Michael Joe, an unworthy servant of our most worthy Savior Jesus Christ, called to be a minister of grace and set apart for the Gospel of our Most High God, which He promised and in which we gain the understanding from the Holy Scriptures, about His Son, in flesh a descendant of King David and in Spirit declared the Son of God in the power of the resurrection from death to life.
The Holy Spirit declares Jesus Christ is our Lord., and it is through him that we have received grace and the call to leadership to grow and develop obedience of faith among all people for His glory, among which you are a part of the called of Jesus Christ, to all who are loved by God, called to the higher calling of being and living as a saint: Grace and peace to you from God our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord… (Romans 1:1-7)
I am not very good at receiving a blessing, but I am learning. We were out eating with some friends one day and one of our friends ask for our ticket. My mind rushed into reasoning mode – what can I say, how can I get out of this, what do I do? She then got a very determined look and strong voice and said: “Don’t you dare steal my opportunity to bless you, now please just receive it!” I gave up the ticket, but not because I wanted to. What was my problem? Why would I not want to receive the blessing of a free lunch? Could it be ego or pride? In my heart, I knew it was a little bit of both.
I was thinking just the other day of times that I felt like I should have been blessed and I wasn’t. It was the complete opposite feeling inside of me, but was generated by the same exact thing – ego and pride. I don’t think of myself as a very egotistical person and I don’t really consider myself a proud person, but these two seem to creep into my life when I least expect them.
This week, we were able as a family to have an amazing experience! We were able to go to Disney World and hop around four different parks all week-long. Our meals were paid for and our transportation for the week was provided. All we had to do, was show up and enjoy.
Here’s how the deal came down: My wifes Dad has finally retired and after promising two of his grandkids years ago that he would take them to Disney when he retired, he has made good on his promise. He did not just take the two he promised! He included all the bothers, sisters, moms and dads (sons, daughters, son in-laws and daughter in-laws for a total of 16!
My family of four has loved it. I told someone last night: This is not something that I think I would have ever got to do. If I had not received this gift of a trip, then this is something magical that my family would have missed out on. I am so thankful that the Lord laid it on Jimmy’s heart to bless our family in this way and I am so thankful that the Lord helped me to not let my ego and pride get in the way.
We have had a great time, but more importantly, we have created memories that will last a lifetime. And for me, one of the greatest blessings of the trip, is all of the things that God is teaching me. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m learning!
Real Christian service is not what we do for Jesus, it’s what we are to Jesus. Being his disciple is based on our devotion to him, not our living lives distracted by the dictates, decisions and destruction of others.
It’s about seeing who Jesus is and realizing that He is more than enough. When I really get this, then the opinion of others does not matter and will not influence me. My only desire will be to live for and please my master.
It’s easy to say we believe! But real belief causes our devotion to flow in one direction and one direction only and this is the direction of Jesus. It must go through him and then be directed by him to wherever else it must go.
There is a very big difference between being devoted to Jesus and to the cause that his life started. Jesus is our source and just as his first act of obedience was to the will of the Father and not the needs of men, so then must be our first act of obedience be to him, so that men might be truly saved.
It is not a good thing to be devoted only to the vast needs of humanity, because they are so great that we will quickly become worn out and useless. The main drive of my life has to be my personal and passionate love for Jesus, the Savior of my soul. This love allows me to serve humanity and be treated like dirt. This love allows me to be a disciple even and especially when I don’t feel like it. And this love allows me to experience more of Jesus, who gives me everything that I need to really live.
A devoted disciple has discovered that loving Jesus is the secret to really loving! Get your love for Jesus right and all of the other love will fall into place!