Have you ever wondered why God guides you through valleys and storms of life?
Through the ups and downs and twists with your kids? Why do you have the miserable boss or annoying colleagues you have? Why is "Needy Harry" looking for you every Sunday? Why did God keep you in the city of Boresville, USA? Is God trying to teach you something?
Jesus is constantly doing something in our lives. And he's not just trying to teach us "lessons." He has plans for our lives. Plans to transform us into his own form. And Jesus fulfills these plans. Perfect. Completed. And nothing can stop him from fulfilling his intentions for us. When I called the Lord for the first time, I wanted him to release me from my slavery to sin. I wanted to have some peace and joy in my life. I did not know that faith in Jesus means I sign up to become a disciple. I was more like the crowds who wanted Jesus to heal them. I did not need to get involved to become a lifelong successor to Jesus.
I think sometimes we forget that we are disciples of Jesus.
At least I do. But we never become disciples in this life. Even after we persecuted him for 35 or 65 years. Even if we teach and discipline others. Each one of us will always be a disciple of Jesus.
A student is a student. An imitator. A learner. A lifelong learner.
What does Jesus want to teach you and me? How does he want to bring us into his form? I know that Jesus still teaches me. Maybe you can tell …
Jesus teaches his disciples to trust him
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding. Proverbs 3: 5
Why are we worried when finances are in short supply? Why do we get scared for our children? Why are we worried about the future? Ultimately, it's because we forget to trust the Lord. To trust that he will take care of us. To trust that he cares more about our children than we do. To trust that he answers our prayers. To believe that he will fulfill his promises.
Jesus told his disciples to trust that God cares for them.
"That's why I'm telling you, do not worry about your life, what you're going to eat or drink, nor about your body, what you're going to wear. Is life no more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the airbirds: they do not sow and harvest and do not gather in barns and your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more valuable than her? And who of you who is afraid can extend his lifespan by an hour? And why are you worried about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field as they grow: they do not work and do not spin, but I say to you, even Solomon, in all his glory, was not ordered as one of them. But if God so clothes the grass of the field that lives today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, He will not cloth you much, oh you of little faith? So do not worry and say, "What should we eat?" Or "What should we drink?" Or "What should we wear?" For the Gentiles are searching for all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But first seek the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all these things are added to you. Matthew 6: 25-33
What are you tempted to worry about? What do you have to trust the Lord for? Ask him to help you trust him. Ask him to tell you what you are going through.
Our Lord will continue to teach us to trust Him for the rest of our lives. We should not be surprised if we find the next situation in which we have to trust him.
Jesus teaches his disciples to enjoy Him
Do you remember when Satan took Jesus to a mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their donor and tried to get him to enjoy them? If he tempts Jesus in this way, he will surely tempt us to enjoy the world and its glories.
Near me there is a beautiful area that I often go through. Huge beautiful houses – villas. Perfectly landscaped lawns. Sometimes I was tempted to be jealous of these people. Which is crazy, because God has blessed my wife and me with a comfortable older home in a quiet street with great neighbors. And I do not want to entertain these villas. Nevertheless, I can be tempted to envy.
But God tells us
Do not let your heart envy sinners, but stay in the fear of the Lord all day long. Proverbs 23:17
We can all be tempted to enjoy this world. We might be tempted to think if only I had this or that and was fulfilled. We should be grateful for all the blessings and joys and pleasures that God gives us, but we should never forget that our chief joy should be in God Himself. God tells us
Rejoice in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37: 4
All the joys, wonders, beauties and joys of the universe are only dust compared to the infinite splendor, glory and joy in Jesus. The first second, when we look at his beautiful face in the sky, will make us forget all the pleasures we knew in this life.
Adam and Eve got into trouble when Satan made them eat the "desirable" fruit that God had forbidden them to eat.
When the woman saw that the tree was good for eating and that it was a pleasure for the eyes, and that the tree should be wise, she took from his fruits and ate and also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Genesis 3: 6
Jesus teaches His disciples to enjoy Him, not the joys of this world.
