After the sin in the Garden, God made clothes for Adam and Eve, made of skins. It doesn’t go into detail regarding the animal used to make the skins. I heard one guy share his guess, that it may have been the skin of a lamb. That would make sense. I too have walked with guilt and shame, but have since been clothed in Christ, the perfect Lamb of God.

God is so good and I am thankful for Jesus.

Galations 3:27
for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Romans 13:14
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

Romans 8:1
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,


Imagine you go into a small village full of sick children. You have a backpack full of sunflower seeds. These are not just any seeds. These seeds put an end to a specific deadly disease that has wreaked havoc throughout this entire village. One seed is enough to redirect each kid’s immune system so that they may never be sick with this disease again. You personally were infected with this disease long ago, but you are now well and completely immune.

On the way into the village, a local guide tells you how people who look just like you have visited this village before and abused many of the locals in many evil ways. So he warns you, “be prepared, the response will vary, some of these people are very hurt and very ill.

Would you, with love for these children, still choose to continue into the village and unzip that backpack?


 

Because God the Father loves us so much he sent us the cure for our condition, Jesus, who loves us just as the Father loves him. He went to the cross not only so we can be forgiven of our many sins, but so we never have to live sick with sin again. So to the Believer, I ask, do you remember what it was like to live without Jesus? Consider the darker days prior to living for Christ, when you were furthest from living a life with Jesus. I know for me I had some very dark and dismal moments. But now I am free. We are free!

Someone in our path this week, this day, is living in that place of sickness without Jesus, and Jesus is the answer. Jesus provides an unlimited supply of seeds if you will. There are too many sick “children” who are living without their Father and don’t know Jesus – the one who gives those who believe the right to become children of God.

Sharing the Love of the Lord doesn’t cost a thing, it can always be given away for free. Give it away for God, give it away like Jesus. Give it away with a sincere heart just as you would in that poor sick village scenario, share the cure. The village is right here. Unzip that backpack, there are unlimited seeds to be planted. Love God, love others. Because there is no disease worse than an eternity without God.

Believe, plant those seeds, and let God do his gardening.


Giving to those in need is truly a great opportunity to follow the greatest commandments – to love God and to love your neighbor. Helping someone who is navigating through a difficult season should be high on our priority list as a follower of Jesus. Jesus had and still does have such a heart for the poor and lost.

Imagine your family took a trip abroad. And on your trip your child was lost for days to fend for themselves on the streets of this foreign place. How much would it mean to you for someone to be kind and loving to your child? How much would it mean to you for someone to go out of their way to feed and clothe your child? Really consider, how much would that mean to you.

What if your child was taken by the enemy into a dark place. How much would it mean to you for someone to risk their life for the welfare of your child? Would it not feel like they were doing a great service for both you and your child?

Not too far away from where you sit this moment, you will find those he loves, some of his children, hurting from the effects of the weather, depressed, perhaps drunk or on drugs, living with no hope – and our prisons are full. Is it possible if your child was lost in a foreign country – they may too come face to face with one or more of these things? Is it possible they may eventually make a bad decision and find themselves in prison?

What would you say to that person who had the opportunity to help your child but didn’t – how about the one that did?

Here’s what Jesus said in Matthew 25:

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Be encouraged not discouraged! God loves you and through his Word he is calling you to act. You don’t have to wait for some special feeling to follow God in a greater way. Just look to his word, consider the above, he has much in store for us to do! And he’s with us to the end of the age!

If your child was lost and you had the opportunity to hug the person who fed and loved your child, how much more will God hug you. Feeling the Lords presence and joy can be overwhelming when you step out in faith for those he loves (and that’s everyone). And the Joy of the Lord is our strength. May the Lord’s love, his joy, be with you this Christmas season!

For God so loved the World that he gave his only Son. In love… In Christ… Give.


Matthew 5:14-16
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

I find that the light that we shine before men is the same light that we receive in Jesus. It comes from him. If it wasn’t for his light, his goodness, where would I be – where would any of us be? Jesus is the light of the world, and we are ambassadors of his truth. We are to follow him and let our light shine before men. In John 8:12 Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”. To me that indeed does not sound like this little light of mine. The light of Jesus gives me light that can flow through me, and as I follow him I will never walk in darkness, but be transformed to shine brighter each day.

Thank you Jesus for your goodness, faithfulness, gentleness – your light!

Ephesians 5
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit[b] is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”

Index: beginfresh.org/following-jesus/


Following Jesus Post Index:

Today I want to look at another command where Jesus tells us to rejoice. However, as I look at the context I find that some things need to to be done prior to you even having the opportunity to follow this statement. To be persecuted for His sake, we must be open to share our faith and live out our faith with those around us.

Matthew 5:11-12 (NKJV)

11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Remember when Peter said he would go with Jesus only to realize he would deny him 3 times before the rooster crowed. Question: Would you be willing to die for your faith in Christ? Yes, No? If you answered yes, I’d like to ask a follow up question…Would you be willing to go up to the door of a nearby neighbor you’ve never met, and share just how much Jesus loves them? I confess, I struggle with this. Why? It’s fear, the Idol that I have put over the one true God. I am in a place of repentance, changing my mind on how I see this, and asking God’s help in transforming my way of thinking. I need to be thinking less of how they may take it in a negative way and focus more of why I’d want to share that with them – because Jesus loves them also, and I am to love them as well…

I believe many would agree with me that the second question would be very easy to accomplish when compared to the first, yet so many of us struggle with complete surrender. Lord help us.

I believe this command, the command to rejoice, would be something that would come natural from the blessing poured upon us when we are persecuted for our faith – as we continue standing firm in our faith. Maybe not in that moment, but when you live a life we’re you are continually knocking on Heaven’s door Jesus will answer.


Following Jesus: Commands of our Lord Jesus can all be summed up by loving God, and others as yourself. Jesus also says, “If you love me, keep my commands. ~ John 14:15”

So what are his commands? As we take this one verse at a time, yesterday I posted about his command to repent with verse Matthew 4:17. Two verses later we come across another command; to follow Him

Matthew 4:19 New King James Version (NKJV)
19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

So what does it mean to you to follow Jesus? Here is a video I found with a
few brothers and sisters answering that very question.

You may also want to check out gotquestions for a more in-depth study on this.
gotquestions.org/follow-Christ.html


Following Jesus: Commands of our Lord Jesus can all be summed up by loving God, and others as yourself. Jesus also says, “If you love me, keep my commands. ~ John 14:15”

So what are his commands? We’ll take this one verse at a time.

Matthew 4:17: New King James Version (NKJV)
17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

What is it to repent?

Answer: Many understand the term repentance (from the Greek word metanoia) to mean “turning from sin.” This is not the biblical definition of repentance. In the Bible, the word repent means “to change one’s mind.” The Bible also tells us that true repentance will result in a change of actions (Luke 3:8-14; Acts 3:19). Acts 26:20 declares, “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.” The full biblical definition of repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action. ~ Read more gotquestions.org/repentance.html

Grace Leads To True Repentance

(About 7 minutes long)

1 John 4:19: We love because he first loved us