Jesus Christ, Our Example
I am happy to let you know that the study of the Gospel of Luke by Pearl Hamilton is now available for download on the Disciplers Bible Studies website. What a blessing it was to re-read Pearl’s notes as we edited and formatted and become immersed in the amazing life of our Lord Jesus Christ, God incarnate, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:7). Along the way, I was humbled and filled with gratitude at His willingness to lay aside His riches in heaven to become a human being, to live a perfect life among us and give His life for us. I think, more than any of the other gospels, Luke portrays the humanity of Jesus. In fact, as I read and considered Jesus’ impact upon all of life and history, it became clear to me that He is much more than the Son of God, Savior of the world. He is the supreme human being!
In the thirty-three years He was on this earth, Jesus gave us the perfect example of how to be a human being. He was a compassionate servant to others, He forgave, healed, comforted, taught, defended the oppressed, silenced His detractors with incomparable words of wisdom, lived in perfect obedience to His Father, and became our example of righteousness. In the end, He laid down His life so we could follow his steps (1 Peter 1:22) and become the kind of human beings God intended us to be.
It is through Jesus’ life that God’s word teaches us how to be truly human. For becoming a human being goes beyond principles, ideas, programs, and even beyond truth -- what good are any of these things if we do not live as human beings, following in the steps of Jesus? Are you an excellent student, or defender of your faith, a good witness, a moral person? Are you a generous person -- with your money, your time, your expertise, or your knowledge? Although these can all be good things, none of them are what Jesus calls us to be. By His life, He calls us first of all to be human beings -- genuine human people who live His example of humanity before others in the face of a world that all too often degrades humanity and the dignity of true human existence. God became man in Jesus Christ. He did not become a principle, a program, a law, or an attitude. He became a human being. The life of Jesus Christ on earth shows us how to be fully human, and that is what our world needs. It needs Jesus Christ lived in each heart, each soul, and each life every day.
No matter who you are or where you live, the need is the same -- for real human beings who emulate Christ in their thoughts, their emotions, their actions, and their interactions. Who do you know who needs you to be human today? How will you be Jesus to that person and to the world around you? When we judge others, promote ourselves, or our opinions, isolate ourselves from those outside our circle, or selfishly pursue our own interests, we are not being human for we are not following Jesus’ example.
Perhaps the real challenge is to turn away from following the examples of those who are lesser than Christ, to look beyond the horizons of our limited sight and fix the eyes of our hearts on Jesus. And follow Him.
Will you come with me?
The Marvelous Gift of God's Word
It has been a busy morning. Phone calls from across the country, emails to answer, lessons to email or pack up to send. Then the traffic was backed up because of road-work. I couldn’t turn into the post office because a Handi-van was parked, blocking the entrance. There was just one line at the drug store and it was backed up so far down the aisle that I couldn’t see the check-out stand. I decided on the way home that I needed something soothing, comforting so I stopped at Starbucks. Another line! I counted and there were twelve people in front of me. I don’t know why I waited but I did and that only compounded the stress.
I was so thankful to be home, to sit down with my Bible and my decaf mocha. I usually spend time in the word before I go out in the morning, but there were lessons I wanted to get off in the early mail today. Anyway, as I sat down and opened my Bible to read, a light bulb popped up above my head -- a thought -- one which really should not be new to me, but one whose implications I had not consciously considered before. I want to share it with you today. Here we go.
God’s word is never stress provoking. God never makes you wait in line before serving you His comfort, encouragement, and wisdom. He serves everybody at once! He never blocks the road, but graciously opens the way to truth and understanding when you go to Him. He even sends the Helper, His Holy Spirit to guide and to illuminate your mind.
God’s word is always calming and comforting. It is always true. God never lies, He never jokes around and then says, “Only kidding.” He is never abusive, intolerant, mocking, insensitive, disparaging, arrogant, uncaring, self-serving, opportunistic, malicious, reckless, thoughtless, or miserly. God never changes the meaning of words! Even with the passage of centuries His words and meanings are the same. What blessed assurance! Salvation, grace, forgiveness, sin, deliverance, mercy, hope, love, truth, marriage -- they all have the same meaning now that they had when, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the writer first put pen to paper (or papyrus). That means that God is trustworthy and it gives me security as I sit in my favorite chair in the corner of my room and humbly and gratefully immerse myself in His word and let it permeate my mind, my heart, and my soul.
In God’s word I find peace (not as the world gives). I find security, honesty, direction for my life, hope, and succor, an old fashioned word that means “support in times of hardship and distress.” In ancient days it was a military word that referred to reinforcements of troops. Succor comes from the Latin “succurrere” meaning “run to the help of”. God’s word always succors me. It runs to my help, meeting me in the stresses, griefs, persecutions, and trials of my day. Through His word, God sends reinforcements to my mind, heart, and soul. No wonder I look forward to my time spent with God in His word every day. As I quietly and patiently read, He lifts me from the harsh realities of this world and focuses my eyes on Him and on His point of view. I step out of any “worldview” and into His “sovereign view”. I am graciously reproved, renewed, refreshed, and reinvigorated. I am ever so grateful for this marvelous gift God has given. As I read the Bible, God speaks His words to me and His words succor me. He desires to do that for you too! Have you taken the time to allow God to succor you today?
With love ~ Suzie
I have been involved in Disciplers since 1987, as a discussion leader, teacher, writer, and now as director. I am profoundly committed to the stewardship of this ministry which God has entrusted to me for a time. God’s word is the chief joy of my life. I cherish my personal time in the word, and I am filled with gratitude to be able to share His word with you, my fellow disciples in Christ.