The Joy of the Journey: Be Like Jesus
All of us who have become followers of Christ are told that we should be more like Jesus. I want to stop and pause and think about that for a moment… to be like Jesus, what a challenge. Jesus preached repentance and the good news of the kingdom of God. He cast out demons, healed the sick, raised the dead… all of which proved that He was the real deal. We must look at serving God our Father the way Jesus approached it. What was the message Jesus preached? He commanded us to carry on His ministry until He returns! If that’s the case, I think knowing what message and ministry Jesus had on earth would be good. I think it’s summed up in three areas: proclamation, demonstration, and invitation. I believe this is summarized in Mark 1:14-15: “Now, after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
The heart of Christ’s message was the proclamation of God’s action,“ the kingdom is near, “… and the demand for a response, “repent and believe.” This salvation was presented with the idea that the “kingdom of God” is close… Are you ready for the kingdom? For the rest of His public ministry, Jesus demonstrated that the kingdom of God was nearby by healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead. Every miraculous act had a purpose… to confront people with the message that the kingdom had come and that they had to decide whether to accept or reject it. This was the threefold pattern of Christ’s ministry, repeated wherever He went. Jesus presented His message with a proclamation, demonstration, and, last of all, an invitation. I want to point out that the greatest of all the things that Jesus did was to show love, kindness, and grace. For Christians today, living out this is a great accomplishment.
The people of God are very good at Proclamation and Invitation. Every Sunday in pulpits worldwide, the good news of Jesus is proclaimed. The message is that He came to save the lost and restore them to the Father. Demonstration, however, is a little bit more complicated. Signs, wonders, and miracles can be pretty challenging. However, Christ has asked us to be willing participants in what he did. However, we need the Holy Spirit to demonstrate His kingdom power through us! This can only happen through a true Encounter with the Holy Spirit!
I still believe that the Bible is the word of God and has been given to us to show us the way to heaven. I also think that through the power of the Holy Spirit, the demonstration of God’s miracles continues today.
The signs, wonders, and miracles Jesus performed in the Bible point toward His true identity as the Son of God. In not-so-simple terms, the natural laws of the universe do not bind Jesus because He created the universe, which means He had the power to alter the natural order of this world to fulfill the mission God put before Him. In simple terms that I can understand, Jesus was the creator and had the right to change things. I.e., miracle signs and wonders.
There is only one miracle that does not have an expiration date. Let me explain that every miracle that Jesus did on this earth had an expiration date, but one. Every person Jesus ever healed or will heal on this earth, of any physical disease, blindness, the lack of ability to speak, those who were crippled, and yes, even though He, raised from the dead, had an expiration date on their miracle. Those people eventually would and will die. However, there is one miracle that Jesus gave to all of us that happens hopefully every day on this earth. That is the miracle of salvation. Salvation has no expiration date for those who serve Him. One day, we will see Jesus and all be together in heaven if we remain faithful to Christ. I still believe Jesus can do anything He wants to do. I still believe Jesus heals the sick and restores the mind, the body, and the soul. But when it comes down to it, salvation is the most essential miracle we can ever see in our lifetime. I want to live my life being like Jesus… Living a life powered by the Holy Spirit to live out a ministry ofproclamation, demonstration, and invitation.
In His Love,