A Daily Word from the Word for Wednesday, July 31, 2013
“Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, ‘But Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.’” – John 21:21-22
“What is that to you?” Jesus was saying “Peter, stop concerning yourself with what everyone else is doing and be concerned about yourself.” If more folks were less concerned about who is getting more than they are, getting away with something, getting treated better, getting more attention, fill in the blank; and had greater concern with concentrating on following Jesus, more individuals would be living Godly lives, functioning more like the body of Christ should function, and winning more souls to Jesus. And church folks are the worst! There, I said it! Yes, indeed :-). Pastor and all, I went there.
“But Brother Matt. You just don’t know! Sister So-and-So is so scandalous! She comes to church acting one way, but then she is clowning in the club afterward. And she thinks she’s fooling everyone. Well, she’s not fooling me. I need to pray that she gets right with the Lord!” And to that I say what Jesus said “What is that to you?” Let me add to be careful what you pray and your motives for praying. I dare not pray for anyone in that manner, lest the Lord deal with me according to my own prayer! You better watch out that the Lord doesn’t answer your prayer; but starting with you first, and work out those areas in you to ‘make you right with the Lord.’
“But Brother Matt, Brother So-and-So is like a dog in heat. He thinks he’s so slick, coming to church and sitting in the front row with hands lifted high. Humph. He better pray that the Lord don’t strike him dead! That dirty dog!” And again I say what Jesus said “What is that to you?” Instead of focusing on your brother in that negative way, maybe ask God to allow you to see him the way Jesus sees him so that you can pray for him the right way!
The Greek word for “follow” as used in this verse is akoloutheo (pr. ak-ol-oo-theh-o), which means “to be in the same way with, to accompany” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). Jesus was saying to Peter, and to all of us “Follow me. Concentrate on your walk with me. Be as I am, and not as others are. Let My ways be your ways, and not the ways of others.”
Are you in the same way with your flesh, or with the Spirit of the Living God? Our flesh will cause us to shipwreck every time, because nothing good comes from the flesh.
Romans 3:4 testifies of the sovereignty of God and the fallibility of us, as it cries out: “let God be true but every man a liar!” Only God knows what is in the heart of every person; and because only God knows, then only He knows how best to deal with each and every one of us and to bring us where we need to be in Him. Putting others in your hands will cause you to mishandle them, so why not leave people in the best hands in the Universe—in the Father’s Most Capable, Loving, and Perfect Hands. Isn’t that where you want to be?
Father, thank You for Your Ways, which are higher than our ways; and thank You for Your thoughts, which are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). Help us, Oh God, to be concerned about following Jesus, so that we can be for others who you called us to be. And forgive us, Most Merciful Father, for every time we pulled a Peter and thought someone was getting away with something or treated better than us, which caused us to take our eyes off of Your Son. In Jesus Name, we thank You that we leave others in Your Hands, because that is where we remain—carved in the Palm of Your Most Perfect and Secure Hands (Isaiah 49:16). Amen and Amen.
Take action! Challenge your thinking! Choose to stop being concerned about what everyone else is doing, and start concerning yourself with following Jesus. Determine each day to focus on your walk with the Lord, and to seek God in your attitude and dealing with others, which should always be out of the Father’s love. And continue to fight the good fight of seeing others through the eyes of Jesus; for God, your Vision of Loveliness, has already given you the victory!
If you have never received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do it today, right now, by saying this prayer out loud: “Jesus, forgive me for my sins. I am sorry. I truly desire to be saved and reconciled back to God, my Father, through You. I receive Your sinless Blood as payment in full for my sins—past, present, and future. I now call You my Lord and Savior, and invite You to live within my heart, and to permanently live within me. I make You Lord over me and over my life from this moment on. Amen.” Congratulations! You are now a child of God, made whole and made new, by the Blood of Jesus Christ!
God tells us that we are blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12:2). Be a blessing to someone by sending them this word of encouragement. If God did not already put someone in your spirit and on your heart that needs to read this uplifting message from above, simply ask your Heavenly Father who to bless on today. Forward this message right now by email, facebook, or twitter.
Jesus is coming soon!
May God Bless you and keep you always.
With warmest regards,
And, in service of The Most High King,
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Matthew is founder of HMD Ministries, and sits under the leadership of Apostle Dr. Don Lyon of Faith Center Ministries International in Rockford, Illinois, where he serves as an associate pastor.
All references to Hebrew and Greek words and meanings, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance © 1990 by Thomas Nelson Publishing. All dictionary references are taken from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary © 2013, unless otherwise noted.