to take care of me. Or, you are doubting His capability.

1. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about this directive?

2. What are you going to do about it?

3. Who are you going to tell?

© 2024 In The Image of God 

Journey with Jesus – Follow Me

Walk with Jesus

Journey With Jesus

Follow Me

Do you ever struggle with the people you work with? I remember Marion, a woman who reported to me in my first professional management position. Because of her disposition, she terrified me. I did not enjoy checking on the status of her deliverables every day. Imagine my surprise and delight when one day she came to my office and said she accepted Jesus into her heart at a weekend church service that she was invited to attend.

Marion told me the way I loved her when she was unlovable and occasionally mentioned Jesus’ name is partially why she agreed to go to church with her friend that Sunday. She saw something different in me that she wanted. She associated it with my love for Jesus. It was my attempt to imitate or follow Jesus’ ways that caused Marion to be interested in going to church with her friend.

When Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee one day, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were fishermen, casting a net into the lake. They were not out for an afternoon of restful fishing. Fishing was their job.

Jesus said to them, “Come, follow me” … “and I will send you out to fish for people (Matthew 4:19-20).” Simon and Andrew already knew Jesus. He had talked to them previously (John 1:35-42) and had been preaching in the area. Because they saw something different in Jesus that they wanted for themselves, they immediately left their nets and followed Jesus. These two men left their jobs to follow Jesus and begin fishing for men.

In the same way, Jesus calls everyone who loves him to become fishers of men. For most of us, this does not mean leaving our job or business to become a full time evangelist or missionary. Jesus is asking all of us to make it a priority to be productive spiritually and fish for souls. If we learn to love others like Jesus, practice his teachings and share the Good News with others, we will be able to draw those around us to Jesus like a fisherman who pulls nets filled with fish into his boat.

Do you see the people you interact with daily as merely people? Or, do you see them as souls who are destined for an eternal residence in heaven or hell?

What if Jesus asked you to follow him and begin to fish for lost souls? Well, he did.

1. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about this directive?

2. What are you going to do about it?

3. Who are you going to tell?

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