How He Lived

Simply put in The Jesus Style:

A child is nonthreatening.  If we are to follow the footsteps of Jesus and represent Him
correctly, the world must be no more threatened by us than we would be by a child.  The
nonthreatening childlikeness of Jesus intimidated no one.  Children were comfortable around
Him, which even a surface observation would tell you could not be so without His own
childlikeness.

A child isn't good at deceiving.  Part of being like a child is to be humble, to be real.  You can
tell when children are happy or when they are sad.  Deception is not compatible with
childlikeness, love, or Jesus.

A child is innocent.  I keep trying to earn the acceptance and forgiveness of God.  Until I
accept this forgiveness and innocence, I will minister to others out of guilt and my own needs
rather than being free to be totally oriented toward them, sensitive to them, serving them.

Isn't this true?  Jesus lived as a child.  Easy, simple, humble, awake, and aware.  " 'Let the
little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.  
Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no
means enter it.'  And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed
them."  Mark 10:14b-16

VcJ,
donna
about Jesus . . . page three
Mark 7:20-23

And Jesus said,
"What comes
out of a man,
that defiles a
man. For from
within, out of the
heart of men,
proceed evil
thoughts,
adulteries,
fornications,
murders,
thefts,
covetousness,
wickedness,
deceit,
lewdness,
an evil eye,
blasphemy,
pride,
foolishness.
All these evil
things come
from within
and defile a man."
Romans 3:23

For all have
sinned and fall
short of the
glory of God.
Acts 4:12

Nor is there
salvation in any
other, for there is
no other name
under heaven
given among men
by which we must
be saved.
Romans 6:23

For the wages
of sin is death,
but the gift of
God is eternal
life in Christ
Jesus our Lord.
1 Timothy 2:5

For there is one
God and one
Mediator between
God and men, the
Man Christ Jesus,
who gave Himself a
ransom for all.
Romans 5:8

But God
demonstrates
His own love
toward us,
in that while
we were still
sinners, Christ
died for us.
Romans 10:9-10

That if you
confess with
your mouth
the Lord Jesus
and believe in
your heart that
God has raised
Him from the
dead, you will
be saved. For
with the heart
one believes
unto
righteousness,
and with the
mouth
confession
is made unto
salvation.
Hebrews 9:12, 15

Not with the
blood of goats
and calves, but
with His own
blood He entered
the Most Holy
Place once for all.
And for this
reason He is the
Mediator of the
new covenant, by
means of death.
How He Treated Others

God is Love.  We've heard that so many times.  One problem with saying that, is that we
really don't fully understand what love is these days.  One of the main things our Enemy has
done to destroy the work of God, especially in the last century, has been to taint love.  Love
has become something we make, sell, and seek in all the wrong places.  We tell others that
we love them, but love is not something we say.  It is something that is lived out.

As D.C. Talk would say, "Love is a verb."

One of my pet peeves about today's society is that, for whatever reason, we're not free to
love our friends as our Lord Jesus loved His friends.  If we're seen holding our friend's hand,
and that friend happens to be the same gender as us, people start to wonder.  If we're single
women (and especially if we're past forty and single—oh, the horror of it!), but yet we have
close friendships with other women, yep, we're labeled that L word.

One of the things I struggled with greatly back in the late '90s when I first tried to attract the
attention of a publishing house to my Christian novel about two women who met during
Operation Desert Shield (the story that later became
Wounded Healer, the 50th best-selling
Christian book in July, I might add ... ahh, but I do digress), was being told the relationship
between my two female characters (yes, Chris and Erin) was too intimate.  "There's too much
female-female interaction going on.  I'm wondering if your readers will think these characters
are lesbians," was how one reviewer put it.  Would people read the book and think Chris and
Erin were "in a relationship" so to speak?  Well, duh!  They were!!!  And they still are!!!  That
relationship is called FRIENDSHIP!!!!!!!!!

