AHA – Whom are we ministering to? Who are our friends? Who has Jesus placed in our lives that need HIM?
Scripture Reference: Matthew 2:15 – “While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with Him and His disciples, for there were many who followed Him.” NIV
Galatians 5 – The Fruits of the Spirit
I was recently listening to a “Joycast” by Margaret Feinberg that included Christine Caine. She is one of my favorites, hands down by far. The speaker asked Christine “which meal with Jesus would she have liked to have been a part of?” The speaker gave her several to choose from, and Christine chose the wedding at Cana. She talked about how awesome it would have been to see Jesus’ first miracle. I am in total agreement with that – and actually loved that entire Podcast.
The Podcast got me thinking – “What meal would I love to have with Jesus?” Mine is entirely different that theirs.
I want to be in the room when Jesus sits down at Matthew the tax collector’s house. (Luke 5) I want to be around that table when He is talking to them. I want to hear how Jesus handles the tough topics that I am most certain had to come up while He was with these individuals. The Bible even says that the Pharisees and scribes wondered why Jesus hung out and even ate with “notorious sinners”. (Luke 15)
The Bible promises in the book of John that Jesus is going to return someday. He has gone to prepare a place for us. (John 14). I have often wondered if Jesus came and visited today, where would that be? I know that the Bible even says we will all be able to see Him that day when He returns. But If he were to come back just for a visit today – for a miracle, or to teach someone, would he come to my house? I’m not so sure. My house is full of believers. My daughter and I both have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. I believe that Jesus wants to visit those who don’t know Him. He wants to teach them something that they really need to know. He wants to heal someone who has a broken heart or a broken spirit. Although my heart might be broken from time to time, or my spirit, He really wants to find those who do not have a relationship with Him – and show them really who He is. That He is not about legalism – like the Pharisees of the day. That He loved them. Each one of them sitting around that table – no matter who they were – not matter what sin they had in their lives.
Jesus calls us to have the same conversations with people. It might not be at the table, but he calls us to love as He loved. Jesus had a messy ministry – it wasn’t always happy – He healed the unloved and freed them from their demons. He healed the ones that no one wanted any part of – those with leprosy, those that had been bleeding for 12 years and considered unclean. He. Healed. Them. He didn’t stand in judgment of them – He healed them. On most occasions, He didn’t point out to them how they had messed up. He spent time with them, and He healed them. Did they all become followers of Jesus? The bible doesn’t say that. It does say that they “followed Him”. But even His own disciples that He spent 3 years “doing ministry with” left Him in the end. But they all came back. We would not be here without their strategy to share Jesus with the world.
The verse of scripture that is coming to mind right now is Philippians 4:8 – “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, thing about these things.” I believe Jesus was trying to show others a better way of life. If we can wrap our brains around these truths – and the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5 – “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, good, faithfulness, gentleness and self control” – and if we can treat others with these things in mind – I believe we can show others truly the love of Jesus. I believe these things are the very essence of what Jesus preached to those that followed Him. He not only preached it, He lived it. He exemplified it.
Yes – I know that we are talking about Jesus. But I know that those same traits are available for me to exhibit in my life everyday. Will I do that? No – I won’t because I am sinful. But can I try? Yes. And will carry these traits out the best way I know how – trusting Jesus to help me all along the way.
I saw a sign at a church one day that said “Share Jesus. Use words if necessary.” (Taken from quote possibly by St. Francis of Assisi). That is the way that I want to live. Most people are going to learn who we are and what we are about by our actions. Especially if we claim to be followers of Jesus. They want to see how we handle the “mess ups” in our lives, etc. Do we handle those situations like Jesus would, or do we quickly become what the world is so used to?
Who do we have sitting around our tables? Who are we ministering to? Are our lives as believers messy? How can we include more of those that need to hear the life changing message of Jesus into our lives?
JESUS – HELP ME TO BE AWARE OF THOSE THAT NEED YOU. HELP ME SHOW THEM WHO YOU ARE SIMPLY BY THE WAY I LIVE MY LIFE. HELP ME NOT TO JUDGE THOSE AROUND ME. THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME. AMEN.
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