February 11, 2011 – Stanley

Our Inseparable Relationship Romans 8:31-39

Far too many relationships in today’s world are uncertain. Disunity is found in marriages, churches, and international alliances. Yet there’s one relationship that is sure and permanent.

The Lord designed people for intimate fellowship with Him. His love toward each of us is evident throughout the Bible. In fact, there is nothing tangible, intangible, past, present, or future that can separate believers from the Father’s love. John 10:14 draws a comparison between Jesus and a good shepherd—a man whose ultimate task is providing for and protecting the flock. Christ’s character is one of passionate care for His people. First John 4:16 clearly states, “God is love.” If we believe the Bible, then we cannot deny this fact about His nature.

We also see evidence of divine love through the Lord’s gifts and actions. For example, He created us in His image (Gen. 1:26). He sent His only Son to die in our place, and He forgives us of our sin debt (1 Cor. 15:3). John 15:15 tells us that Christ calls us His friends—and what’s more, when we trust in Jesus, God adopts us and considers us His children (Rom. 8:15). He even blesses us with an Intercessor and Helper—the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). The Word is clear: God loves us passionately.

The affection we experience in our families is only a glimpse of the great compassion and care that God has for you. Think about the people you treasure most. Imagine what you would be willing to do if they experienced a need. How much more will our heavenly Father be devoted to you!

February 11, 2011 – Begg

Imitate Jesus

And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

Acts 4:13

A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ. You have read lives of Christ, beautifully and eloquently written, but the best life of Christ is His living biography, written out in the words and actions of His people. If we were what we profess to be, and what we should be, we would be pictures of Christ; yes, such striking likenesses of Him that the world would not have to hold us to the mirror and say, “Well, it seems somewhat of a likeness”; they would, when they saw us, exclaim, “He has been with Jesus; he has been taught by Him; he is like Him; he has caught the very idea of the holy Man of Nazareth, and he works it out in his life and everyday actions.”

A Christian should be like Christ in his boldness. Never blush to own your Christianity; your profession will never disgrace you: Take care you never disgrace that. Be like Jesus, very valiant for your God.

Imitate Him in your loving spirit; think kindly, speak kindly, and do kindly, that men may say of you, “He has been with Jesus.” Imitate Jesus in His holiness. Was He zealous for His Master? So should you be, going about doing good. Do not waste time; it is too precious. Was He self-denying, never looking to His own interest? Be the same. Was He devout? Then be fervent in your prayers. Did He defer to His Father’s will? So submit yourselves to Him. Was He patient? So learn to endure. And best of all, as the highest portraiture of Jesus, try to forgive your enemies, as He did; and let those sublime words of your Master, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” always ring in your ears. Forgive, as you hope to be forgiven. Heap coals of fire on the head of your enemy by your kindness to him. Good for evil, remember, is Godlike.

Be Godlike then; and in all ways and by all means so live that all may say of you, “He has been with Jesus.”