7 Steps in Christian Life :: Step 6 – Associate

Christian life begins with Christ and continues with Christ, but as we live for Christ, what are some of the steps one has to take.

The word ‘associate’, has several other words in the Thesaurus to describe it. Some of these words include accessory, accomplice, aid, ally, assistant, accompany, amalgamate, etc., all of which are reflective of “friendship”. To be an associate of someone is to be their friend. Abraham believed God and it was imputed unto him for righteousness and he was called the friend of God (James 2:23). The Bible records that God spoke with Moses face to face as a man speaks with his friend (Exodus 33:11). Moses in faith believed God, esteeming the reproach of Christ to be greater than the treasures of Egypt, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God (Hebrews 11:24-26). He gave up his allegiance and friendship with the world (Egypt) in order to be associated with (be a friend of) God and God spoke with him as a friend.

Step 6 in Christian life is to Associate – be the friend of Jesus Christ. This means that in order to associate with Jesus Christ, we need to have faith in him and we need to be disassociated from the things of this world, for the friendship of the world is enmity with God (James 4:4). Jesus himself said, you are my friends, if you do as you are commanded (love God and love others) and I no longer call you my servants, because a servant does not know what the lord (master) does, but I call you friends, because you are in my Father’s business. From being servants of God, we need to graduate to be friends with God, as was Abraham by faith (believing) and Moses by forsaking (breaking worldly ties), so that God can speak with us and confide with us his matters (the only ones that matter).

Points to ponder:
The Bible says, that there is a friend who sticks closer than his brother (Proverbs 18:24) and this friend is Jesus Christ. Jesus said, greater love has no one than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends (John 15:13) and he demonstrated even greater love than what he expressed us to personify, by dying for us, while we were still sinners and enemies of God (Romans 5:8). We need to graduate from being mere servants to being friends with God, i.e.,be associated with him, having faith in him and forsaking the treasures of this world. In other words, as we mature in our Christian life, we need to be willing to give our life for Jesus, our friend, for there is no greater love than that. Can Jesus call you and me, his friend i.e., to say can he trust you and me to give our life for him as he did for us?

James 2:23 (KJV)
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Exodus 33:11 (KJV)
11 And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

Hebrews 11:24-26 (KJV)
24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

John 15:12-14 (KJV)
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Discipleship Series :: The Compassion

How can one tell if you are a disciple of Jesus or not? The short answer is “love”. In fact, Jesus expresses, that all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another (John 13:35). But what kind of love must this be? The answer is given by Jesus as well. We must love one another as Jesus loved us (John 13:34). But what kind of love is this that Jesus loved us? He loved us with love that is greater than great love, for great love has one, who is willing to lay down their life for their friends, but while we were still sinners (enemies, not friends of God), Jesus loved us and gave his life for us. In like manner, we must have compassion and¬† be willing to lay down our lives (i.e., be selfless) for one another.

Point(s) to ponder:
Are you a disciple of Jesus? or in other words, “Do you have compassion?”; “Are you willing to lay down your life for the other?” The same are the questions, I ask myself.

John 13:34-35 (KJV)
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Always Holding Someone Up

Always Holding Someone UpThe man, whom renowned Christian evangelist, Billy Graham expressed “I think he had personally touched more lives than anybody that I have ever known” is Dawson Trotman, founder of the Christian organization, The Navigators, whose focus is “to know Christ Jesus and to make Him known.” But Dawson Trotman is not only known for his life but for his death as well.

The July 2, 1956 issue of the Time Magazine in its opening paragraph of the article entitled “Religion: The Navigator” was as follows – “Dawson Trotman clambered back into a motorboat one day last week after two hours of waterskiing on Schroon Lake, N.Y. He was dog-tired, but before he settled down he asked one of the two girls in the boat, Allene Beck, if she could swim; when she shook her head, he traded places with her so she would be in a safer spot. Minutes later the speeding boat bounced on a wave, and both of them, the 50-year-old man and the girl, shot into the water. He swam to her and held her head above water until the boat could circle back and she was hauled aboard. But as hands reached down to seize Trotman’s hand, he sank out of sight.” Dawson Trotman died by drowning, as he saved the life of another in the throes of death. The caption under his picture in the article appropriately summed up his life as it read “Always Holding Someone Up.” The article also aptly concluded with “He lived to save others” and “His death was just the way he would have planned it.”

Dawson’s life and death emulated the mind of Christ as expressed in Philippians 2.¬†Jesus lived and died to save others; you and me and he expects us to do the same. The expression of great love is where one lays down his life for another. True love is expressed in not allowing others to sink into the miry pit of sin and death, but holding them up so that they can be reconciled with God. True and great love is summarily “Always Holding Someone Up.”

Points to ponder
1. Can it be said of our life, that we lived to save others?
2. Can it be said of you and me, that we are “Always Holding Someone Up?”

John 15:13 (KJV)
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Where is the Love?

Singing against a backdrop of glow-in-the-dark words that spelled the word “LOVE”, singer Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas adapted and sang the song “Where is the Love?” during the 2011 Super Bowl XLV halftime, as an appeal to Barack Obama, the present President of the United States of America. Interestingly, the question, “Where is the Love?” should really be “Who is THE LOVE?”. I wonder as to how many can answer this question – Who is the Love?

1 John 4:7-8 states, “Beloved, let us love on another, for love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God, He that loveth not, knowteth not God, for God is Love”. The Love of Jesus Christ is also the greatest for greater love has no man, than one, who lays down his life for his friends (John 15:13) and while we were still sinners, Christ Jesus died for us (Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ is love personified.

Where is the Love? – In Christ Jesus
Who is the Love? Jesus Christ

Romans 5:8 (KJV)
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

John 15:12-14 (KJV)
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.