Walking in the Way of the Beatitudes

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The only PURE, authentic walk came from a man from Nazareth. A poor carpenter. A man baptized by John. A man who spent 40 days in the wilderness fasting. A man who was tempted as we are—and more. A man who preached with authority. A man who touched lepers, healed the blind, gave song to the deaf, raised the dead, fed 5,000, walked on water, commanded the storm to be still, a man who was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead. Jesus.

The Holy Servant

One night, Jesus did something remarkable. Some think this was the night before the Passover; others think it was during the Passover.

When the Israelites ate a meal, they sat at U-shaped low tables, about the height of coffee tables. They rested on their left arms, leaning on pillows, eating with their right hands, and positioning their legs behind them.

Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. John 13:1-4

I wonder if He was thinking about the time in heaven that He laid aside His garments of glory to take on the humble clothing of a baby on earth. 

Then He poured water into the basin John 13:5

Was He thinking of His blood being poured out in a few hours to cleanse you and me?

and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 

What could Jesus be thinking as He tenderly picked up the dirty feet of Thomas? Was He thinking ahead at Thomas’ reaction when the disciples would tell him that Jesus was alive?

As He held the feet of John, the Beloved, and dipped them in the basin, was Jesus seeing John boiled in oil? Or in heaven receiving the Revelation of what was to come?

I wonder what He was thinking as He washed the feet of Andrew. Was He remembering how Andrew brought Peter to Him?

Peter may have watched Jesus wash each of the eleven other disciples’ feet in horror. This was a job for the lowest servant, and here was the Son of God—washing dirty feet!

So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, John 13:6-10

The Israelites bathed before they ate meals together. When they got to the host’s home, their feet were dirty. Just their feet needed washing.

I wonder if Jesus smiled and remembered Peter walking on water, turning his eyes on the storm, sinking, and crying “Save me!”

I imagine Jesus continuing His conversation

and you are clean, but not all of you.”  For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.” John 13:10-11

Yes, He washed Judas’ feet. As Jesus washed Judas’ feet, I wonder if He was thinking of the Sermon on the Mount when He said, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

Or was He thinking, “Judas, I love you”?

Washing Mama

When Mama was dying, a nurse bathed Mama. Bathing dying people was what this woman did every day, several times a day. She talked to Mama in very soothing tones and told her everything that she was going to do before she did it. Her gentle and slow movements exuded love. She started with Mama’s hair; soaking a wash cloth with warm sudsy water, she gently stroked Mama’s hair. Then, she lifted Mama’s head ever so slightly to rinse her hair and pat it dry, all the while talking to her in a soft voice, telling her about the beautiful day. She moved to her hands and lifted them to wash her arm, hands, and fingers—one finger at a time, gently drying them as she went. She made sure that she positioned Mama comfortably among all the pillows that were supporting her fragile body.

This woman had a servant’s heart, and she loved what she was doing.

I wondered why Mama lingered so long.

Perhaps it was for this woman. Perhaps it was for me to see the gentleness and lovingkindness this woman showed to my Mama.

Perhaps it was for the other loving nurses.

Perhaps it was to demonstrate how Jesus may have washed the feet of Judas, John, James and Simon Peter.

Why Jesus washed their feet

Jesus took up His garments and reclined at the table again

I wonder, as Jesus took up His garments, if He was thinking of a time very soon to come when He would take up His garments of glory and honor, put them on and sit at the right hand of God.

He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. John 13:12-17

Jesus said that He came to earth for service. He came teaching, healing, making people’s lives better, paying the price for our sins, and claiming victory over death for us all. Authentic service. In Acts 4:30, Paul calls Jesus “Your holy servant.”

Matthew Henry writes of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples:

He knew that he was equal with God, and all things were his; and yet he rose from his table in glory, laid aside his robes of light, girded himself with our nature, took upon him the form of a servant, came not to be ministered to, but to minister, poured out his blood, poured out his soul unto death, and thereby prepared a laver to wash us from our sins.

The Authentic Christian Woman

How do we apply authentic walking to our lives?

The authentic Christian woman acknowledges the holiness of God and worships Him.

