Once upon a time, there was a pastor who influenced me in ways I don’t think he was aware of. I considered him a model of one who walked with God as Enoch did. Naturally, this fellow was humble as well, and if he knew I was saying that about him, he’d sternly correct me.
Nevertheless, I saw him as an unofficial mentor.
Is there someone in your life who models a walk with Jesus? If so, what does that look like? Poetry isn’t my strong suit. Nevertheless, this is a small tribute to my friend and pastor.
You Walk With Jesus
I have watched you
walk with the winsomeness
possessed in you that
unknowingly also owns power.
There’s a place deep inside
where you don’t look–
having no need to–
that teaches your body
to follow the Spirit.
God’s Spirit guides your spirit
with a quiet, cherished purpose.
It seems that in each stride
you claim a mile.
The world is full of trouble. We shouldn’t be surprised by this. Jesus knew we’d experience trouble.
“In this world you will have trouble.” John 16:33
Jesus doesn’t leave us without hope, however, because in the same breath he says he’s giving us his peace. He says he’s already overcome the world. The Amplified Bible version adds the words “I have deprived it of power to harm you.”
Knowing his peace and the fact that troubles have no power over us doesn’t mean we hide our heads in the sand and not looking at the world’s troubles. That isn’t the message Jesus means to convey. He certainly said a lot about acting to help those in need. To be a good neighbor. Pray for our enemies. Forgive from our hearts.
Jesus got angry. But it wasn’t selfish anger; it was anger that was justified. The things that made him angry needed to be made right because innocent people were suffering. The call to be like Jesus means we follow his lead. Are you measuring your anger about a situation or against a person based on Jesus’s example?
Are you bold like Jesus? Do you take risks to make the world a better place, even if it’s just the little space of world where you live? What is he calling you to be courageous about today?
Pray for the ability to make change and bring justice to a situation as Jesus would. Then, you’re offering hope to the world that is full of trouble.
The graphic below shows a prayer, commonly referred to as the “Serenity Prayer,”* attributed to Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr and reportedly written in 1926. Niebuhr was a Lutheran pastor and theologian.
After knowing only the first four lines of the prayer, which I learned in 1984, it wasn’t long before I became acquainted with the entire thing. Even though at the time I hadn’t made a decision to follow Christ, the words made sense. Years after that, I was reciting the whole prayer from memory at a weekly small group.
Today, I believe the three most important words of this prayer aren’t, as some people choose to see them, acceptance, courage and wisdom. They are
“God, I surrender”
For me, surrendering to God creates a serenity and peace I can’t otherwise know.
*Usually Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer is quoted using only the first four lines shown here.