Following Jesus

Led by the Spirit

Matthew 4:1, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” NASB

When people talk about being “Spirit-led,” it is usually something wonderful: A chance encounter, a close parking spot, a good deal, or a miraculous blessing. But that is only part of being “Spirit-led.”

The other part is times of testing, places that force you to grow, crossroads where you walk away from something, and difficult journeys. These rub off your hard places making you more like Jesus Christ.

The key to being “Spirit-led” is knowing the Bible. The answer to every test is in there. You will find direction, correction, strength, as well as wisdom, fail-proof business principles, secrets to wealth accumulation, and retention. (Jesus answered every test by quoting scripture.)

Luke 4:1, “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness.” NASB

In the wilderness, Jesus learned to follow the Spirit. It’s a dry, barren land. And vast! The only water I saw was at En Gedi. You couldn’t drink the water from the Dead Sea. I’m sure the Spirit led Him to water in places only God knew about.

Luke 4:14, “And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district.” NASB

Jesus returned from the wilderness in the power of the Spirit! On the other side of our testing, hard times, crossroads, and difficult journeys are more power, resolve, determination, and clarity.

What was the news about Him? He hadn’t performed one miracle. He hadn’t preached. He just walked through the desert forty days and forty nights – without food – and marched out stronger!

Good Fruits

Luke 3:8-9, “Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, … 9) …so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” NASB

What are the good fruits?

  1. Give your extra coat or bread to him who has none, 3:11.
  2. Collect only what is required, 3:13.
  3. Avoid extortion, 3:14.
  4. Testify truthfully, 3:14.
  5. Be content with your wages, 3:14.

Ignore Debris

Mark 2:1-2, 4, “…Jesus came back to Capernaum… 2) And many gathered together, so there was no longer space, … 4) …they removed the roof above Him; …” NASB

This is between the White Synagogue and Peter’s house in Capernaum. You can see how compact and close together the houses were.

In Nazareth, we saw homes with thatched roofs. It had beams, a layer of flax stalks, a layer of leafy branches, and finally, a layer of dirt.

The paralytic’s friends dug through the dirt, and removed one layer at a time, piling them on the sides of the hole. When they reached the beams, they removed one and let the cot down.

Debris must have been trickling down on those below. Jesus brushed it off and kept teaching.

Perhaps falling debris caused people to leave. There was no longer room, v. 2. Yet, after Jesus healed him, the paralytic got up, picked up the pallet, and went out of the house in front of everyone, v. 12.

Ignore debris; a miracle is coming!

Moses’ Writings, Jesus’ Words

John 5:47, “But if you do not believe his [Moses] writings, how will you believe My [Jesus] words?” NASB

This is why it is important to read the Old Testament. The Passover lamb was a type and shadow of things to come – Jesus, The Passover Lamb. The prophecies are recorded in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New Testament.

It’s exciting to read the red letters of the Bible. They are Jesus’ words. But the explanations are found in black and white in the Old Testament. There are so many connections that you could read the Bible every year and still not see them all!

I’ve been blogging for over a decade and find something to ponder every day. The principles from the Bible give me the answers I need for today!

I believe Moses’ writings and Jesus’ words!

See Isaiah 40:8; Isaiah 46:10-11; Isaiah 55:10-11; and Hebrews 4:12.

Come to Jesus

John 3:2, “This man came to Jesus by night…” NASB

If you are uncomfortable coming to church, then watch the sermon at night. Jesus is your only hope and the Source of hope.

Come for His teachings, v. 2, and stay for salvation. (See, “Save Me, Jesus, Prayer.”) Being born again, vs. 3-8, is like Christmas, New Year’s, and your birthday all rolled up into one! A new life, a new year, and new experiences in bright, fresh colors.

The day you pray that prayer is your spiritual birthday. Record it on your calendar on repeat. When you feel hopeless or mess up, look at that date. Jesus forgave all your mistakes – past, present, and future.

We tell Him we’re sorry and receive forgiveness again. His lovingkindness and mercies are new every morning, Lamentations 3:22. (My spiritual birthday is January 25th!)

See Isaiah 1:16-18; Isaiah 43:25; Isaiah 44:22; Isaiah 54:10; Isaiah 55:7; 2 Chronicles 7:14; and Ezekiel 18:32.

“Do not dwell on the past…I am doing a new thing.”

The Word for You Today 12-29-22

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Join me in reading the 2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide. I would love to hear from you in the comments section below!

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