The authentic Christian woman surrenders her plans, her body, her dreams, and her hopes to God.

The authentic Christian woman walks as Jesus did, as a servant.

The authentic Christian woman is blessed. She’s a Beatitudes woman.

She regards herself as lowly and unworthy of honor. Jesus says that she is blessed, and hers will be the kingdom of heaven.

  • Jesus took the role of the lowliest servant as He washed Judas’ feet and the feet of all the other disciples. Jesus sits at the right hand of God today.

She mourns because of her sin, and she will be comforted.

  • Jesus wept because Jerusalem did not recognize the hour of her visitation. Jesus rejoices in the righteous robes He will give His bride.

She is gentle or meek, and she will inherit the earth.

  • Jesus humbled Himself and laid aside His glory to become a baby of a poor carpenter. For you. For me. Jesus will redeem the earth.

She hungers and thirsts for righteousness; she will be satisfied.

  • Jesus fasted for 40 days after He was baptized. 40 days alone with God before His ministry. He is the bread of life.

She is merciful or compassionate, and she will receive mercy.

  • Jesus told the woman who was caught in adultery that He did not condemn her. He told her to go and sin no more. Jesus bestows mercy.

She is pure in heart (cleansed by fire), and she will see God.

  • Jesus knew no sin. Yet, He voluntarily took your sin, my sin, all the sins of the past, and all the sins of the future upon Himself. Jesus will see us in the likeness of Himself. He will see us looking into His eyes and living with Him eternally.

She is a peacemaker, and she will be called the daughter of God.

  • Jesus gave His life for our peace with God. He is the Son of God, the firstborn, our Savior.

She is persecuted for the sake of righteousness, and she will inherit the kingdom of God.

  • Jesus endured the cat-of-nine-tails, the beatings, the crown of thorns, and the cross. His inheritance is the kingdom of God.

She receives insults and persecution, and false things are said about her because of Jesus.

  • Jesus was accused of blasphemy. He was accused of not knowing who His father was. He was accused of casting out demons from the power of the devil.

She rejoices because her reward is great in heaven.

  • Jesus endured the agony of the cross for the joy set before Him. His reward in heaven is the Bride of Christ—the church—you and me!

The authentic Christian woman lives by the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5.

It starts with the love of Jesus; it continues with the salvation of Jesus; it is possible by the power of Jesus.

Are you a Beatitudes woman?

My prayer

Father, thank You for Jesus and His great love, His great service, His great sacrifice, and His great victory. Bless us with ever-increasing knowledge and wisdom of what it means to walk in the way of the Beatitudes. We began in the love of Jesus from the foundation of the world, we were born again through the salvation Jesus offers, and we live in the power of Christ in us. Take us deeper, Lord. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Please share this post with others who may be interested in walking the Beatitudes walk.

Godly Success … Three Tactics

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Jesus told His disciples that they were going to be arrested, persecuted, and brought before rulers. They would have opportunities to speak of Jesus. He warned them not to plan their testimonies but to rely upon the Holy Spirit to give them wisdom. He promised that they would be hated for His name’s sake, but that they would not perish. In the middle of Jesus’ recitation, He promised them that in their steadfast endurance and waiting in expectation, they would obtain the breath of life designed for eternity. (ESV translation of Luke 21:19)

Every disciple except John was martyred; yet, they patiently possessed their souls, designed for everlasting life.

For success in the world, we are taught that we need to create a business plan that includes goals and objectives, a timeline, budget, tactics, and metrics for evaluation. In God’s measurement of success, we receive His vision for us; we walk this earth as strangers, and  we receive rewards in heaven, not earth.

In your patience possess ye your souls.

Three tactics in God’s plan for success

  1. Persevering, we trust the promises of God. “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:25
  2. Acting to obtain control or possess our lives, we surrender to God. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
  3. Receiving the breath of God, we gain life. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7

My prayer

Our Great Creator, Breath of Life, we are humbled by Your great love for us. You made us; we rebelled, You gave Your only begotten Son’s life to pay the price for our sins, and You raised Him from the dead. Teach us Your ways. They are not the ways of this world. Set our eyes upon You and the promises You have given us. We surrender our lives to You. Take us by the right hand and lead us. Thank You for eternal life with You. We surrender our very essence to You. Have Your perfect way in us. We pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen

What is your plan for success? Share in the Comment Section (click on “Leave a Comment” at the top of this post), how God is leading you towards His plan for your life.