Oh, but don't even get me started.  ; )

Jesus loved His disciples.  He loved everybody.  He even loved those uppity Pharisees whom
He usually ended up warning the rest of the people about.  "Don't be like them," He said
often.  Even as His heart cried out, "Oh, please turn from your hard-heartedness and come to
Me!"  It broke His heart when they turned away, scoffing and unbelieving.  It literally broke His
heart when they hung Him on that cross.  But even after they killed Him, they still could have
been forgiven and saved ... if they would have only turned from their sin and believed.

Jesus could have used force to make those Pharisees believe.  He could have called down a
bazillion angels to free Him from the cross, wipe out those hard-hearted buggers, and destroy
the entire planet.  But He didn't.  That wasn't His nature.

He could have forced His disciples to believe the truth.  He could have killed them off, one by
one, if they entertained a doubting thought.  But He didn't.  That wasn't His nature.

This was His nature—and it still is.  His gentle invitation is one He still offers us.  "Come to
Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and
learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For
My yoke is easy and My burden is light."  Matthew 11:28-30.

If there's a flicker of hope burning inside us, He doesn't stomp it out because it's so small and
feeble.  He gently blows on it, encouraging it to spark into a flame.  If we need to feel loved,
He doesn't say to us, "I love you.  Feel that."  No, He takes us in His arms and holds us,
gently embracing us so we feel His warmth, His concern, and His love.

When He touched others, it was never for selfish gain.  When we touch others, oh that it
would be His love pouring through us—pure, sweet, and undefiled by the Enemy.  If that love
pours out through us, it doesn't matter what anyone says about it.

God is Love.  And we are God's.  His Love pouring out through us is friendship in its purest,
sweetest form.

And that is irresistible.  Just like Jesus.

Vaya-ing con Him,
donna
How He Positioned Himself

Being last.  How so totally opposed we are to that in our human nature.  We always want to
be first.  And why not?  Being last is degrading.  There's no honor in being last.  Being last
simply means we have to wait longer than everyone else to get what we want.  Being last
means we have to endure the long line of people who get to go before us—we can only stand
in line watching helplessly as people are served before us.  How horrible!!  Especially in today's
hurry-up, self-centered world.

Being first.  How so totally opposed Jesus was to that in His nature.  He who lived to serve
others never worried about being first.  He believed that being first relegated others to lesser
positions.  If a line formed, He let it.  Then He quietly worked His way to the back so others
could be served first.  And standing there, in line, He didn't stew about His position because
He purposely chose it.  He simply stood and watched those around Him, pleased to see them
in their more honored positions.  I would even bet He talked to those who stood just in front
of Him, also, basically, at the end of the line, and tried to turn their minds away from the
discomfort of standing there, at the end of the line, waiting for everyone else to be served.

You know He could read their minds.  What a scary thought, huh?

Being first or last falls under the realm of one word: competition.  In all the competitions
we've been a part of, was there ever a reward given for the person who finished last?

Gayle Erwin in his book
The Jesus Style (the book we've been more or less reviewing for the
past few weeks) says it like this on page 94:  "Competition, by its very nature, is self-serving—
the very opposite of the servant, self-giving nature of Jesus."

Wow.  Is he saying all competition is wrong?

Well, think about it.  Think about it as Jesus would think about it.  In His eyes, what's the
most important activity we can engage in?  Loving others, perhaps?  Building our faith?  Living
our faith out?  Allowing Him to live His life through us?  Now, how can any of these things be
put into a competition?  How can any of these things be measured or even judged?

Gayle goes on to say, "To belong to Christ is to be a winner as far as eternity is concerned.  
Any activity that does not enhance that reality but instead reinforces the common human
feeling of being a loser does not fit within the pattern of the nature of Jesus. ...  If we love
others the way Jesus does, we will rejoice so much in seeing them achieve and enjoy the
position of being first that we will hardly notice that in our efforts to help them, we turned up
last.  This is the result of the totally others-oriented servant."

I guess we can say that at least one good thing has come out of competition, or that spirit of
competition that so pervades our human nature.  It was only after the disciples spent time
arguing about who was the greatest in the kingdom, that Jesus set them straight—teaching
them about the very nature of Himself, the One who is, most definitely, the greatest in the
Kingdom of God.  In these teachings, we can easily see exactly who Jesus was.  And in seeing
Jesus, we see the Father.

