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Post  Admin on Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:40 pm

Divas of the Divine--Spirit Snack


For a while, I have had this question on my heart: We are Christians, yes, but are we true followers of Christ?

The
question seems simple enough on the surface, and many would assume, if
you call yourself a Christian, that this implies you are following
Christ. But no, I think Jesus was being very literal when he commanded
that we follow him.

Over and over again, Jesus spoke emphasizing these two simple words, "follow me."

"Come, followme," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Mark 1:17

" and anyone who does not take his cross and followme is not worthy of me." Matthew 10:38

"And anyone who does not carry his cross and followme cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:27

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they followme." John 10:27

To
follow Christ means more than just saying a prayer for salvation (which
is wonderful, by the way) or going to church occasionally. To follow
Christ is to be a disciple. 1 John 2:6 says, "Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did."

A
disciple learns first of Christ, by means of the Holy Spirit through
study of God's Word. A disciple then mimics Christ, being Christ-like
in thoughts, speech and actions, staying in step with the Father.

For
most of us, following Christ will not mean dying on an actual cross or
inspiring a world religion, but it does mean, living for Christ and not
ourselves, even to the point of persecution. The sad truth is, though
in our culture being a Christian is quite popular, being a true
follower of Christ is almost never the "in-thing" to do. Jesus prepared
his followers for this, saying "Remember
the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If
they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my
teaching, they will obey yours also
." John 15:20

There
was a time in my life (...no, make that many times), when I felt so far
gone from the path of following Christ that I was unsure if God would
even want me anymore as a follower. I was like the men mentioned in Jude 1:16, "These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage."

Though
we are saved by grace, Satan will try to trap us into sinfulness and
then guilt, which has the effect of making us feel like we are far away
from God, alienated from him, which is a dangerous lie.

That is
why the story of the Prodigal Son found in Luke 15 is so wonderful. It
demonstrates so powerfully the idea that nothing can separate us from
God's love...not even our mistakes.
It shows that we can make u-turns and turn back to following after Him.
If you are in that lonely place, feeling alienated from God and other
Christians, come back home to God.

Let's take a moment to praise God for Romans 8:38-39, which says, "For
I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor
depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
"


With all my heart,

founder@divasofthedivine.com


-------------------------------------------------------------------
<blockquote>Exerpt from Proverbs 31 Ministries

Stay on God's Path
By Melanie Chitwood

"You
have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in
your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."
Psalm 16:11(NIV)

Devotion:
God's Word tells us that He will guide us along the path of life, but
it's our choice to stay on the path or not. We could have been
following God for some time only to find we've gotten off God's path
somehow.

Many things can cause us to wander from God's path.
Maybe we've been tempted and we've chosen to sin rather than resist
temptation. Perhaps we've been worn down by life's hardships and we've
let bitterness take root rather than believing God will see us through
the hard times. Or maybe we've been hurt and feel we just can't forgive
anymore. Or maybe the grass has started to look greener on the other
side.

In Luke 15,
we read the story about a father whose son chooses to leave the path
the father has planned for him. The father has hopeful dreams and good
plans for his son, but his son has other ideas and wants to plan his
own life. So, this wise father lets his son leave. It's not what the
father wants and it grieves him to allow this, but the father also
knows that he can't force his son to choose his plans. He knows his son
will have to make his own decision about accepting his father's dreams
for him.

Whenever I read this story of the prodigal son, I
imagine the father standing in front of his home, looking down the road
and wondering where his son is and what he's doing. I imagine that his
heart literally aches with longing for his son.

Then one night
the father's heart leaps, for a long way off he sees a figure
approaching. His son has returned! He can't run fast enough to meet and
to embrace his son.

This is the story of our heavenly Father and how He loves each of us. There's nowhere we can go that His loving arms cannot reach us and rescue us with His love.

Wherever
we've wandered, even if only in our thoughts and hearts, the Father
longs for us to return. He's always ready to embrace us with open arms
and a heart bursting with love. He has good plans for our lives that
can be trusted.

Dear Lord, I
choose to rest today in the security and certainty of Your love. Lord,
You know what's keeping me from giving You my whole heart today. Take
that burden from me and replace it with the comfort of Your love. Help
me to return to You. Hold my hand as I walk on Your path of life. I
choose today to trust in Your unfailing love. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Application Steps:

Read this personalized verse from Zephaniah 3:1, "The
Lord my God is with me, he is mighty to save me. He takes great delight
in me, he quiets me with his love, he rejoices over me with singing."
Take some time to meditate on this and let it sink into your heart.

Reflections:

Do
you need to return to God's path? Will you pray today's prayer and
return to God, knowing He welcomes you with open arms and a heart
bursting with love?

Read below Romans 8:38-39. Do you believe that right now nothing -- no thing -- separates you from God's love?

Power Verses:

2 Thessalonians 3:4, "... May the Master take you by the hand and lead you along the path of God's love and Christ's endurance." (MSG)

Psalm 16:11, "Now
you've got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of
your face. Ever since you took my hand, I'm on the right way.
" (MSG)

Romans 8:38-39, "For
I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor
depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
(NIV)

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org</blockquote>
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