When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. (Matthew 8:14-15)
In the passage that inspired this message we see Jesus heal Peter’s mother-in-law from her illness. Taken in a larger and God revealing context we see our Lord healing her from the effects of her illness in the same we Jesus, as our Savior, heals us from the effects of our sin. He takes away her fever in the same way He takes away our death from sin. In the same way she was raised, we are also raised to eternal life through Jesus.
When she was raised her first reaction was to serve her healer. This is a message to believers that we are called into servanthood when we accept that Jesus gave His life to redeem ours. We are not called to serve out of obligation but out of love. When we can truly understand what we have been saved from, and experience the life that we have access to, we should look to serve the purpose God created us for. We should seek the purpose that Christ’s sacrifice has called us to.
God’s grace has called us out of the darkness of this world, not because we deserve it, but because His love and mercy have been bestowed upon us. Only through God’s grace and the sacrifice of His Son have you been called to Him and redeemed from your sin. You have been called for a purpose. That purpose is found in submission to your Heavenly Father. As we submit to God we are called to serve His kingdom. We are called to serve others.
Develop a spirit of gratitude as you seek true appreciation of what you have been given from a gracious and faithful God. Let your love grow along with your relationship to the Father. Share the love God has for you with others through selfless servanthood.
Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. (1 Corinthians 4:1)
O LORD, surely I am Your servant, I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid, You have loosed my bonds (Psalm 116:16)
The world is focused on what they can see and touch. People who don’t have a correct view of God fail to realize that the things we cannot see are much more important and just as real to us if become aware them. The things we see will fade and turn to dust in time. The things we cannot see are the eternal things that have no end. They are also the only things that can bring real fulfillment to the empty places in our lives. People who focus on the things of this world are empty even when they accomplish what they set out to achieve. This is clear because they are always looking to seek even more, they lack the satisfaction we all desire. What they fail to realize is that fulfillment is only found in God and His work which we can only see when we look to Him. He placed an emptiness in us that can only be filled by Him. He desires that all of His chosen look to Him. This is clear in scripture when He calls His people to follow no other god or idol. for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14) God want the recognition from His people. He wants the unconditional love He gives as part of His very essence to be returned in the form of worship and obedience. God wants all glory and praise to be focused on Him alone. I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. (Isaiah 42:8)
The bible uses the concept of money to convey this to us. As we look to scripture I want us to take the word money and allow it to be replaced with whatever other part of creation might fit that place. Anything that gets in the way of you serving God as your only master fits this criteria. It represents anything you seek that might draw you away from your purpose in God. He designed you for a specific purpose. When you seek things other than what God has for you draw your attention away from a calling that will exceed anything you could ever imagine. Refuse to follow God’s creation over God the Creator. Let your Lord lead you in the things that are eternal and come with an everlasting joy and peace. No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24) Don’t fall victim to the pain and hardship that is inevitable when you seek the lesser things of this world. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (1 Timothy 6:10) Let all of your hopes and faith fall upon your Father, the Creator of this universe. Submit your life to God as He leads all things to serve His will. Let your desires be His desires and your will align with His. Only then can your life fall into alignment with the things that we cannot see, the things that are eternal, the things God will bless us with. When God is truly the one we worship, every other part of life can take its rightful place.
“From Him (Christ) we learn how God acts toward people. The hypo-critical, the basically insincere, will find Him cold and aloof, as they once found Jesus; but the penitent will find Him merciful; the self-condemned will find Him generous and kind. To the frightened He is friendly, to the poor in spirit He is forgiving, to the ignorant, considerate; to the weak, gentle; to the stranger, hospitable.” -A.W. Tozer
The bible leads us to approach God in submission, in humility, in meekness, in gratitude, in love, etc. For the longest time I loved this idea. We ask the Holy Spirit to move in our lives as we grow in faith. The Spirit allows us to achieve the for mentioned attributes as we relate to a God that is greater than our minds and hearts can comprehend. The Creator of the universe, the God that has no beginning and no end, the God that has a love that is incomprehensible to our fallen hearts is worthy of all we are called to grow into. My thoughts were always to give my savior all of my heart and to submit all of my ways to the God that knows what is best for me. He designed me for a purpose and allowing Him to guide my steps leads me to a life that will far surpass my greatest dreams.
It is in this submission that I had a revelation as I read the passage above. Not only are we giving to God what is due Him as our Creator and Heavenly Father, in this position of growing sanctification we gain a perspective of God that allows us to move closer to Him in praise, worship, and love. When we take the position the Spirit leads us to we allow God to show us more of His infinitude and to move freely in our lives growing us in holiness and Christ-likeness.
In this same thought we should have compassion for those who are lost in the darkness of sin. How can they know what God can do through Jesus if they don’t have a heart to submit and allow Him to show His power in their lives? We must lead them through example and not just words that they cannot comprehend in their fallen state. Refuse to be frustrated as the stumble for perspective. Show the unfailing love of God that you know because God called you out of the darkness to reflect His light. Help others find perspective as you grow yourself.
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. (James 3:13)
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)
As I read through the book of James the Lord stopped my heart on the phrase “Meekness of Wisdom.” I felt the desire to revisit the concept of meekness and feel fortunate that I was led to do this.
People mistake meekness for weakness. The exact definition we find when we look is: submissiveness. Now ask yourself: submissive to who? Our inclination toward a definition of weakness means we see this as a submission to others. The bible indicates that our submission is to God! Biblical meekness is confidence in God which allows us to submit to His rule over our lives. Psalm 37:5-8 breaks this down into pieces: waiting on God, committing our way to God, trusting in God, being quiet and still before God, and not allowing anger when others prosper. The bible tells us: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9) We are also told: He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. (Isaiah 40:29) We have to decrease so that God can increase. Meekness goes against our sinful nature which seeks to enforce our beliefs and lash out under criticism or reproof. A spirit of meekness calls us to be slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to anger. (James 1:19) Jesus tells us that the meek will inherit the earth. Seeing as the universe is God’s to give along with all of its provision, wouldn’t submitting to Him allow you to receive the inheritance as one of His children?
Meekness is not weakness. It is allowing the power of God to rule your life thus making you stronger than you could be on your own. It’s in submission we find peace. It’s in letting God fight our battles that we find closure. It’s in trust that the world has no hold on us and His joy can fill our hearts.
Many people neglect prayer under the assumption that God’s Will is done regardless. While this is true I’d like people to realize that our God is a God of blessing. We have to have fellowship with God in the form of prayer. We will never be able to tell Him anything He doesn’t know, or has not known since before time. Prayer does not inform God of your desire or needs. Prayer is Praise. Prayer is a believer expressing dependence and obedience. God’s plan far surpasses our imaginations of what happiness looks like. God is Joy. Joy doesn’t vary based on emotion like happiness. Joy is a choice and can only be found in submission to our Creator. Don’t pray to God like He needs to hear anything from you. Pray to God like you need everything from Him! God has blessing upon blessing waiting for us to ask.
Our God does all things for His Glory! He is willing to give His children all the things of the world, in fact – He did! He was willing to come to earth and die in order that we might know Him and be reconciled to Him. God does not choose to blindly throw blessing to all of His children. He wants our recognition that He is the source of all blessing. He wants us to recognize that we are only able to mature our spirit as co-laborers, yoked to our Savior. God is the source of all that is good. He just asks that your eyes are toward Him as the source and your prayers are many, as a reflection of your heart.