Jesus teaches his disciples to be humble.
The sufferings that God leads us show how weak we are. How much we need him. Jesus is the ultimate example of humility. Although he was God, he humbled himself and assumed human weakness.
Do not do it out of selfish ambition or imagination, but in humility, others are more important than you. Let each of you look not only at your own interests but also at the interests of others. Have that spirit among you, which belongs to you in Christ Jesus, who, although in the form of God, did not look upon equality with God as something that could be grasped, but emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant and was born in the guise of men. When found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the death, even death on the cross. Philippians 2: 3-8
Jesus humbled himself. And he tells his disciples to humble themselves
Humble yourself, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, to raise you at the right time and throw all your fears on him for taking care of you. 1 Peter 5: 6-7
Humble people realize that they need the Lord. Modest people do not think they have everything together. Humble people do not think they can solve their own problems. Humble people do not believe that they can take care of themselves. Humble disciples throw all their fears and worries on God and know how much he cares about them. When we worry about the Lord, we say, "Lord, I am weak. I'm in need. I can not do it alone. I need you."
Therefore, Jesus leads his disciples through deserts and valleys. So we realize how much we need it. To help us become humble like him.
Jesus teaches his disciples to be patient
Queen summarizes it as most of us are natural: "I want everything, I want everything, I want everything and I want it now." I told people I never pray for patience because I know that God will do it Lead me through something that requires it.
Jesus teaches his disciples to be patient. Waiting for him to fulfill his purpose in his perfect timing. To trust that he will save their children in his timing. The confidence that he will bring in his timing. He tells us
Wait for the Lord Be strong and let your heart take courage. wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14
Patience is one of the fruits of the spirit. And like all fruits, patience takes time to grow. Would not it be great if we were automatically patient? We are sorry. Take a deep breath. Jesus will gradually make you patient. Day after day. Seek it and ask for mercy, help, patience and joy. You will get there.
Jesus teaches his disciples to believe that he works all things together for their own good.
And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for the good of those who are called to His purpose. Romans 8:28
If we really believed that God is doing everything for our good, we would never complain or complain about anything.
When we're tempted to complain or complain, the best question we can ask ourselves is, what do I believe about God? Do I think he is good and loving? Do I think he uses that to make me more like Christ? Do I think he has everything under control? Do I believe that God is infinitely wise and knows what is best for me?
Jesus teaches his disciples to endure to the end.
Even when Jesus walked the earth, many of His disciples followed Him for a while and then fell away. When Jesus taught that believers must "eat his flesh" and "drink his blood," many stopped following him:
After that, many of his disciples turned back and did not go with him anymore. John 6, 66
In the parable of the four floors, Jesus said that some people first receive His word with joy, but then the worries and worries of this life cause them to fall away.
And those are those who are sown on rocky ground: those who immediately receive the word with joy when they hear it. And they have no root in them, but endure for a while; Then when trouble or persecution arises because of the word, they immediately fall away. Mark 4: 16-17
I know that there are different interpretations of these verses, but it is clear that not all who initially respond with joy to God's word endure suffering "because of the Word".
God tells us we have to run the race with stamina. It does not matter how we start the race. What matters is how we finish it.
Therefore, as we are surrounded by such a vast cloud of witnesses, let us put aside every weight and sin that cling to each other so closely, and let us persevere with the race that lies before us by to Jesus, the founder and finisher of our faith, who bore the cross for the joy that lay before him, despised the shame and sits at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12: 1-2
Jesus teaches his disciples to endure to the end. We do this by keeping our eyes on him, the ultimate example of stamina.
Not only does Jesus teach his disciples "life hacks" to make their lives easier, but he calls us to imitate him. He does not call us to do something he did not do.
He transforms us into his own image. So follow him. Imitate him further. Keep reading his word, meditate on it, and obey him. Continue reading in the Gospels to see how Jesus lived. And do not forget that you are a disciple and you will always be a disciple of Jesus. And even if you follow him and do the hard work of a disciple, it is Jesus who changes you and makes you his own image.
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