Last week, we gathered together to explore the aspects which have guided the life of those who seek a relationship with God for ages. They are principles to guide all of our lives. The principles revealed over the next few weeks are from the live of Jesus- His culture, His country and His time. He shared freely and loved unconditionally so much so that 2000 plus years later almost all faith recognize some aspect of His words and deeds. While we live in another age, and the methods and problems of our life are different; the same principles which guided Him are applicable to our lives today. As a result, when I share, I will offer insights on topics as an overarching theme for each of our breakout groups and attempt to apply the principle to our lives. The principle of love and tolerance should be our code and should rule us now as it ruled Him then.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “What would Jesus do?” There were bracelets made with His name on them for years. People would strive to answer the question according to how they personally believed Jesus would act. Unfortunately, most of us never consulted anyone on our perception of what Jesus would do in any particular situation so a whole lot of people justified a lot of ridiculous actions with the great justification, Jesus would do this.
Now, please hear me. There were plenty of good deeds done and lives changed as a result of asking the question. However, I would wager to say a whole host of people never studied how Jesus made decisions or the process by which we might want consider how to walk through our lives today.
I believe if rubber bracelets were around at the time of Jesus, His might have said, “WHG” - What Will Honor’s God? And for the bright bulbs reading this who are thinking well isn’t that the same as WWJD? I would respond yes and ask each one us to describe how Jesus determined every word and action he took. I would say he looked to answer the question, “Would this honor the Father’s love for us? “
If we look at his actions and teaching, we see Jesus didn’t wait for a circumstance to arise like so many of us. Jesus didn’t keep God at a distance, like some cosmic elf on a shelf. He was in conversation with Him daily. He didn’t do anything without prayer and meditation. It wasn’t a commuter prayer or a wish list or gossip list, but a full or conversation. It was a relationship experienced in all senses of the word. Now, some in the room are looking for the loop hole in my logic and already thinking, “Well I’m not Jesus. I’ve never heard from God. I feel like I’m yelling in the house and no one is home.” To which I would say, a relationship is not founded on commuter calls ( five minute calls from your car until something else gets your attention) or directive orders – like you have something on the creator of the universe so He better do what you’re asking, or else.
Relationships require time and effort. They are forged in the hard times and through tough discussions. Do you remember your first love? Do you remember the endless conversations? Do you remember wanting to know everything about them? Do you remember long telephone calls or endless times in silence as you sit on the phone trying to reveal one more aspect of their personality? What if there was a manual for that person and you could have had access to it, would you have read it first to clarify the things you don’t understand? I believe we all would read it at some point so we could have loved them better. It probably wouldn’t have changed how it ended but it might have explained a few of the things that caused so mush hurt.
Jesus had God’s book. We have it and some additional revelation. He memorized it. He lived it. He wore the bracelet. Jesus was so in tune with God he used the term “abba” - familial term meaning “daddy.” Jesus never addresses God as the almighty God or infinite or eternal one. He was in relationship with Him. He understood the role He was to play in the spiritual war being waged. He constantly wanted to please the Father Because He knew him. He chose to live in this type of relationship fully knowing God’s creative power as well as His omnipotent dignity.
Jesus lived in reverence which means filled with awe. The cool part is we can too. How you ask? Simple. Adjust your approach. If you don’t believe, try just spending some quiet time speaking your doubts, concerns and even what you find hard to believe. Afterward, sit silently with eyes closed listening to the sounds of life around. Ask Him to reveal Himself over the next few days and then look for His hand. You won’t be disappointed. If it Renews you’re your faith, come hang out on Thursday night with others hoping to Renew their connection to a God they don’t understand too.
Until then, may Friend shower you with love and peace beyond your understanding,