Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"What Would Jesus Do"??? Do What Jesus Did!

There was a catchy little phrase going around starting about 15 years ago, in the mid-1990's.

Do you remember the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) phenomenon?

Perhaps a better question would be, "How could you forget WWJD?"

Seen everywhere from bumper stickers to church signs, this simple little four-word phrase became a ubiquitous (seeming to be everywhere at once) reminder, intended to cause the reader to consider and reconsider every thought, intention, attitude, word, or action in his or her individual life.

Borrowed from the subtitle of Charles Sheldon's 1896 book, In His Steps, "What Would Jesus Do" became an international phenomenon and a personal motto of millions of Christians worldwide, who sought to purify their hearts and deepen their faith, drawing closer to God by seeking exemplify a more Christ-like character and lifestyle.

Everywhere you looked, there was something reminding you of this important question.

Okay, so those last two were in fact a joke.

But what is not a joke, is the fact that fifteen years later, the results of WWJD are not necessarily clear (unless you ask church statistics guru George Barna), in terms of qualitative or even quantitative numerical values. However, although a true measure of the effectiveness of WWJD may not be determinable, there is ONE observation (in the form of a question) I would like to make about WWJD. That one thought has been burning in my mind these last 15 years.

That question is:

We wonder "What Would Jesus Do?"...

But do we Do What Jesus Did?

In short, allow me to explain what I mean by this statement.

When we ask "What Would Jesus Do" about a given scenario, our answers can vary depending on denomination, point of view, life experience, and other factors. We could literally come up with billions of answers, because there are literally billions of people on planet Earth.

But when we ask ourselves if we can "Do What Jesus Did", our answers will be much simpler and clearer. We know clearly from the Scripture that Jesus did many wonderful things, and we know that these things should be seen in our lives.

Instead of focusing on what Jesus WOULD do, we should rather focus on what he DID do, and then do it.

So, the question:

What Did Jesus Do?

Jesus healed sick people by living in the presence of his Father and by being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Do we seek to heal sick people by living in the presence of our Father and by being filled with the Holy Spirit?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?

Note: Some people say, "WE don't heal the sick, God does", but when Jesus sent the disciples out, his very first command to them was "heal the sick", according to Matthew 10:8. So, yes, in fact, we are to heal the sick, meaning we are to use God's power. The power comes from God, but the prayer comes from us. Acts 28:8 says, "Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him." Mark 16:18 says YOU (those who believe) will lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Jesus stood up to religious authorities, those who were abusing the word of God for profit and for power.

Do we stand up to the same kinds of religious authorities?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?

Jesus rose up early before the day began, to spend time in prayer with his Father, so as to do all his Father's will

Do we make time for God first, before doing anything else in our lives, since God is the source of everything in our lives?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?

Jesus made time to go apart from people and from responsibilities to fast and pray, for victory over the devil.

Do we set time aside, even if it is just one day at some point in our schedule, to fast and pray?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?

Jesus risked his reputation, talking to hookers, lepers, beggars, and tax collectors - people who society cast out

Do we make room in our lives for those who have been given no room by others?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?

Jesus visited the temple on the Sabbath, which was his custom (Luke 4:16).

Do we honor the Lord by honoring the gathering of his people?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?

Jesus got down on his hands and knees, washing his disciples' feet, serving those who were called to serve him

Do we humble ourselves to uplift, serve, and wait on people who are younger, or people who we lead?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?

Jesus laid down his life for his disciples before he asked them to lay down their lives for him

Do we set good examples to those who follow us and look up to us, communicating words by actions?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?

Jesus said to the woman in adultery, "I do not condemn you; go, and sin no more."

Do we find people who are actually guilty, and treat them like people who deserve love?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?

All the miracles, the giving, the loving, the welcoming and accepting and affirming of people, the forgiving character, the prayer relationship, and all these other things we say that we admire about our Lord ...

Are they valuable enough to us, that we would do them ourselves?

Do we do those things?

Do we Do What Jesus Did?

If those things he did were so great, should we spare any expense to do the same?

God did not spare any expense. In fact, we read in Romans 8:32 (NIV - apologies to the KJV-only people),

"He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all —
how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

God spared no expense, going far beyond the giving of things - He gave Himself.

Have we any expense to spare?

In short, I would like to say that it is very easy to ask "What Would Jesus Do", and yet another thing altogether to consider and to do what Jesus actually did.

What Jesus WOULD Do is a disputable matter; What Jesus DID Do, this is not.

"What Would Jesus Do" is a meaningless phrase of four words, unless we are willing to put the known actions of Jesus into practice into our lives. Jesus said those who DO the will of God, not those who PONDER the will of God, are living right.

Are we doing the works of Jesus?

If we will in fact do the works of Jesus at all times, we will truly do the will of the Father.

Then our lives will not be reduced to bracelets and bookmarks. They will be truly full of Jesus.

"What Would Jesus Do"??? Do What Jesus Did!

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