This is how we know our loving, others-centered, servant-hearted Father God.  Through His
greatest-in-the-kingdom Son.  The only totally others-centered, servant-hearted human being
who ever walked this earth.

Where will you find this Man?  Look at the back of the line.  He'll be last.  And liking it.

VcJ,
donna
How He Traveled

Luke goes on to tell a bit of what happens at the Last Supper after Jesus washes His disciples'
feet and says things to them like, "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet,
you also ought to wash one another's feet," and "Most assuredly I say to you, a servant is not
greater than his master," and "One of you will betray Me."  What does Luke include in his
gospel that the other writers don't?  Oh, only the fact that the disciples were arguing.  Again.  
And what were they arguing about this time?  Oh, the usual.  Which one of them was the
greatest.

Hear it from Luke's own words in chapter 22, verses 24-26.  "Now there was also a dispute
among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest.  And He said to them,
'The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over
them are called "benefactors."  But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest
among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.' "

Most of what Jesus says here we can understand.  Except for that "as the younger" part.  Just
what does that mean?

Actually, Jesus is referring to "the younger brother."  In that day, firstborn sons held all the
power and authority in a family.  They were quite often the sole heirs to their fathers'
fortunes.  Younger siblings were often left to fend for themselves.  They were left in the
position of having to wait and accept whatever came down to them after the firstborn son
received the best things of life.

No wonder most younger sons were considered rebels.  The system of life they lived under
basically oppressed them.  Success depended upon their own abilities and the mercy of others.

Interesting, then, that Jesus would say we should be as the younger.  Gayle Erwin even goes
as far as to say, in his book
The Jesus Style, page 90, "Any power or advantage we have that
is not handled as if we were the younger is a violation of the nature of Jesus.  Since, in Jewish
tradition and law, the elder brother received an extra portion of the inheritance, Jesus, by this
statement to be as the youngest, urged us to hold lightly to material goods.  In a sense, Jesus
weakens the desire for power and greed with this command."

And page 91.  "Why would Jesus want us to travel light?  So we wouldn't be greedy and so we
could be flexible enough to go wherever He wanted to use us. ... Though we are the
disadvantaged ones [by being as the younger], and perhaps the poorer ones, we are the free
ones, and He who has 'overcome the world' is on our team."

Jesus traveled light.  And He wants us to do the same.

Traveling light ... in the Light.  How cool is that?

VcJ,
donna
How He Honored Others

So fitting that I'm sitting here writing this post at the very moment the Emmys are going on.  
I watched about an hour of it as I was spending time with Melsie.  Except for spending time
with Melsie, the hour was a total waste.  ; )

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled post.

"Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest.  And Jesus,
perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, and said to them,
'Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives
Him who sent Me.  For he who is least among you all will be great.' "  Luke 9:46-48

Yep.  They're arguing again.  Silly boys.  But it gives Jesus one more opportunity to expose
His very nature to them, and to us.

Did you notice that last line in verse 48?  "For he who is least among you ..."  Isn't that
interesting.  Another trait of Jesus's nature that is totally, one hundred percent, one hundred
and eighty degrees opposite from our nature.  And tonight, of all nights, we know it's true.  
Hear what Mr. Erwin has to say about it (from his book
The Jesus Style).  "In the nature of
Jesus, least is a choice you make when you have such a high view of others that you want to
do all you can to elevate them and your position happens, because of your efforts on their
behalf, to end up least ... and you really didn't notice."

And again.  "No prizes that I know of go to those who are least.  Those who are least are not
there for the glory offered.  Willingness to be the least is possible only if we are comfortable
with ourselves and who we are."

This is how Paul says it in 2 Corinthians 10:17-18.  "But, 'Let him who boasts boast in the
Lord.'  For it is not the man who commends himself who is approved, but the man whom the
Lord commends."

We love to give out rewards and honors, and we love even more to receive them.  How much
more totally awesome will it be on that day to receive our rewards and honors directly from
our Father God—rewards and honors that He has stored up for us where no thief will steal
them and no rust will cause them to decay, rewards and honors given to us for living simply
as Jesus lived.

