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Thinking of God with Larry Sheehy - Think like Jesus this year
Larry Sheehy

  When we consider the future, whether near or distant, we often think in terms of what we'd like to happen to make our lives better. This isn't necessary the wrong way to think. But there's a higher plane on which to reflect and live.
      Jesus set the example for us. To his disciples, he said, "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" (John 12:24, 27-28)
      Later, with his apostles in Gethsemane, he said to his apostles, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death." (Matthew 26:38) As he went deeper into the shelter of the garden, he pleaded, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will. .... My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." (26:39, 42)
      Jesus' understanding of his mission led him to a hill called Golgotha ("the place of the skull," (Matthew 27:33). On the way he traveled through places of joy and sorrow, dismay and delight. As much as he longed to go home, he didn't hurry or become impatient with his father's plan. As the prophet had predicted of the Suffering Servant, "...the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand." (Isaiah 53:10)
      Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, followed Jesus' example, and asks us to do so as well: "I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:33-11:1) Further, the "thorn" given him by God (2Cor 12:7-10) led to his humiliation and to more effective service. He later demonstrated his willingness to suffer imprisonment and even death.
      We may never be called to suffer to the extent Jesus and Paul did. But Christian writer Amy Nappa suggests we seriously consider the father's will for us as a life of service and self-sacrifice: "God might want you to extend his love by offering to baby-sit for the single parent down the street. He might want you to prepare a hearty meal for that lonely old man who lost his wife -- and to sit and visit with him while he eats. Who knows, he might even want you to reach out and touch the life of a total stranger in some way you can't imagine right now. Are you willing to set aside your own comfort to touch someone else with God's love?"
      Just how do you plan to serve God and others in 2010? I hope the coming days, weeks and months will see more and more people developing the desire to grow in godly deeds and seeking to think like Jesus.

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