Follow Alongside

by Pastor Mark Jordan

“I always put the Lord in front of me; I will not stumble because he is on my right side.” (Psalm 16:8)

Today’s great verse is a great descriptor of discipleship. We hear Jesus’ invitation to follow, and we do…or at least we strive to. So we experience the first part of discipleship, which is to follow the Lord. Then, something magnificent happens — as we follow the Lord, we aren’t always walking behind Him, because He comes to walk beside us, steadying and supporting us on our life journey with Him and others. Check out this gem from 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (MSG)…

All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.

Let’s thank God for His invitation to follow Him, and resting in the knowledge that He is right there beside us, too. Let’s also thank Him that we do not have to go through this life alone, because He connects us with others, enabling us to know we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13).

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for loving me. I choose to follow you, and thank you for walking alongside me to help me keep my footing. I praise you in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.

The choice to love

by Mary Stout

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12

Does your heart feel heavy with the world sometimes? When did society lose its ability to respect one another, debate without rancor, or show kindness? When did imparting words of hatred become normal? Somewhere along the way, people began thinking it was okay to be mean, bully others, even kill one another or wish others dead without consequences. You know the consequences we faced when we were young and your parents made you wash that car you egged, or made you write a letter of apology to the person you bullied. The consequences we faced as children taught us respect and care for one another. It taught us how building a community based on love, respect and care helped to have a better life. Do unto others.

In the mornings I wake up to hear this line in the song Hosanna by Hillsong worship:

Break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdom’s cause”

If I allow the world to get inside my heart is broken much of the time. I pray to God for the world to wake up. Unfortunately, I don’t really think it will. There is always hope though. It’s what I cling to in those times I feel overwhelmed by the world and all it’s evil.

The best we can do is love others to the heart of Christ. Show them the way with our kindness, our love, our care. That is what Jesus said, “Love others as I have loved you.”

We can have different ideas about life, about politics, even about which Bible to read. We can make life harder for one another or easier. It’s a daily choice. Broken hearts heal with love.

Big love, giant love. Jesus love.

Action for the Day: Do something for someone today to show Jesus love.

Prayer: Father God, we pray for this world that we may be the love to others as you have been to us. Thank you for loving us so much. Give us courage and boldness that we may share the light of the world with others. In Jesus name, Amen