Why do you follow Christ? Why did you choose HIM for your savior? That was the issue behind Jesus’ statement to the crowds that pursued Him after His miracle of feeding five thousand adults. Jesus had gained a huge following as a result of His miracles, wonders and signs. (John 6:22) After this miracle, they were relentless in their search for His next stop—the next place that they could receive the benefit of His miracles—bread.
Jesus saw their hearts yet He did not admonish or reject them. He saw their real need as an opportunity to redirect their focus from their bellies to their souls. He offered them the true “bread from heaven”—bread that would not perish but had eternal benefit. He offered Himself, the Bread of Life. (John 6:35) They did not understand because their focus was tethered tightly to the immediate needs of this life. Unfortunately, many walked away still hungry—physically AND spiritually. (John 6:66)
When many of us initially came to Christ, we too, followed for bread. Some of us came for provision—blessings, healing, or miracle. Some came for protection—fire insurance to guard against the “fire and brimstone” threatened by well-meaning pastors and teachers. We lacked information about the “pearl of great price.” In 2011, are you still seeking bread—food, clothing, shelter alone while forgetting His true value? If this is your list, I recommend a change in diet—Jesus Christ. He is life. (1 John 5:11-13) He is joy and peace. (Rom. 15:13) That’s why I follow Him. Why do you?
This morning I had tea with my girlfriend, Kim. She is my prayer intercessor and sister in Christ. As part of our commitment to the Lord, we have agreed to meet the last Friday of every month for spiritual support and accountability. Today as we talked, she mentioned a phrase that God had dropped in my spirit last week as a potential post to share with you.
Kim proclaimed, “We daughters of Christ are in weight training for the Lord. He is building us up to do kingdom building.” This was too much like God to be coincidental. I began to laugh and posed this question to her, “w-e-i-g-h-t or w-a-i-t training?” She responded, “Both!” We both laughed and then began to praise God for His illumination and revelation. This is what He shared with Kim and I.
- God is building our upper body so we will be able to “do His will.” The “head and heart” is where we are conformed to the image of Christ. Philippians 2:5 admonishes us to “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” Christ was loving (when people were unlovable), obedient (when He was tempted to do otherwise) and steadfast (when Satan tried to distracted Him from the cross). He did nothing on His own but only what the Father told Him to do. (John 14:10)
- God is building our lower body so we will be able to “do His work.” It is time for us to move forward with the individual ministries God has placed in our heart to do. Ephesians 2:10 states, “We are His workmanship created unto good works which He has before ordained that we should walk in.” We think ministry work is limited to the pulpit and to the preacher. Wrong! Ministry in Greek means service. (Acts 1:17; Ephesians 4:12) We were not saved to “sit” but to “serve.”
- God is building our “wait” muscles so that we will be able to “trust and believe.” Learning to wait is an area that Kim and I pray for each other (alot). Isaiah 40: 31states: “They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.” Our ability to trust is based on our confidence in what or who we believe in. Our belief is influenced by what we know. To build strong wait muscles, we must trust and believe in God–His greatness, His goodness and His fidelity.
Well, there you have it–weight/wait training for Christians. What training has God shared with you that may help Kim and I in our faith walk? What tips do you have to help us run this spiritual race?
John 1:4 states, “In Him was life and His life was the light of men.” Life in Greek is “zoe” and it means “soul and spirit.” The soul is where our spiritual DNA resides. For we were made in the image of God. It provides our unique (and sometimes quirky) personality. It consists of our mind, will, and emotions. It is from our zoe that we “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28) It is here that we do those “good works” for which God has created us. (Ephesians 2:10)
Light in Greek is “phos” and it means “unquenchable” light. To illustrate the power of phos, we need only look to the heavens. The planets, circle the sun, and it is the sun that provides their light or illumination. They have no “light bearing capacity” of their own. They are dependent on the sun for their light. The sun, however, needs no illumination, for it has a “light bearing capacity” of its own, that is unquenchable and cannot be extinguished.
As I reflect on this extraordinary word from God on life and light, I became humbled at the thought that Jesus, the God Man, came to be both “light and life” for us. Now as partakers of His divine nature, we have His power to also be both “light and life” in a very dark world. As I listen to the news and see the condition of our world, I became convicted and asked myself, where has the “light and life” gone? Where are the saints during this time of great darkness?
My prayer for you today comes from Ephesians 1:17-19:
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation of the knowledge of Him; That the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling and what are the riches of His inheritance in the saints. And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who have believe according the working of His mighty power.
Today make it your purpose to be both zoe and phos in your “universe.” .