What does it mean to be like Jesus?

We shouldn’t be surprised that things are getting worse, should we? If I remember correctly, the Bible explicitly told us that would happen (2 Timothy 3:13). But when things seem to be falling apart in the world around us, we have to constantly re-evaluate what it means to be like Jesus.

Does being like Jesus means we have to be a Republican? Does it mean we have to hate the LGBTQ community? Does it mean that we should cloister ourselves under the ground and wait for the end of Armageddon so we don’t have to expose ourselves to so much sin?

It seems to me that even a lot of people who claim to follow Jesus Christ are confused about how to be like Him in our current world-wide circumstances. Especially Americans. *Mentally preparing for backlash against this post.* I see people posting things like, “Well, they said this,” or “This person said that.” You know what? I don’t care. I want to know what Jesus said. And so here is a list of things Jesus told us to do as a reminder for me and anyone else who needs it.

Photo by Bruno Martins on Unsplash

What does it mean to be like Jesus?

I’m not going to ease into this, so if it smarts… good. I hope it hurts you just as much as it hurts me. Let’s feel the pain together and try to be more like Him, shall we? Feel the burn, people.

“But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, ‘You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.’” – Mark 10:42-45 NKJV

Whatever we think we’re entitled to… we aren’t. It’s just that simple. We are instructed to be servants. We are instructed to be last. Why? Because if we do that, we’re in good company with Jesus… the One who gave “His life a ransom for many.” Jesus sacrificed His own rights and entitlements unto death, and He’s the only one that actually deserved worship, praise, and any other thing He could be given. What should that fact do to our perspectives? God, I pray you would break us. Help us to see things the way You do.

“’Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.’” – Mark 11:24-25 NKJV

This verse is much more than a simple exhortation. Instead, this verse invites us to investigate to the very last recesses of our souls and ask the question, “Do I have anything against ANYONE?” But let’s be specific. I want to ask a question I think every single one of us needs to answer before our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… Is there a specific group of people we hate? Do we justify our hatred by saying that this group is a group of sinners? Our entire world is one large group of sinners. I am a sinner. You are a sinner. We are all sinners. Jesus came to us while we were still His enemy in sin and died on the cross to cover our sin debt! Why do we assume He can’t do that for everyone?

How many of our prayers (unselfish prayers that honor God and fulfill His purposes in our lives) are hindered because we have things against others? It’s a question worth thinking about.

I’m just going to leave this one here.

“‘Therefore do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” ‘For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’” – Matthew 6:31-34 NKJV

Also… here’s a verse I think most of us don’t believe anymore.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:10 NKJV

Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

How Much Like Him Are We?

Maybe, like me, you’re frustrated with the state of the Church. Every day I have to resist the urge to become disillusioned with other Christians who say racist things or defend hateful positions or blame victims for being violated. It’s hard. They are not accurately representing Christ and that makes actually representing Him a lot harder. These days when I tell non-Christians that I am a Christian their enthusiastic response of meeting someone new dulls. That breaks my heart because it shouldn’t be that way. Jesus was passionate, compassionate, loving, and full of merciful truth. How much like that are we, His followers?

A lot of time I just want to keep to myself as to avoid all the posturing and arguments, but I know that’s not the answer. The only thing that gets me through, that helps me to emerge from my introvert cocoon everyday is to remember what Jesus said, what He did, and how He still transforms hopeless bitter people like I used to be into liberated loving children of His Kingdom.

The Short Version

I know you want me to answer the questioned I posed at the beginning of this post. I could do multiple posts on each (and in some cases I have covered these topics in past posts or in one of my books)… but the short answers are: Jesus would not be a Republican (or any politician… He’s the King), Jesus loves the LGBTQ community and wants to see them come to a saving knowledge of Himself, and to answer the third question… no bunker… we should avoid separating from people who aren’t in the church. In the world, not of the world doesn’t translate to completely apart form the world.

May the verses shared in this post penetrate our hearts, minds, and souls to be the change we need to see in today’s church body. Amen?

