Recently I heard a pastor preach on the mission of every disciple. He spoke about the purposes of Jesus coming to Earth, how He came to demonstrate the goodness of God, and show the heart of the Father. This sermon stayed with me for days, challenging me, moving me, and causing me to take another good look at the ministry of Jesus and my response to it.
Jesus came to Earth as our example, so I sat down at my desk and jotted down His good works. What were His examples? Obviously, my list wasn’t comprehensive, but more of what first came to mind.
What did Jesus DO? What did He teach us about Christian living?
- He healed.
- He cared for people.
- He showed genuine concern for others.
- He broke bread with friends and strangers.
- He cast out demons.
- He went away to pray.
- He initiated conversations.
- He needed time alone.
- He grieved, and He wept.
- He did good things for others.
- He conversed with the lowly, the unlovely.
- He spent time with the Father.
- He listened and talked with people.
- He served others.
- He had fellowship with God.
- He gave up His life for you and me.
Then I examined how Jesus behaved. What were His characteristics? How did He show the heart of the Father?
- He carried the goodness of God and gave freely.
- He was full of kindness and mercy.
- He showed grace to others.
- He listened well.
- He felt compassion towards others.
- He was loving.
- He was patient.
- He was genuine.
- He was humble.
- He demonstrated unconditional love.
- He glorified God in all that He did.
- He was holy.
- He was joyful.
After jotting these down, I asked myself quite a few questions:
Do I walk in his goodness? Do I exemplify Christ? Do I demonstrate His characteristics? Do I love well? Do I serve others as He served? Where am I falling short? Do I proclaim the Good News? Do I do good works? These questions cause me to pause and ponder my answers.
If I believe He is an amazing and good God (and I do!), then I need to live my life in a way that proves what I believe.
Author Paul Tripp writes in his book, New Morning Mercies, “Sin kidnapped our worship, and grace works to restore it to its rightful owner- God. It is only when God is in his rightful place in our hearts that everything else is in its appropriate place in our lives, and only powerful grace can accomplish this.“
I am so thankful for His amazing grace.
My life exists to glorify the Father. I am undeserving of His goodness, but He lavishes it upon me anyway. This thought urges me to ask more questions. How can I bless others? How can I be more like Jesus? How will I allow God to use me in a way I haven’t? How can I step out of my comfort zone to be a blessing to others? How can I demonstrate to others what the Father has taught me?
While none of these thoughts or ideas are new, it seemed like a good time to remember the life of Jesus. I wanted to examine my heart, my faith, and my values.
Paul Tripp also wrote, “True Christianity is always a matter of submission of the heart to God, something that only rescuing grace can produce.”
I want my heart to be in complete submission to my Father. If this is so, then my life will reflect the heart of the Father.
This is what is on my mind this summer. What thoughts are running through your head about your faith? What is convicting you right now? What do you believe is the mission of a disciple?
Psalm 16: 5-11
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Here is a song written from this Psalm~ Shane & Shane: Psalm 16 (Fullness of Joy). Blessings to you.