In the Company of Jesus

Philippians 2:1-4 “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

I have a dear friend who is not well. He has a condition known as ischemic heart disease that has turned into complete heart failure. His cardiologist is amazed when he comes into the office for another appointment, according to medical science he shouldn’t be alive right now. His heart has taken too many hits, his heart function is barely at levels that one can survive and yet he has pressed on for years.

I met with him one weekend for breakfast because I knew how he loved to meet for men’s prayer and his condition had prevented him from going out much anymore. When he walks he becomes dizzy or unstable and yet his joy in Christ has not diminished.

If you talk with him, you will undoubtedly hear stories from his grandmother, a once titan of the faith who has since gone on to glory. The legacy she left had such an imprint on his life, he will quote many of the lessons she taught him as a young man. The predominant message is how to walk in the company of Jesus.

I asked him, where would the best place to look for the examples of what this life pattern entails? His answer was to look at the patterns Jesus displayed.

Jesus walked with the Father

If we want an example of what it looks like to walk with God, get to know the life of Jesus.

John 15:10 “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”

I find it interesting that Jesus, the One who created the Heavens and the Earth, came primarily to do the Father’s will. Jesus’ will was not His priority but rather His love shown toward others was reflected by His love for the Father. When I look back in John I am reminded of Jesus’ role in the Creation story. John 1:3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

All things made includes us.

Mankind has been lost and broken by sin since Adam, our relationship with God was fractured in the Garden and now the Father’s intent is to restore that relationship. Why would the Father be intent on restoring relationships with a people that have done nothing but offend Him?

For people to have an opportunity to walk in the company of Jesus, they must first be called into that relationship.

Once a person responds to God’s call, they are transformed by His power….they will never be the same again.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

An immediate change of position from darkness to light is what greets the weary traveler, their burden of sin is lifted and they are given spiritual eyes to see the way of life. The promises of God are realized by the one who trusts in Him and their future is made secure in Christ.

John 14:2 “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” In His Father’s house, Jesus prepares a place for His people. As the glorified Son, Jesus has full authority in Heaven and on Earth.

*Jesus’ people are those who love the Father as He does. Matthew 12:50 “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

The ones invited into the throne room of the King are those who desire to be with Him.

Because Jesus’ followers are now made righteous, the Father lavishes gifts upon them because of the Son. John 16:23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.”

God’s people have been spared the Father’s wrath because of Jesus’ love given upon the cross. The Father loves the Son and since the Son loves His people, the Father does as well.

All true believers owe Jesus everything. For those who reject the Son, they too will be rejected by the Father. For those who want to know how to walk with Jesus, all they need to do is look at how He walked with the Father on earth.

The Father’s love for the Son

Matthew 6:10 “Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.”

How did Jesus know the Father’s will?—–He continually talked with Him.

In the midst of pressing throngs of crowds who were continually seeking Jesus, He recognized the need to be alone and pray.

Luke 5:15,16 “However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.”

The secret to Jesus being able to maintain His focus in the midst of all the craziness was by recognizing when it was time to be alone with the Father….and this was often. Where would Jesus go that crowds would not find Him, where there was solace and He could maintain perspective?

Matthew 14:23 “And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.”

How often should we pray? I know that personally I do not pray enough. It is when I see Jesus’ life and the way He handled the chaos is then that I am convinced I must improve the way I practice my faith. Since Jesus recognized the need to get away and focus His mind upon the Father, we too should follow His pattern.

Our relationship with the Son

If we want to walk with the Father, we must learn to submit to the Son—but how do we do this? Well, for one, He has been reaching out toward mankind since the beginning. Every time we see God interacting with people in history, it was the pre-incarnate Jesus interacting with them. Since Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15), it was Jesus who was consistently appearing to men and women for all those years. Since then, Jesus has been interceding in the affairs of mankind, correcting mindsets, directing paths, and leading His followers on to salvation—one day He will reign as King over all the world.

He is intimately acquainted with all of His people’s ways. Human life has value to Him because they were His idea–He created them. Sin was at the crux of mankind’s rebellion and those sinners are worthy of God’s judgement, but because of God’s love as expressed through Christ, He has transformed our existence.

How could anyone ever forsake such Love?

Ephesians 3:14-19 “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Amazingly, the God of all glory has drawn His people into fellowship with Him—and Jesus is the doorway to enter. Believers have been made acceptable through the sacrifice of the Son because they have accepted the grace of God given through Jesus. The Father’s love for the Son supersedes our failures, our weaknesses, and the filth of sin.

Learning to Love

Walking in the fellowship of Jesus is learning how to walk in obedience to God.

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

Apart from Christ, we have nothing to bring of value other than our lives. Obedience is the way people get to demonstrate love for Jesus. Knowing and understanding our position as sinners before God allows us to walk unhindered by pride and self-righteousness.

Walking in the company of Jesus is to recognize our frailty and limits, and then learning to trust in God’s power and leading.

Psalm 40:4 “Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!”

Why does God include His people into His narrative?

People so often think of themselves as the center of the universe, and yet they often forget how small they really are in comparison to God’s influence. To have a right perspective is to see God as much bigger than our reality. What we observe, or experience, and know is limited by our humanity, and yet God is moving and acting in accordance with His plans.

Is the Lord trustworthy?

If we believe this to be true, then why aren’t we trusting Him with everything?

Jesus walks with His people because He created and loves them. It is amazing that humanity in such a weak and lowly state are given honor simply by trusting in Christ—to be created in His image, to dwell in His presence and have His Spirit dwell within His people is the greatest honor given to mankind.

The human life is finite, it has a beginning and an end…and it’s not that long of a time. What happens in that finite period of time affects the rest of eternity.

Every hour, minute, and second of life has much greater value when it is held to a timescale of eternity.

If you want to redeem the time…learn to walk in the company of Jesus.

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