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.

Fullness

by Pastor Mark Jordan

I ask that Christ will live in your hearts through faith. As a result of having strong roots in love, I ask that you’ll have the power to grasp love’s width and length, height and depth, together with all believers. I ask that you’ll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge so that you will be filled entirely with the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19, CEB) 

I know it might sound kinda crazy, nerdy, or a combination of the two, but I had an epiphany of sorts while watching the newest Star Wars movie. It occurred to me that space is always depicted as linear in movies and TV. By that, I mean that when space ships approach each other, they are always on the same plane. It makes sense, because the vastness of space cannot be comprehended. From a single point, you could go in any direction and never stop; except, of course, by some celestial body.

The love of God works the same way. We often think of it in linear terms, because that is how we live. God’s loving existence is not linear, however; not in the slightest!  Scroll back to the top and reread today’s verse…go ahead, I’ll wait…and see how the Apostle Paul described the fullness of God’s love, and its width, length, height, and depth. God wants you to try and fathom the vastness of His holy love, and be amazed that your ability to do so is grossly inadequate.

I read an intriguing quote the other day about living a full life. Diane Ackerman wrote, “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” As cool as that quote is, it only scratches the surface, because a life lived in the fullness of God spans the vast, multi-directional cosmos of our Creator’s loving existence. This love is available to you, thanks to what God did for you in Christ Jesus all those years ago.

I want to close like the Apostle Paul did when he wrote what we know as today’s verse: I ask that you’ll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge so that you will be filled entirely with the fullness of God. 

It truly is out of this world!

Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to live the full dimension of life in your love. I know I can only do this thanks to your love. I want to answer your call and try to fathom the fullness of your love. I pray in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.