God-Like or Like God

We’re already in March of 2018. I apologize for not posting in over 2 months. Life has been very busy, but very good. Not perfect, but still a wonderful ride these last few months. As I spent some time in the Bible today, I was heavily convicted and knew that I had to share something with all of you. I know that mostly believers take the time to read my posts, so I write today’s post, especially for you my brother and sister in Christ.

In our churches and our communities, whether they’re Romanian, African American, Latino, Intercultural, or any other ethnic background, there is always much talk about being more like Christ and loving and caring for the people we encounter on a day to day basis. However, if we take a good look at ourselves, we will see that the abundance of love, care, and compassion we so often preach about is actually missing. I see this lack of love not only between brothers and sisters within the churches, but also from believer to non-believer.

Today I read a verse that slapped me across my face. That passage was Matthew 9, but more specifically verse 36 says “When he (Jesus) saw the crowds, he felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd.”

When we ask to be more like Christ, do we understand what we ask? Do we ask this to become more god-like or more like God? There’s a difference. Attempting to be god-like is is simply us trying to be overwhelmingly powerful or awesome in a sense. Trying to be more like God is a process called sanctification and holiness.

I want to challenge each and every single one of us that call and consider ourselves Christians and followers of Christ. I want us to be in love with Jesus and his Word so much so that we feel what he felt, that we do what he did, that we say what he said. Jesus led the perfect life. He was like us, yet unlike us.

Jesus saw the crowds and felt compassion. What do we feel when we see the lost? Do our hearts break and lead us to do something? Or do our hearts break for a moment and then we move along with our complacency and our passiveness? We MUST be catalysts for change, but the only way for this to happen is by understanding our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, spending time with him and his Word, and allowing that to move us into places we would have never thought we would be in.

Earlier in Matthew 9, verses 12-13, we read this But when He heard this, He said, “Those who are well don’t need a doctor, but the sick do.  Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

I ask you to join me as I try to be more like my God, my Lord, and my Savior Jesus Christ. Lets minister to the hurting, the broken, the oppressed, and those without a voice. Lets speak to those that aren’t reached by everyday poster-Christians. Lets really hurt like Christ hurt. Lets reach out to the sinner and help them see what Jesus did for sinners like us and how he brought us into holiness, righteousness, and salvation.

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The Beauty of Reconciliation

If you know me, I don’t like being superficial. I don’t like pretending everything is fine, and when things get rough, I don’t like talking about them on social media or my blog. However, I know that growth can only come from living life, experiencing, making mistakes, loving, as well as hurting. So today I want to share something that has been on my heart recently, and hopefully you might get something from it.

Without getting into much detail, I have someone in my life that sometimes makes things hard to bear. I can’t ignore this person and I can’t avoid them either. Sometimes I lose my temper and say things and think things that no man of God should say or think. Sometimes I’ve even skipped church services just because of how bad things got and I had guilt and condemnation holding me back from the one place I should’ve ran to. Although I could make excuses and blame this person, I won’t. I am my own person and I control my thoughts and actions. If you really want to grow and mature, then you ought to take responsibility for your own actions as well.

I read the story of Jacob and Esau meeting in Genesis 33 and just imagining the story was enough to make me tear up. Two brothers who have both been in tension for so long, who had all the reason to stay away from each other for good, and who didn’t need to risk their lives to reconcile, did so anyways for the sake of reconciliation.

For those of you that don’t know Jacob and Esau were twins and had tension between themselves since their very birth. Earlier in Genesis, Jacob tricks his father into blessing him and not Esau. Basically Jacob stole the blessing of Esau that was rightfully his and then fled for many years to come. That was the most cowardly thing anyone could ever do. However, what impresses me isn’t the beginning or middle of the story of these two brothers. It’s the ending that gives me goosebumps and chills.

Who knows the real reason behind Jacob wanting to meet Esau, but I’ll bet he missed his brother and wanted to be reconnected with him. Jacob knew he was in the wrong. So beautifully and clearly seen, is Jacob’s humility. It isn’t easy to be in the wrong and then put your head down and say I’m sorry, but then even more so, be prepared to surrender as much as possible for the sake of wrong being made right.

I don’t want to go on much more about the backstory, but what I want to get across before this Christmas day and all of us entering the new year, is this idea of reconciliation. I know for a fact, because we are human, we all have a mother or father we don’t get along with, we have a sister or brother, cousin or friend that we just can’t seem to figure out how to make peace with and love properly. I’ll tell you, I daily struggle to love someone very near to me and it isn’t easy. In fact, I fail so frequently that I end up beating myself up for my failures.