Jesus, the man who never won an Emmy, or even a Christy, but who has always been and will
always be the greatest in the Kingdom of God.

VcJ,
donna
This is Jesus . . .

Greatest in the Kingdom of God.  From every second of time past, back to when time didn't
even exist, to every second of time yet to come, even past that moment when time ceases to
exist.  Jesus Christ is the one most important figure in all of existence.  What an incredible
choice we have set before us all.

Do we call Him Lord?  Or do we not call Him at all.

Just from His teachings about who is the greatest (mostly given to break up the arguments
that always seemed to spring up between His disciples), we have a unique and very specific
view of just who Jesus Christ was when He walked this earth.  And, of course, we know that
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  (Hebrews 13:8)  From infinity to infinity, Jesus
has not and will not change.  Why would He have to?  Why would He want to?  His nature is
one He lives fully, because He loves it.  He loves living to love, serve, and bring others to the
Father God.  He has no other agenda, purpose, or ambition.

He is who He is.  I guess that's why His name is Yahshua.  Yah means "I Am."  God the Father
is "I AM WHO I AM."  YHWH.  Yahweh.

And through His Son, Yahshua, Yahweh does indeed ... save.

We wrap up the "Greatest in the Kingdom" teachings this way.  As Gayle Erwin puts it in his
book
The Jesus Style, "So, we find Jesus in humble places—in mangers, among the poor, being
a servant, not lording it over others, being humble, being an example, being as a child, being
as the younger, being as the last, and as the least.  And wherever He is, His servant will be."

Let's join Him, and be where He is.

It would be a lot more fun if you were there with us.  Come, join us.  You won't be sorry.

Vaya-ing con Yahshua,
donna
And This Is Jesus, Too

We've seen who Jesus is through His teachings on how the "greatest among you" should live.  
Our list is pretty amazing.  And it totally flies against everything already humming through us
in our human natures.

He is a servant, does not lord His power and position over others, leads and teaches by
example, is humble, is as a child, is as the younger, is as the last, and is as the least.  In all
these things, we can easily see who He was when He walked this earth: how He saw other
people, how He led, how He taught, how He saw Himself, how He lived, how He traveled, how
He positioned Himself around others, and how He honored others.

Now we're going to see how He treated others, how He was driven, how He walked among
them, who He was, how He saw His Father, and just how far He was willing to go.  All of
these things we'll learn from Paul's teachings about the nature of Christ found in Philippians 2:
5-8:  "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in the very nature
God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in
appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a
cross."

More insight to the nature of Jesus.  And the more we know about Him, the more we'll really
see Him for who He is.  And the more we see Him for who He is, the more we'll understand
just how opposite God's ways are from our own.  Once we begin to understand our Father
God's ways—His way of seeing the "big picture"—we'll be able to step away and allow His
Son, Jesus, to live through us, to transform us into the children He wants us to be.

Simple, huh?

You know?  Yeah.  I think it is simple.  The more we see Jesus as He really is ... the easier it
gets.  The more irresistible He becomes.

This is Truth.  And Truth is what all our hearts long for.  Even though we are born with a
nature that is totally opposite to our Creator's nature, part of our natural instinct is to search
for Truth.  To seek it out, to find it, and to believe it.  As we seek, most of us lose our way
and believe lesser truths.  Some of us even believe lies.  But when we taste Truth as it really
is, we know.  "Taste and see," David says in one of his psalms.  He says that because he
knows once we do, we'll never settle for anything less.  Nothing is as sweet as our Father
God's love.  And nothing looks better than the Truth as He sees it.

Once we taste, we know.  And once we see Jesus for all He is, we know we will never be
satisfied believing anything else.  He is Truth.  He is Life.  And He just so happens to be the
only Way to both.

Vaya-ing con Jesus (aka Yahshua),
donna
How He Was Driven

Jesus was not driven by selfish or blind ambition.

