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Friday: Further Thought ~ Sharing the Story of Jesus — 13 Comments

  1. The real story of Jesus is that he went about doing good.

    How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. Acts 10:38 KJV

    He took every opportunity to heal the sick, listen to those who needed help, and play with children. It was not all talk and no action.

    One of the most effective tellers of the story of Jesus that I have known was Carmel's grandmother. She was one of the happiest Christians I have known. She was always singing hymns as she went about her housework. She was almost "unflappable" (I hope non-Australians will know what I mean.) I remember times when Pop would invite a family to come for lunch after church without consulting Ma. Ma would disappear into the kitchen, singing away, and in twenty minutes would tell everyone to sit up at the table - lunch was ready. She would scold Pop off a bit and tell him that she would hit him over the head with a book if he didn't watch it. But she said it with a laugh that meant she had really enjoyed the challenge.

    She brought up four children including Carmel's mum. Then Carmel's father died from Leukemia when Carmel and her sister were quite young. Carmel's mother, through circumstances, was unable to look after them so Ma became a mother for the second time around and brought up Carmel and her sister.

    Her practical down-to-earth Christianity of helping family, neighbours, and strangers, spoke volumes more than any study of theology. She took every opportunity to help someone in need. When she died (at 90 or 91 - there was always a family dispute about that because the record of her birth has been lost) the church was full of people who wanted to remind us of the love of Jesus that Ma had shared with them. I've only told a couple of stories about Ma because time and space are limited, but her cheerful unselfish Christianity was a shining example of telling the story of Jesus by "doing good". Pop was Ma's collaborator in all of this. He used to say, "Feed them first and they will listen!"

    The story of Jesus needs to be told in simple practical ways.

  2. At the beginning of this week I challenged myself to write a short description of the Character of Jesus because the Story of Jesus is His Character. Naturally it could fill many libraries, John 21:25, but below is my summary.

    The first thing I discovered was that the character of the Father, Son & Spirit, because they are one, is the same.
    He is consistent - the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Heb 13:8, Mal 3:6, Rev 1:4, 8
    He is all powerful but condescended to take on human form to show he understands our experiences. Heb 4:15
    His purpose, mission in life, was to seek and to save the lost. John 3:16, Luke 19:10, Heb 7:25, Eze 34:16, Matt 1:21, Matt 9:12-13, Matt 18:11
    The following texts describe the main attributes of His Character:

    Exo 34:6 ISV  "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and filled with gracious love and truth.
    Exo 34:7 ASV having lovingkindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin; and will by no means clear the guilty.
    Luk 4:18-19 KJV  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised/oppressed,  (19)  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

  3. God is the God of the impossible! And an individual experience with Jesus is essential for the growth of faith! Jesus represents the most vivid proof of God's love for mankind. In Him we exist and can closely relate to our Creator, the best way to get to the Divine.

  4. The lesson writer says: "A nominal faith in Christ, which accepts Him merely as the Savior of the world, can never bring healing to the soul." I agree and wonder if in the Western World the affluence and industrial, materialistic lifestyle has allowed our relationship with the Savior Jesus to deteriorate to just 'another networking partner' who can provide benefits to one's struggle in this life?'

    James 1:17 - "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
    What do we understand this to mean - 'EVERY GOOD THING' is from above?
    Rom.8:14 -Paul says: "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin."
    Rom.8:18 - "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but HOW to perform that which is good I find not."
    So, when I do 'good' acts, it is Jesus' Holy Spirit's Presence in me that 'wills' the act of kindness. If I change my mind from ill(selfish) will to doing the 'right' thing, I am yielding to the Holy Spirit's presence. My portion in the act of 'doing' is determining with my will to yield my selfish ways to Jesus' Spirit and lend my body to act in the Way of the Light of Truth and Mercy, Love and Compassion - hopefully doing it with my whole heart!

    I think the greatest struggle for Christians is to fully appreciate that there is NOTHING GOOD IN *ME(I)(US)*. That which is good in us is not of the flesh, it is of the Spirit - Jesus' Spirit. Once our mind comes to understand this vital TRUTH, we will be liberated from our 'Self' and its deceptions, and live in the full Light of the Gospel of Love send by the Father to redeem mankind back to Himself - (uniting us with His Spirit, because He is Spirit).

    John4:24; John1:18; John5:37; We praise Him and tell Him how grateful we are that He has redeemed us from this wretched body of sin and invited us to live again in His Heavenly, spiritually descerned Light.
    It is the HEALING OF THE WHOLE SOUL that is at stake - mind, body, and SPIRIT - which Spirit is the most important aspect of man, because God is Spirit.

    • Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. Matt 25:45

      Brigitte- Doing good acts does not have to be the Holy Spirit telling people to do it, or the Holy Spirit living in people. I knew of agnostics, atheist, and other evil rulers have done good deeds. Humans were born with an innate desire to do good or bad. Every normal person has a sense of right and wrong, some appreciation of justice and fairness, etc. It takes more than just 'good doings' to be just with God.

      'We are to acknowledge His grace as made known through the holy men of old; but that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience.'

      The testimony of My own experience- Does God still speak to his church? Does God still speaks to his people? Does Jesus does anything without/before informing anyone?

      My testimony starts several years ago but is so relevant for this time. Some time ago there was a boom at my work place with jobs/extra time/etc. At that same time the Lord had given me a boom in my strength. I was given talents that I am aware of. Talents + extra time + strength = opportunities. I constantly asked the Lord if this was real? This lasted for over couple of years. I made great used of what the Lord had given to me. I used all three wisely- my talents, extra time and strength. The more I used them, the more the Lord gave them to me. There was one time I heard a voice saying to me that I must not buy a particular thing. I said, well, if the Lord don't want me to buy that he knew best.
      Moving forward I can now see what the Lord was doing. The Covid 19 came and greatly affected many. Because I listened and followed in the foot steps of Jesus leading, I have nothing to fair. My household is trusting in the hands of Jesus and I am trying to live out Prov 31:10-31

      What is Jesus doing for his people? Jesus still taking care of his own.

      • LYN LEW -Doing good acts is actually the results of the holy SPIRIT.
        Those whom Christ commends in the judgment may have KNOWN LITTLE of THEOLOGY, but they have CHERISHED His PRINCIPLES. Through the *INFLUENCE OF THE DIVINE SPIRIT* they have been a blessing to those about them. Even among the heathen are those who have cherished the SPIRIT OF KINDNESS; before the words of life had fallen upon their ears, they have befriended the missionaries, even ministering to them at the peril of their own lives. Among the heathen are those who worship God IGNORANTLY, those to whom the light is never brought by human instrumentality, yet they will not perish. Though ignorant of the written law of God, they have heard His voice speaking to them in nature, and have done the things that the law required. Their works are EVIDENCE that THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS TOUCHED THEIR HEARTS, and they are recognized as the children of God. {DA 638.2}

      • Hello Lyn -
        I base my understanding on Paul's statement: Rom.8:18 - 'For I know that in me (this is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me(this is all I can do); but HOW to perform that which is good I find not.'
        He states that we have the will to do good, but the spiritual power inherent in everything GOOD is resident in the Holy Spirit. If we could do GOOD by the power of OUR flesh, we would not need the Holy Spirit to cleanse us from all unrighteousness(self-focused righteousness); all we would need to do is do a lot of good acts and the more the better.

        As I wrote in my comment, the most difficult Truth for the Christian is to understand and accept that there is 'NOTHING *GOOD* IN ME'.
        *GOOD* is within the Domain of God - it is a spiritual quality!

  5. God is spirit ,and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. I don't know what is meant by God is spirit . Can someone explain to me what this means. How can I see a spirit or feel a spirit? I know I have been struggling to comprehend this. Please help

    • Rafaela, what I have come to see in what Jesus told the woman at the well about God is different than what I have thought before. This came when I saw how it is stated in the original language which is not "God is a spirit", but rather "Spirit the God"(Pneuma ho Theos).

      I see this meaning: God is not an idea or theory to discuss and debate over, but a living, breathing Person/Being who desires a living relationship with His sons and daughters. This relationship, called "worship", is in "spirit"(living) and in "Truth". So we must learn what this "Truth" is in order to worship God in a living(spirit) relation.

      Another thought is that God is our "breath", IF we exercise faith in Him. He is the origin of our life/breath, and our worship of Him is not just fitting, but necessary for our own benefit. This worship can only be correct if we know the Truth, which in Jesus' day was mingled with much error and falsehood.

      That's the brief description of my current understanding, as best as I can explain it.

      What I don't believe it is saying is that God is a spirit/ghost. Why would a "spirit" create such a physical universe?!

      • Thank you Yes I see God as a loving ,caring,and merciful being. Someone that my eyes will be able to see in heaven ,but when I read God is a spirit ,I could not understand it . Thank you for the explanation. It helps me a lot to read the lessons and the commentaries.

    • A person could make a long sermon of the answer to the question that you ask. However, I will try to be succinct.

