1 John 2:6 “Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did."
Ever since becoming a Christian at the age of thirty-two, my life has been blessed by the teachings of several superb pastors who’ve taught God’s Word in truth as well as by the witness of many caring Christians whose lives were sermons in action. I term these people Living Lights! I’ve not only heard Jesus’ preached by them, but I’ve watched Him in action through their hands, feet, and words. They know that Jesus is the light of the world! “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.’ ” John 8:12
After first being baptized, Christ’s light was shared with us by our pastor, who regularly came over to disciple us, and by church families who loved and cared for us in more ways that I can mention! From them, we began learning the importance not only of daily Bible study, but of having strong Christian friends--lights—who were rooted in their faith and who we could imitate. Through these people who walked in obedience to the Word of God and responded to life situations in trust, we came to know that we also must become obedient to God’s Word, especially when it put us beyond our comfort zone—when we needed to deny ourselves and place His commands foremost in our lives .
We learned that our response to God’s will, especially during difficult times, was key to our Christian development. Would we accept His design and plan for our lives as perfect? Would we be willing to say yes even if it meant death for ourselves or our children during life-threatening situations? In other words, would we respond in perfect submission to God’s will for us?
Consider Jesus. He always placed His Father God’s will above His own. His response and obedience in the timing of His ministry, His miracles, and His going to the cross were exemplary, and such responses we are to imitate in our lives. “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.” Luke 22:42
I would like to share with you now, with her permission, one of the responses of a beloved friend of mine who was faced with a life-threatening disease as she suffered from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma which had metastasized to her spine and abdomen:
“One of the things I am understanding more while going through this journey is that the more I seek God in the many moments of the day, the more at peace I feel. This illness has forced me to slow down (sitting in chair for 6 hour infusion today and tomorrow plus 6-7 hospital stays every 3rd week). God can use anything to get our attention, but I think the greater question is, “What is our response to Him then?” Do we ignore His quiet knocking on our hearts saying, “Turn to Me, child. I’m here…be quiet, be still…listen for my voice…or do we pride ourselves in dealing with our own stresses and challenges and keep rushing through the moments of each day? Yesterday I felt strong; today I’ve cried a few buckets already, but I’m finding comfort knowing that God saves each one of those tears…so how can I ignore/push away such a caring, loving Father?”
Note these words written while not knowing if she would live: “…so how can I ignore/push away such a caring, loving Father!” That’s our God my friend is referring to, and that’s the proper response! At the time of this note, my friend was undergoing six to seven months of intensive chemothereapy, and we had no idea of the end result. I am overjoyed to share with you the good news that now, several months later, she has been declared cancer-free. My prayer is that this diagnosis will be permanent over the coming months and years!
My friend was one who walked with me at the beginning of my Christian journey. Her strong faith in the Lord and willingness to accept His will for her life at any and all stages, as I saw through the years, were and continue to be great examples of responses we should have during life’s difficult situations. I see in her responses, “…yet I want Your will, not mine, to be done.”
This is only one example of the beautiful living lights God has placed in my life. May you look back, as I do from time to time, and thank God for those lights who have been and continue to be involved in your life’s journey, all leading you closer to Christ.
Mark 14:36 “Abba, Father,” He cried out, “everything is possible for You. Please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.”
Exodus 24:7 “ Then he (Moses) took the Book of the Covenant and read it aloud to the people. Again they all responded, “We will do everything the Lord has commanded. We will obey.”
Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. “
Job 13:15a “God might kill me, but I hope in Him.”
PRAYER: Dear Father God, I sincerely pray that under any and all circumstances my response to Your will for my life will be one of complete trust. You made me, You know me, and only You know best how to use my life for Your honor and glory. May I truly mean Jesus’ words when I pray, “May Your will, not my will, be done. Jesus, You are my light, and I choose to trust and follow You. Amen.”
DISCLAIMER: I am just an ordinary woman who loves Jesus, accepting Him as Savior at the age of thirty-two and digging into the Bible ever since. How could I possibly hope to develop a heart relationship with God and trust Him with my life if I didn't know who He is?!
These devotionals are written to help you journey with Christ and grow in your heart relationship with Him. However, it is essential that you examine my words, and those of all other "teachers," with God's Holy Word. Therein lies the source of all truth!
Candice Mary Thomas writes about loving God and loving people! Coming to Christ at age 32 and now in her 70's, Candice knows what a difference it makes living with or without Christ as one's personal Savior.