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    Solidly Focused on Jesus

    January 20, 2016
    Filed Under:
    WOJ General
    In the Way of Jesus, the focus is on Jesus

    I have used and reviewed many resources for ‘making disciples’. Usually the language is around process, the ‘plumbing’ of following Jesus. The Way of Jesus pathway does not focus on process – Bible Study, prayer – but on the person, one’s relationship with Jesus.

    My observation over the years is that it is too easy to focus on the ‘disciplines’ so called, and to even get good at them. But it may do little for one’s relationship with Jesus.

    Each of the Seven Markers begins with ‘I’ but each of the Markers is focused on Jesus – being like Jesus, living for Jesus, and depending on the power of the Spirit of Jesus.

    The Way of Jesus is about ‘following’ Jesus. The Seven Markers repeatedly and continually focus on Jesus. Over time and with renewed practice and in dependence on the Spirit of Jesus, the life of Jesus begins to show.

    Where is prayer in the Seven Markers? It is implicit throughout. Prayer is about ‘talking with’ God. It is about listening for the voice of God and making one’s needs and concerns known to God. It is about being honest with the Lord about attitudes and behaviours that are not ‘like Jesus.’ In particular the second phrase of the first saying, ‘depending on the Spirit’ is where the Way of Jesus training focuses on the subject of prayer and particularly the Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer becomes a life-giving framework for life in the Spirit.

    It is unimaginable to think that you could follow Jesus without speaking to Him and listening for His voice. As the Scriptures make clear, it is the Holy Spirit who mediates the presence of the Godhead – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When we address our prayers to Jesus, they are prayers that carry to the Father. It is Jesus, who as our High Priest, makes our prayers acceptable to God because of His work on the Cross.

    He has made a new and living way into the presence of God!
    Heb. 4:14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Heb 4:14-16 NIV)

    Jesus is always ready and able to intercede.
    Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (Heb 7:25 NIV)

    Moreover, God has not only satisfied the needs of justice through the sacrifice of Jesus, but also provides another Helper, the Holy Spirit, who takes even our inarticulate groanings and turns them into prayers heard in heaven:
    Rom. 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.

    What a God we serve! Hallelujah!

    Pastor Phil


    On Saturday, August 26, 2017, Fred Brechtel said:

    Pastor Phil, I am an adherent at Bergen Church. It is good that you have a comments section. On the Mount of Transfiguration, God in heaven said to Peter, James and John, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him". Therefore also Lord Jesus said to us all in John 14:15 "If you love me keep my commandments". He also said in Matthew 10:25, "It is enough that a disciple be as his master, a servant as his Lord" Lord Jesus never said for us to pray to Him, but instructed his followers always to pray, as He did, to the Father, in His (Jesus)name. He said in John 16:23 after speaking to His disciples about the coming ministry of the Spirit to be released after His departure, He said "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". Then in 16:26 Lord Jesus reiterates this truth saying, "In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say that I shall pray the Father for you..." Pretty explicitly your insight and instruction on praying to Jesus is an error, brother, as is your statement "When we address our prayers to Jesus, they are prayers that carry to our Father. It is Jesus who makes our prayers acceptable to God because of His work on the cross." Again, Lord Jesus said our prayers are heard and are acceptable to God the Father if we pray to the Father in His (Jesus') name. For praying in His name is a prayer of faith in Him and all that entails. It is not just the work on the cross, it is the prayer of faith of those who have believed God, the Father, raised Him from the dead. For we may be justified/reconciled to God by His death, but we are saved/delivered by His life, which issues in our own receiving of the reconciliation, as it is written in Romans 5:9-11. Truly Lord Jesus is our High Priest, interceding for the saints, for all of us who He has called into believing. However I believe His intercession is according to His wise love for us, according to Him "who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us..." (Ephesians3:;20) This is why your reference to Romans 8:26 is right on. Lord Jesus always taught that we should focus on the Father, seeking to please the Father as He did, and in this way be like Him, "the first born of many brethren". Blessings unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ Fred


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