      Understanding what “God is spirit” means must be determined from the context in which Jesus makes this statement to the Samaritan woman. Jesus was about to reveal to her who he is because she had asked him for his “living water.” And she has just discovered that he is a prophet (John 4:19), that is, someone who knows things that only God could know and who has been given the task of revealing this knowledge to others. That discovery has come from Jesus’ statement that she has had five husbands and is living with someone who is not her husband – a very uncomfortable truth that no stranger should know.

      Stunned by revelation of this truth and wanting to divert the conversation from the shame of her failed relationships, she raises a question of religious controversy between the Samaritans and the Jews. But Jesus knows her heart and longs to redeem this woman. The intent of his revelation is that she may know God loves her and strongly desires to have her as his daughter in his family.

      Jesus knows this woman believes the way she is living separates her from the love of God, so he leads her to the fundamental of true worship – a true relationship with God. The spirit that is in a person is the very source of their every thought, word and action. God is love, and that is the fundamental of his spirit and his truth that he reveals about himself. That Spirit of Love is the very source of his every thought, word and action toward each one of us. And that must be the fundamental of our spirit and our truth when we worship him because he first loved us.

      In spite of her life, this new revelation from Jesus awakens a dormant hope in this woman: "I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things." Because her life was a failure, she placed her hope in the coming Messiah who would tell her all things. “Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am he.’" (John 4:26.)

      This is why Jesus “had” to go through Samaria (John 4:4). There was someone who desperately needed to know that “God is spirit” and the Truth of the Spirit is his everlasting Love for each one of us.

      It is my hope and prayer that my attempted explanation of “God is spirit” has helped you to understand this Truth: God who is spirit loves you with the same everlasting Love, as has been revealed through his Son, Jesus, to this Samaritan woman.

    • Hello Rafaela - Your question has touched on the most important aspect of a Christian's life: - 'to fully understand who/what the essence of the human being really is'! To find asweres will take us back to the beginning of mankind; Gen.1:26 -31
      V.26 - "And God said, 'Let US (the Triune God of Creation) make man in our image, after our likeness: .....'. Man was destined to have spiritually based fellowship with his Creator for time infinite. Even though man was a creature of time and space, he was made to commune with those beings who reside in Heaven. The ability to 'eat' from Eden's Tree of Life would have provided access to 'everlasting life' - but man 'sinned'.

      What do we know about the Image of God as we were made after: 'their likeness'? God communed freely with man before his separation from Eden; He communed with Him through His Spirit; the Spirit of God which He placed into man at the time He formed him. Then, 'Adam and Eve' could understand Him perfectly well - they were ONE in His Spirit - the Spirit of God, their Creator.
      The separation came and man could not commune through God's Spirit any longer; this was the beginning of the work of Grace to redeem(re-establish) man's ability to be able to spiritually communicate with Heaven by the Spirit of the Creator - God promissed us the Messiah.

      John 4:21-24 - (24)"God is (a) Spirit: and they that worship him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth." God is not worshiped at a certain location or through affiliation with a certain race; He is Spirit and Truth, and this is spiritually discerned.
      V.23 - "But the hour cometh, and NOW IS, when the TRUE worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him."
      Jesus' and His Gospel Message was provided to mankind RE-present the Spirit of the Creator Father - His Holy Spirit of Compassion and Truth, which was lost to mankind through/because of the separation.

      The essence of our 'God' whom we believe in is perceived by man through the remnant, the remaining spark of God's initial spiritual Light. As we walk by unwavering faith, He will continue to increase our ability to perceive His spiritual Truth and the Nature of His Presence in us - which is 'Compassionate Love contained in His Word of Truth'; then man can again walk with God.

      After the departure of Jesus, His Spirit was offered to all who believe God's Son who's Spirit is the same as His Father's, and is the same Spirit who now resides in all who believe and love God with all their hearts and being, and who love their fellow man as(in the same way) God has loved them.

  6. God is a spirit....

    Rafaela, the bible from Genesis to Revelation shows us that our God, our Creator operates as an unseen BEING. We humans cant see a spirit, ye if we hear a voice speaking to us and we look around and cant see anyone we know it is an unseen BEING (Spirit). Christ came as human to dwell among us yet he was divine. He never uses his divinity.
    When we look in Exodus and in Acts, we can see men having erected several things/statues/monuments and called their gods for the purpose of worship. Ex 20:3-5 the Lord had condemned that practice. But humans cont despite the warning from the Lord. In Rev 14:6-7 we see humans are called back to worship Jesus as their creator. We sinful humans cant see God presently in his glory as a Spirit, if we see Jesus now as he is,we will be consumed from his brightness. Exodus 3:1-22 when Moses had an encounter with God as a Spirit. Elijah encounter the Lord as a Spirit see, 1 Kings 19:11-13. We cant see God yet we worship him in Spirit and in truth. This can only be done by faith.


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