Right now, I’m writing this, first and foremost for myself (as I do with all my posts), but then I write them for you all. I want you to know today that it sucks in the moment to humble yourself and put your head down so that you might find restoration in a relationship, but believe me, in the long run, you will almost never regret it. Learning to do what Jesus did over and over and over again is what will help your relationships always. Humble yourself and show love to the other person so much so, that you are willing to love them especially when they are deserving of hatred and punishment. That is true selfless love.

Jesus says in Matthew 5:43-48 to love your enemy and pray for those that hurt you. Interesting right? That’s not what we learn nowadays in this day and age. The truth is, anyone can love a person that is kind and deserving of it… but how many of us can love a person that ABSOLUTELY doesn’t deserve anything but wrath? That’s what it means to be like God, to love the unlovable and to show kindness and grace to the unworthy.

I challenge you today as I challenge myself, go and be reconciled with that person that irks you and bothers you. Go make peace with that person that is full of hate. This is when our Christlike character comes out.

Plus, I don’t see how we can live as Christians and not love a person. I don’t see how you can praise God, take communion (the Lord’s Supper), and still hate a person and hide hate in your heart. I plead with you, repent of that and ask God to help you make peace. After all, ’tis the season’ no? Jesus came nearly 2000 years ago so that he might make peace and reconcile us to the Father. Remember that. God bless you all, peace and love.

Just Like Them

I read from Luke 22 this morning and some things stuck out to me. Peter is my favorite character in the New Testament (besides Jesus…that’s a given) because I see so much of my character reflected in him through his actions, words, and attitudes. I see his responses and I realize they are so similar to mine. I love identifying with Peter. But, Peter made some serious mistakes. I mean… this man denied Christ THREE times! He could’ve stopped at one denial and repented, but instead he denied Christ three times. Once it was done, he realized what had just happened and he ran away and wept bitterly. There was a conviction that took place in his heart.

On the other hand, in the same chapter, you read about Judas Iscariot betraying Christ by selling him for silver. This man betrayed Jesus Christ and didn’t even feel bad. He was so greedy and corrupt that it didn’t even faze him, probably until it was too late unfortunately.

In verse 24 you read how the disciples even began to argue about who would be greatest in the Kingdom of God. It’s like WHAT?! You are with the Lord Jesus Christ and you care about which one of you is the greatest? OBVIOUSLY that concern shouldn’t have existed, but they were flawed.

That being said, it’s funny to me how we elevate the disciples on such a pedestal sometimes because of how much the Spirit of God worked through them. Although it is true that they were much more mature as apostles, they were very immature as disciples. What I would like to remind us today is this: we are just like them. They didn’t always make the right choices or think the right things.

In more ways than one, the disciples of Christ weren’t that different from us. They were also imperfect. They often feared, worried, and displayed anxiety. They argued and quarreled amongst themselves. They showed contempt on certain occasions. They highly esteemed the wrong thing sometimes. Sometimes they worried about their image before people more than they worried about their image before God. Really though, the list goes on.

I’m not at all saying that we shouldn’t take example from them. What I am saying however, is that we cannot beat ourselves up for the shortcomings, flaws, and problems we sometimes create for ourselves. Realistically we must remember that we are humans; by default, this means we are flawed and sinful. Remember Adam and Eve? It was through them that sin entered the world and forever changed the course of humanity.

Today, I’m sure you might be reading this at home in your comfy spot, maybe you’re at the breakfast table starting off your day with a blog post or two, or maybe you’re waiting for your next class to start and quickly skimming through this for some hope that you might pass your finals in these upcoming weeks, you might even be at work reading this right now because you don’t feel like doing your job.

That’s okay. Take a step back and remember how greatly these men were used by God as apostles, these men who were once immature disciples, FULL of flaws. Even as apostles, I’m willing to go out on a limb here and assume they sinned and made mistakes. After all Romans 3:23 reminds us so wonderfully… “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Let’s take what we see in Luke 22 about Peter, about Judas, about the disciples, and realize that we aren’t very far off from each other. We are just like them. Both are flawed and both need Jesus. Be encouraged today that our Lord is alive. Be strengthened that he is with you. Be blessed to know you have salvation in him. Don’t lose courage or be dismayed about your flaws. Look in the Bible and see what these flaws teach you about yourself and what God thinks of you, even with all of them.

If you took the time to read this post today, I bless you in the name of Jesus and I pray victory over your day today.

The Beauty of a Human Jesus

I hope you had a very merry Christmas and continue to have happy holidays! Wishing you all blessings from our missionary team here in Austria! I just want to share a little something with you all before this year is over.