“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” – Jesus (via John 9:5 NKJV)

Sincerely adorned,

Kristin

Prolonged Waiting

“Can you trust Jesus Christ where your common sense cannot trust Him? Can you venture out with courage on the words of Jesus Christ, while the realities of your commonsense life continue to shout, ‘It’s all a lie’? When you are on the mountaintop, it’s easy to say, ‘Oh yes, I believe God can do it,’ but you have to come down from the mountain to the demon-possessed valley and face the realities that scoff at your Mount-of-Transfiguration belief.” -Oswald Chambers

The last few months have been really rough for me spiritually. If we’re being honest, I think we can all agree that seasons of prolonged waiting are no fun. The product is amazing (read James 1), but these seasons create plenty of growing pains, don’t they? Sometimes God tells us something, and it doesn’t happen in the timeline of when we assume it will happen, and it’s hard. It’s just hard to wait. I don’t know what else to say. There were so many verses that God gave me about waiting and trusting Him through this period, and while they made the waiting more bearable, I have still been struggling.

prolonged waiting

This weekend every member of my family had a nasty cold. I am still dealing with a cough and sinus headaches, but I’ve been able to function today, which I appreciate. When I get sick, I spend a lot of time praying. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s because when you’re sick, you just need your parents. Yes, even as an adult. But my parents are thousands of miles away, so I spend a lot of time talking to my Heavenly Father. I actually think God caused the sickness on purpose to draw my husband and I closer to Him over the last few days. Our weekend had been jam packed, and slowly we canceled a few things and some other things got canceled until there was nothing to do but hang out as a sick family, and spend a lot of time praying once the kids were in bed. We also watched Star Trek TNG and Fixer Upper on Netflix, but there was definitely a lot of prayer mixed in.

I still don’t feel like going into all of the details about why we’re waiting and what we’re waiting for, and I don’t know if I ever will be, but I finally had this realization this morning. I trust God implicitly with the most important things in my life, my family. That was a lesson God taught me early in my marriage when my daughter had to have skull reconstruction surgery as a 3-month-old, but the things I learned back then still stick with me. If I can trust God with something so important, then why can’t I trust Him to take care of something I care about less? It doesn’t make sense. I know I can trust Him, and I just need to do it. Am I tired of waiting? Yes, I’m exhausted. I’m weary. I have no more strength. But God is the only One that never grows weary, so I know I can turn to Him to carry this for me until He gives us our answer. I have hope in Him. Here are a few verse chunks that God has used to encourage me lately. I pray they are an encouragement to you as well.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” -Isaiah 40:28-31

“Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.” -Psalm 25:3

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” -Romans 5:5

“Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.” -Isaiah 30:18

“Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” -Psalm 27:14

Sincerely Adorned,

Kristin

The Basics: Trusting God

If You Don’t Know Him, You Won’t Believe Him

This is the second post in the series, “The Basics,” which goes through the basic things we believe as Christians.

Today I wanted to talk more about why it is important to know God. In the last post, “Getting To Know God,” I talked about why it is important to know what the bible is, how to use it, and why we all need to let our relationship with the Lord get way more serious. I quoted many bible verses. The next thing we need to talk about is trusting God.

Trusting God_2 the bible is a love letter

As a Christian there are certain perks (or advantages) that we have, because we know Someone that has inside information into everything. God knows everything that has happened in the past, and He knows everything that will happen in the future. He is all knowing (or omnipotent). In fact He created everything, so He knows exactly how things are supposed to work. Not only does He know, but He gave us the bible, which is a love letter that contains details about how everything in our lives should be approached for maximum joy, growth, and fruitfulness.

Can you imagine what your life would be like if you had a friend that knew literally everything (let’s also try to imagine that this person isn’t extremely arrogant. I know, unlikely, but stay with me). Wouldn’t you ask their advice before you made decisions? Wouldn’t the fact that you knew someone with access to any type of information change the way you live your life? Let me throw one more factor into this hypothetical situation. Imagine you have not known this person for very long and you don’t know if you can trust them. Wouldn’t your ability to trust that person shape the way you behave when they give you advice or information? Read more