The Extension of Jesus

More often than not, rituals performed in church are more or less performed in a symbolic role. While great feeling and perhaps meaning are behind the rituals, it often fails to give evidence of its actual reality. And whereas these sacraments are brought to mind in particular as an act of remembrance, other duties of Christians are of at least an equal importance.
When Jesus spoke of faith: “Upon this Rock I will build my Church…” The first aspect is that we can address is that Jesus was speaking directly to Peter. Thus, we see two elements involved. The first is the characteristic of faith and the second is a person who is charged to keep the faith.
We could arrive at the conclusion that it was at this point that Jesus declared and christened His Church right there before His disciples.
We can see allusions to this all over the scriptures as noted in the New Testament. We are told that the Spirit of God dwells in us, that the kingdom of God is near: everywhere we see the exclamation that the spirit of God is alive, living, vibrant and real!
Most important here is that the liveliness is pronounced within the body of Christ: hence you and I.
Consequently, while our Lord now reigns on the right hand of God on a throne, his spirit remains, residing in us, the Christian.
And this is where most Christians fail. Most Christians are still gazing upward looking for their Savior, when Jesus promised he would send His Holy Spirit, the Comforter to assist us.
That is the same, the identical spirit that is supposed to be imbued within Christians, for those who are His believers.
So then, as people, we look to the Holy Scriptures for instruction, for wisdom and look to our Brothers In Christ for action. This action is a call into obedience.
“A new commandment I give unto you. That you should love your neighbor as I have loved you.”
Still, in another statement, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
The extension of Jesus is His Universal Church here on earth, now, active and alive. And Jesus is also the Head of his Church as we are adopted members of that same body, his extension of Himself. Truly, the kingdom of God is within you. It is within you because of Jesus: because of faith and because of acts of obedience to His Word as we perform for our love for Him. This also possesses a tremendous responsibility for Christians. It means if God, if Jesus is to be alive and an active force on this earth, it is principally because we are willing to act on His behalf. It is only in that manner that faith can be found on this earth.


When Positive Thoughts Are Not Enough

Let’s face it. There are times in our life when all the positive thinking in the world will not reverse a bad situation. The untimely death of a love one will not be brought back to life simply by possessing a positive attitude.
Of course, there are other situations as well that simply will not be changed and while it is good to maintain a positive attitude, there are times when positive thoughts are not enough.
Isaiah 55:8 We are told that, “”My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”
As smart as we may perceive ourselves to be, we simply cannot think in the same capacity as the Lord. No, when it comes right down to it, we are simply human.
And it’s during those times when we should be humble, knowing we have no control over the situation, hand it over to God and trust His work in our lives.
We can examine and know the Truth Himself as the Lord our Christ, but thereafter we are urged to possess FAITH.
Faith, sure enough is believing when in fact, you simply do NOT know. As humans, we don’t like not knowing. We don’t like situations where we can’t exert our will on an event or situation.
Jesus exhorts us over and over to exercise FAITH! Okay, true enough most of us possess lousy faith. As a whole and for most of us, faith goes way beyond us and our thinking.
All of that once again brings us back into full circle and back to God and His thoughts which are so much higher than ours.
So then, when life is bad. When everything is going against you. When your best friends have turned their backs on you or when you have screwed up big-time, go to God in prayer and ask for faith.
And when you do that: still, things will probably suck. More than likely it’s not going to work out at all. However, the promise here as several fold in nature. One, you can rest assured that God is with you. Two, you can be confident that God will help you and Three, there’s that possibility that God may even answer your prayer the way you want him to. Finally, we are guarantee that God cares, that He listens to us and He will answer as he determines is the best answer.
Go tonight and ask Jesus to represent you to our Father. Humble yourself and then be glad that in some fashion, his way, He will answer.

Jesus As An Afterthought

Most of us would have to admit that when it comes to our faith, it is generally as an afterthought rather than our first nature.

Jesus said:  “Love the Lord with all your heart, all your mind, all your strength and all your soul.”

This pretty much makes thinking and acting for the Lord should come first, not as an afterthought.

More often than not, we lament our regrets about what we should have done as opposed to what we actually did.

Admit it.  Being and acting as a Christian is tough.  It is not only hard work, it is a near impossibility. Doing what we should do as a Christian means we have to remain attuned to His will and to the needs of our neighbors.

So easy is it for us to become distracted, and in the process to put the calling of our Lord as a simple Afterthought, in fighting back, we rush to perform the kindness of thoughtfulness we feel we neglected.

The goal then is to concentrated, to remain focus on our task within God’s Kingdom.  Our principle objective then is to aim all our energies and goals toward our faith in Christ.  When we do this, Jesus is no longer an afterthought, but our primary, number one mission.