BACK TO BASICS, JESUS’ WAY.

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BACK TO BASICS, JESUS’ WAY.

“At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?”
For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom.” Matthew 18:1-4 [MSG]

In life, as we get familiar with certain things, we get caught up and become distracted. When this happens, we lose sight of what is truly important, and get consumed by the things on the margins; students get distracted by test scores, teachers get distracted by illustrations on their worksheets, preachers get distracted by the size of their congregation. Even as individuals, we get caught up with our problems, our service in church, looking out for the next blessing, or wondering why that specific prayer that we made 127 hours ago has not been answered; and we miss the multitude of blessings that came without us asking. So heeding our Savior’s advice, let us return to square one, start over like children and remind ourselves of what is truly important.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17
Jesus loves you. Our Father loves you. If you forget everything else, this is one thing that you must never forget. Though forgetting it does not change that reality, just like forgetting what color leaves are does not make them anything else but green, forgetting that our Father loves you makes life more difficult for you because you forget that you have someone you can cast all your cares on; and you end up carrying your worries unnecessarily.

Imagine this, a man, while on his way to meet his wife, has an accident and suffers amnesia; forgetting not only who he was, but that he was ever married. Does this make him any less married? Does this make his wife love him any less? But what it does is it makes him depend on himself for his recovery. By not letting his wife help, he is limiting the stimuli which he can get exposed to and therefore limiting perhaps his rate of recovery; not to mention the emotional support during this difficult time.

So in similar fashion, we must never forget that Jesus loves us, that we have a loving Father watching out for us, standing on our side. Because,

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Now the reason why Jesus can love us, the reason why our Father can love us, is because They have already made us right, atoned for our sins. For,

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead, by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:3-11 [ESV]

So right now, for us who believe in Jesus, there is no more condemnation because Jesus bore it all for us on the cross, as it is written,

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

All your guilt, all your iniquities, all the chastisement which was rightfully due you, Jesus bore, and exchanged them all for His righteousness, giving you,

“…an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:4-5

So if you are facing a trying situation, know that it did not come from God. It is not His will. Because He said,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]

And indeed, these are the things which our Father purposed for you to have.

“And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:
Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds; the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways.
Then all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you.
And the Lord will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you.
The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand.
You shall lend to many nations and not borrow.” Deuteronomy 28:1-12

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33

For Jesus has said that,

“…whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

Because, think about this, since

“He who did not spare His own son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him, also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

So,

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

“Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” Romans 8:33-34

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39

Beloved, Jesus has said of us,

“Watch that you don’t treat a single one of these childlike believers arrogantly. You realize, don’t you, that their personal angels are constantly in touch with my Father in heaven?” Matthew 18:10 [MSG]

No matter what stands against you today, remember that you have your personal angels who are constantly in touch with your Father in Heaven. So that is why you can say with confidence to your situation,

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.” Psalm 18:2-3

“Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;” Psalm 91:9-10
“You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.” Psalm 91:5-8

Instead,

“With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.” Psalm 91:16

So beloved, keep your eyes on Jesus. Begin each day by refocusing your sights on Jesus, on our Father and Their love for you. Stay in their presence and depend on them with a child-like faith, for,

“…whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

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