How do I have Life to the Full?

Jesus said that even He did not come to be served but to serve and be a ransom for many.  This was after His disciples had been arguing about who would be the greatest.

What is important to me?  Is it to be great?  Jesus said to do that I need to be the slave all.  This made no sense before I knew Christ.  To be a Jesus learner He said I must deny myself.  I must stop wanting what I “naturally want” and choose to do what I don’t naturally want.

Serving others does not come naturally for me.  A friend of mine once said that he has the “gift of being served”.  It still makes me laugh because I (and everyone else?) has the same gift.  Since a Christ follower follows in the footsteps Christ, He wants me to serve, right?  But does He want me to be a ransom, too?  Not in the sense that I can pay for someone else’s sins, but Jesus died to serve me, to love me.  Am I to die for others?  I interpret this as me needing to value others above myself and what I want.

I can serve someone without valuing them, but I can’t value someone without serving them.  And as long as the “I” is more important than “You”, I don’t value you like Jesus does.

 Jesus said for us to die to ourselves daily, to take up our cross (God’s purpose for our lives of serving Him by serving others) and follow Him.  I can’t do this without the Holy Spirit’s help.  Pastor Dr. Charles F. Stanley of suggests that, before I get out of bed in the morning, I ask the Holy Spirit to fill me with Himself and lead me through the day.  Clare DeGraaf author of the blog Following Jesus in Real Life (, see the top of this blog), suggests asking God to give me impressions during the day of how I can be used by Him to help others.

So with all this dying and serving others what’s in it for me?  Is this all self-denial and pain?  Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full”.  When I serve Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit, I come to know God in a way I have never known, and I feel fully alive!.  As Eric Liddell, Olympic 400 metre champion and missionary to China said in the movie Chariots of Fire, “When I run, I feel His pleasure”.

You can feel His pleasure too!  Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and lead you.  Then do what He says.  As Dr. Stanley says, “He will not ask you to do anything sinful or foolish”.  What God says will never contradict the Bible, if it does it is not the Holy Spirit speaking to you.  The devil will try to stop you, but as Jesus said, “take heart, I have overcome the world” and the devil.

Thankful and Grateful

Psalm 5:11-12 NIV84

11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.  

12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

I heard a loud grinding noise from the back of my car.  The back end was being pushed to the right.  I felt like God was telling me to turn the steering wheel ever so slightly to the right.  It seemed like an hour but lasted only a few seconds.  Finally the noise and pressure stopped and we both pulled over to the side of the expressway.

God was a literal shield for me that day and I am thankful and grateful to know Him and be protected by Him.  God stopped me from going into a deadly skid and roll at about 70 mph, when a young man (20 to 30), who was probably texting (according to the police officer), pressed into the left rear corner of my car.

I am not special.  God said He would protect me if I made Him my refuge.  I trust Him, I follow Him and I obey Him (very, very imperfectly) and He comes through on His promises.  He does what He decides is in His and my best interest.

And He will for you too.

God loves you just as much as He does me.  If you love Him and obey Him He takes responsibility for your welfare.  Read the Bible, do what it says, and watch God fulfill His promises to you.

Doing is believing.

 Psalm 8 NIV84

For the director of music. According to gittith. A psalm of David.

1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:
7 all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Matthew 21:4-16 NKJV

Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant 16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” 

And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read,

‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants 

You have perfected praise’?”

Jesus quoted this Scripture to the Pharisees to claim to them that the Scriptures were being fulfilled before their eyes.  He did not quote the latter half of the verse referring to silencing His enemies (the Pharisees) but because they were experts on the Scripture they would have known what the latter half of the verse said.  Jesus was witnessing to them that he is the Messiah and that they are God’s enemies.  But, the Pharisees didn’t believe the miracles Jesus’ performed were from God, so how could they believe He was from God?  Jesus said that anyone who obeys His words will know whether He comes from God or not.  How about you?  Do you want to know whether Jesus comes from God?

When I buy something and it doesn’t work I need to check to see if I followed the directions.  Our lives are like that.  God’s Word the Bible gives me the directions I need to know so that I can know God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit.  Just reading the Bible however, without actually doing what it says to do, just puffs me up with pride, (the opposite of love).

But, reading and doing God’s Word develops love in my heart.  Love for God.  And love for people.  When I help someone, like giving them a warm coat in the winter when they have none, or giving them food and schooling each day when they would otherwise go without… I am changed.  God changes me.  I feel a joy I’ve never known before.  The money I’ve spent on someone who needs it isn’t a loss or expense. It’s investing in them, investing in me, a gift given gratefully to God and investing in the joy we will all have in heaven.

So if you want to know Jesus, if you want to know if the Bible is true, then do what it says.  And Jesus will reveal Himself to you.


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