Even though our goals and desires for reaching those who don't know Christ are good, don't
we, sometimes, make the process more about quantity rather than quality?  Sometimes I
think it's true, as Gayle Erwin says in his book,
The Jesus Style: "We have used every kind of
approach to reach sinners short of loving and relating to them."

Evangelism is about reaching our world with the Good News about Jesus Christ.  Jesus was an
evangelist.  He sought to reach the world with this Good News:  "Your Messiah has come!  I
am He!  I am the Way, and I will give you Life if you will only believe My Father sent me to
you."

Jesus never violated or was disrespectful of the freedom of anyone.  He did everything He
could to increase their ability to choose.

He never used deceptive means or dishonesty in any form to make converts.  He never worked
under a cloud of secrecy, telling the world, "Join Me here, under this cloud, and discover
secrets only I can tell you.  But first, pay the man at the gate to join our secret club."

He never worried too much about the do's and don'ts of religion.  Jesus focused His message
on His Father, and the fact His Father sent Him to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Jesus was willing to reveal Himself to His followers, to be humble, honest, and open.  He
didn't hide away behind a pulpit or in His pastoral study.  His platform grew out of His actions:
His healings, teachings, and gentle nature.

Directly from Gayle:  "Jesus, who came to redeem people—not use them, refused to take
advantage of others on His path to the cross. ... Jesus, dedicated to the greatest goal, was
equally dedicated to the greatest means.  He was driven by love and obedience, not blind
ambition."

No wonder He's so irresistible.

VcJ,
donna
How He Walked Among Them

In Philippians 2:7, the NIV and NLT say Jesus "made Himself nothing."  The KJV and NKJV say
He "made Himself of no reputation."

The "made Himself" part is consistent.  Jesus didn't let anyone "make" Him do or be anything
He did not want to do or be.  He freely chose to be who He was.  And He chose to make
Himself nothing.

Reputation is so important to us.  Image is everything.  People even hire image consultants to
help them improve their look.  The better we look, the better we feel about ourselves.  The
more we spruce up our image, the more our reputation builds.  The bigger, cleaner, and
sharper our reputation, the better we will be seen by others.  Bigger, better, brighter.  Always.

Most (if not all) of us care deeply about our reputation.  If we're seen with the wrong kinds of
people, what will that do to our reputation?  What will people think if we do something we're
"not supposed to do"?  Who determines what is "supposed to be done" anyway?  Who makes
up the rules?

Again, we see how the nature of Jesus is completely opposite of our human nature.  And, He
was fully human.  He could have given in to His human nature and been just like us.  But then
He would have been just like us.  Another pea in the pod, so to speak.  Just another man
trying to look good to sway the masses to his way of thinking.  Just another man pretending to
be good, concerned, and moved by the masses, when, all the while, all he really wants is to
have power over the masses.  Power makes him a big man.  And absolute power corrupts
absolutely.

What's irresistible about that?  Just more of the same.

No, Jesus chose to lay down His human nature and keep the nature of His Father.  He knew no
other way.  Jesus and His Father were one.  And no pull of human ambition or lure of earthly
power swayed Him.  He had bigger "fish to fry."  So to speak.  ; )

Gayle Erwin says this, from his book
The Jesus Style:  "Image or reputation is simply a means
to gain control over others or manipulate them to our best advantage.  Most people are guilty
of it.  If I were to introduce myself to you by saying, 'Hello, I am the Reverend Mister Gayle
Dean Erwin,' immediately I would have you intimidated.  You would clean up your act—quit
cursing, hide certain reading material—become unreal. ...  Jesus kept doing the things that
were detrimental to His reputation. ... He would do whatever would serve the best interest of
a person, regardless of the cost to Himself. ...  If I am but a pilgrim and stranger in this world,
I do not need to hold on to anything that would guarantee my success in it, not my reputation,
and not my possessions either."  2 Corinthians 8:9 says, "For you know the grace of our Lord
Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through
His poverty might become rich."

"Image Is Everything."  Says who?  Image smimage.

Becoming rich.  Through His poverty.  Through Him.  Being rich as He is rich.  Being seen by
our Father God as He is seen by His Father God.

What else really matters?

VcJ,
donna
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