A Promise Walk for 2016

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Did you know that God has promises for you in His Word, the Bible? One person found over 3,500 promises in the Bible.

Christians take Bible promises for their own all the time. They learn what the Bible has to say about the promise, and they pray for the promise to become reality. After a month or two and nothing happens, they decide that the promise is not for them and redirect their focus on another promise, always seeking a quick manifestation of the promise.

Many Christians do not know how to possess God’s promises. They quote Bible promises, and they feel good. However, they do not step out in faith and act upon the promises. Christians may acknowledge that God’s promises are for them, but they need to be equipped to walk towards God’s promises focusing upon the joy and the promise set before them.

In 2016, I want to walk with you on an adventure, a Promise Walk. What if  you and I walk towards the exceedingly great and precious promises that God has in store for us?

Want to walk this path with me?

In the “Comment” section, tell us the promises you want to explore. We’ll explore them together, taking the context into consideration as well as the entire Word of God … no “name it and claim it.” Straight from the Word of God.

Here’s a promise:

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:5-6

First, let’s ask God for wisdom and His will.

It’s bold.

It’s a bit scary.

It’s an adventure of a lifetime.

My prayer:

Father, You alone are worthy; You alone are the Almighty; You alone are wise; You alone are powerful; You alone equip Your children to possess Your promises, and through the promises, we are able to bless others. Give us wisdom as we embark on this adventure. We want to learn of You, learn of Your promises for us, learn how You want us to walk this earth. Thank You for equipping us to accomplish Your works that You prepared from before the foundation of this world. We love You, Lord, and wait upon You in 2016.

What’s the promise God has put on your heart? Share it in the “Comment” section.

Happy New Year and New You!

 

Pain, sleeplessness … 5 tactics from Psalm 77

My soul refused to be comforted…
You have held my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak. Psalm 77:2b-4

Have you experienced pain so deep, so intense that you could not be comforted; you could not sleep, and you had no words to express your pain? I’ve been there. I’ve cried out to God and wondered if He heard me.

I’ve asked like the Psalmist, “Has God forgotten to be gracious, or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion?” Psalm 77:9

During those nights of pain, I turned to the Psalms to help me refocus. There are five tactics that I learned from the Psalmist that brought hope to a hopeless condition.

  1. Remember the past. “I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.” Psalm 77:11 As I focused upon past storms in my life, I was able to see God working in my marriage, in my work, and in my family.
  2. Think about the meaning of the past. “I will meditate on all Your work, And muse on Your deeds.” Psalm 77:12 I thought about those times that God had moved, and I meditated on how those times had prepared me for what I was facing with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
  3. Refocus from the pain to God. “Your way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.” Psalm 77:13-14 I moved from thinking about my problems and thought about who God is, awesome in power and wonder-working.
  4. Praise the Lord. “Your way was in the sea And Your paths in the mighty waters, And Your footprints may not be known. You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron.” Psalm 77:19-20 Although I sometimes do not recognize the footprints of Almighty God, I can trust that He is there, leading me by the hand as He led the Israelites in the time of Moses and Aaron.
  5.  Rest in the Lord. Although the pain was still with me, I often would be able to rest in the Lord and find sleep. Sometimes, I could even see a slight rainbow in the storm.

My prayer for you:

Our Heavenly Father, You are the God of all Comfort, and You are the Great Shepherd who leads Your people. Comfort Your people as only You can. Provide great peace and restore their souls and bodies as they remember Your awesome works and think about what Your works have meant in their lives. Turn their focus upon You, and graciously bring them to praise You for who You are. Finally, Father, bring rest to their souls and restoration to their bodies. Breathe upon Your people Your perfect peace, a peace beyond all comprehension. Thank you, Father. You are an awesome God!

Please share how God has worked in your storms and the tactics that you use to gain peace.