Spiritual Director · February 28, 2017

Devote #8

God’s Word

Sometimes when I read the Word of God first thing in the morning, it’s kind of like losing the warm water in your shower. If you can fathom that feeling you remember how startled you were, it almost took your breath away. One minute you’re standing beneath the nice warmth of water cascading down on you, when all of a sudden, without having touched the dial or no previous notification, it turns into a immediate, death defying feat to either get out of the stream of coldness or turn the dial back up. Your once pleasant adventure of serenity now has left you shivering.

Here’s my cold wake up call this morning. It’s from 1 John 2:6 (CEV)…

“If we say we are His, we must follow the example of Christ.”

That’s pretty bold… Pretty clear. As a matter of fact, crystal clear.

Let’s put it another way… If you claim to be a Christian – you should be acting like Jesus.

But… What does that mean?

Well… Jesus loved everyone. And truly loved them. He cared about whether or not they were sick, He put their needs first. He went out of His way to help. He taught them. He cared if they understood Him or not. He gave up what He wanted on many occasions to help other people.

He healed the sick because He trusted fully in the Father. Not that He couldn’t heal, but He, being man, allowed God to fully work through Him. Why? To be an example.

He didn’t get angry at people for the selfish ways they acted. He was selfless and calm. Put together. In control of His emotions, His anger, His lust, His pride. He controlled Himself. He wasn’t controlled by His flesh. And that’s only a small sample of the way He lived His life.

And I can honestly tell you – that I’m not fully capable of any of these. I mess these up on a daily basis. I avoid, I ignore, I push back, I get angry, I get even, I yell. I’m not anything like Jesus. Talk about a cold wake up call!

But I’m trying. And that’s where the difference is. He encourages us to be as much like Him as we possibly can – and He makes a way for us to do that… but when we fail, which we have, and will, then He doesn’t immediately banish us to hell. He comforts us and picks us up and dusts us off and then says, “We’ll try again tomorrow.”

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today:

If you stopped trying, let Him pick you up, dust you off, and allow you to start trying again. It’s a new day.

I don’t always live my life like Jesus. Sometimes I don’t even try. Forgive me. Wash me and clean me. Holy Spirit, walk with me each moment of the day and help me live like my Savior. Jesus, in Your name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.