Like a Child

Like a Child

Jesus in one of his greatest illustrations used a child to teach an important lesson from a question that was asked wrong. In Matthew’s Gospel, the disciples asked Jesus, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:1 NKJV)?  Wrong question!!  First of all, God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are the greatest in the Kingdom and after that does it really matter?  The disciples were still contending for the top spot and it was already taken; the great paradox of the Kingdom, if you are seeking the top spot you have just disqualified yourself.
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When I Look Into Their Eyes

When I Look Into Their Eyes

I have seen some pitiful folks in my time. It is not the ragged clothes I see or their crippled limbs but their eyes that give me a glimpse of their misery and hopelessness.  I believe every person was granted to BE by God; this in itself makes me to know that there is dignity in every life.  Many choose to go a path that is not God’s best but some seem to have it thrust upon them by poverty, abuse, sickness, or where they were born.  I have come to know with more awareness and certainty of the dignity of every human being.  I know Christ loves them just as He loved the women He saved from a stoning, the demoniac He delivered from legions of demons, and even my wretched soul.

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Revelation of Jesus

Revelation of Jesus

How many cold hearts have yearned for salvation’s heat but found no ember in my heart?

Who has longed for the peace of Christ but found only trouble on my tongue?

 

What number looked for Jesus but found no resemblance of His image in my life?


 What crippled beggar has longed for someone with the hope of Jesus but my feet never sought him out?

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The Unlikely Messiah

The Unlikely Messiah

Hollywood tries to portray Jesus as a robed and sandaled Fabio. But according to scripture there was nothing about His appearance to attract us to Him, “He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isaiah 53:2 NKJV).

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Salt of the Earth

Salt of the Earth

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matthew 5:13 NKJV).

SALTINESS OF CHRIST – Jesus used salt as an analogy to show the importance of being a true disciple.  Salt without its saltiness is contaminated salt.  In the time of Jesus, salt was derived as it is today from the sea or from salt deposits in the earth.  The salt we buy today is consistent and mostly free from contaminates but salt in the times of the New Testament was not so pure.  The water from the sea was evaporated leaving a residue of salt but the residue was not pure salt as it contained other minerals and contaminates of the sea.  When it was too contaminated, it lost its flavor or saltiness.  So it is with us, if our lives become contaminated with the sin of the culture we lose our distinctive flavor of Christlikeness and become ineffective in our influence.

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Be Jesus: To Someone, Somewhere, Somehow

I remember feeling a burden and calling from God to do ‘something’. At the time, I did not know what the ‘something’ was and what it would look like but the ‘something’ was nagging at my heart.  Eventually, I stepped out and began to do something.  The genesis of Pathway Outreach Ministries began with a ‘something’ — reaching out to kids in a local trailer park.  Pathway Outreach has evolved over time as God has opened more and different doors of opportunities.

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Like Jesus: Tenderhearted

We live in a world that celebrates bravado and even ruthless behavior.  Even the word meekness is thought to be weakness by many.  Biblical meekness is actually restrained power; having the power over someone but exercising mercy instead.

To be sure, Jesus spoke truth and at times He was very straightforward especially to the religious elite.  But we see the tenderhearted Jesus dealing with the woman about to be stoned for adultery, when He challenged the religious leaders, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first” (John 8:7 NKJV).  He forgave the sin without excusing the sin by telling her to go and sin no more.

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians encouraged Christians to, “…be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV).  This scripture is certainly a recipe for strength held in restraint (meekness).

So how does this play out in our lives?  We give people a little grace when we could nail them to the wall.  Instead of playing “gotcha” we can say, “I’ve got this!”  We all need the benefit of a doubt from time to time.

In my own life, I can replay the times when people had the power to cause me trouble but were kind to me and gave me mercy.  I need to pay some of that back if I can.  But more than a payback to my fellow earth dwellers, it is the response of one who has been forgiven by God through the death of His Son Christ Jesus.  Having received mercy, now I need to show mercy to others.

Today and next week, take advantage of opportunities to be kind, tenderhearted, merciful, and forgiving; when you do, you will look a lot like Jesus!

My prayer:  Father, thank you for your tender mercies toward me.  I did not deserve forgiveness but because of your Son, no stones were thrown my way out of judgment.  Help me to walk away from the pile of rocks once stacked against me so that I take none with me to hurl at others.  As one who was granted mercy and grace, help me to be likeminded as Christ.  Let me give what I have received from Your hands-grace and mercy.

–Harry Whitt

Pathway Outreach Ministries

New Life Christian Center