Recently God has been teaching me a lot about Jesus’ character and I want to briefly share some of it with you. I’ve been reading the Gospels again alongside this book called “Beautiful Outlaw” by John Eldridge (which I HIGHLY recommend) and the author has really used scripture, texts from the Bible that we often pass over with a tone or understanding that we got from church or a pastor. But in reading this book, you get to encounter the character of Jesus in a new way. You get to see the authentic Jesus for who He truly is.

God has opened up to me this truth, that Jesus was more of a human than any of us. He actually lived a life in which he encountered many difficulties and trials that we often give in to. It’s such a wonderful thing, reading the Gospels to get to know the character of Jesus better. It’s really soothing to the soul when you read about how he expressed himself when he was hungry, thirsty, filled with grief, humorous, angry, happy, joyful, sarcastic, compassionate, caring, and so on. We get to see this wonderful side of Jesus that we often don’t get to see from the teachings at church or regular podcast sermons or Christian radio stations.

There truly is beauty in having a human Jesus. The beautiful part about all of it, is that we can relate to him more, or rather, he can relate to us. Understanding that Jesus was a human really helps you as a believer to be more authentic with him. It helps your relationship to really thrive. Because you are no longer praying to a Jesus who is so perfect that He wants nothing to do with you, or a Jesus who wasn’t “actually” a human. I started to get to know him more by simply reading the Gospels again and really studying his responses to people, his actions, his works. I challenge you to do the same. Make this upcoming year, a year in which you get to know who Jesus truly was and who he truly is!

God bless you! Enjoy the rest of this year and if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to email me at jasondumitru@yahoo.com

The Privileges of Today’s Christian

I spent some time with the Lord in prayer and in the scriptures today. I came across something that really touched me. Matthew 13:16-17

16. ´´But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your eyes for they hear´´;
17. ´´for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.´´ (NKJV)

This passage really hit me as soon as I finished the last word in verse 17. Do you understand what you just read in these 2 verses? We are blessed for seeing what we see and hearing what we hear, for seeing peoples chains broken from satan, demons casted out, rehab centers healing addicts, churches leading ministries, people serving as missionaries, and SO MUCH MORE! Because we heard the gospel and the message of Jesus Christ, we are blessed! It says prophets and righteous men desired to see and hear, but they didn’t. Does this mean anything to you? Can you see how privileged we are compared to Moses, Noah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and so many others! We are living the life they wished for, a life in Jesus Christ!

We are so privileged to be Christians. I don’t think we even come close to understanding what a gift we have, how blessed we are to be Christians. We have the Holy Spirit living in us. We are filled with the SAME POWER that rose Jesus from the grave. The same power that healed the blind, deaf, mute, the lepers, rose the dead, and blessed so many, is in us. We are living lives that so many from the past would be jealous of.

Now, we understand how privileged we are, but what are we doing with these privileges? Are we furthering the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth? Are we fighting daily to crucify our flesh and its passions to the cross? Are we doing everything to live the life that God has called us to live? We have the Holy Spirit in us dear brothers and sisters. What are we doing with Him? Are we praying, preaching, testifying, doing works, healing, prophecying? What is the point to be a Christian who does nothing? If you aren’t using the Spirit within you, what is the point for you to even have Him in you?

These are just some thoughts I wanted to share with you all. I just wanted to encourage you all to understand what an amazing gift it is to be a Christian, to live in a time where Jesus died for our sins and rose to come back. A time in which we have a helper and a counselor, the Holy Spirit of God, to lift us up, empower us, encourage us, guide and lead us, bless and baptize and fill us up!

God bless you all and thank you for reading todays post. May peace and blessings be upon your home and family in this Christmas and New Year season!

It Is Written…

As Christians it is so important that whenever we read the Word of God we get something from it. Whether it’s more wisdom, or knowledge, or understanding, or conviction, or whatever else it might be. We must realize that this book is alive. It is the absolute perfect Word of God. Knowing this will help shape and pave the road for you and I on this walk with Christ.

I read from the book of Matthew this morning and I saw something that immediately convicted me. I read Matthew chapter 5. In this chapter we see that Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights. Seeing this, that Jesus was hungry, and weak (from the aspect that he was in human form), and weary (again, because He was in Human form), satan used this as an opportunity to tempt him with food, to tempt him by testing God, to tempt him by trying to give Jesus all within his earthly kingdom on earth.

But as satan tempted Jesus, each time he responded so well to the tempters offers. Jesus said all three times “It is written…” and then he quoted the Word of God. Upon this I immediately experienced a conviction that I want to share with you all and hopefully you share in it. We must get to know the Word of God better! Jesus knew it when satan came to tempt him and that’s where his victory was found! He knew the Scriptures well. He knew how to defend himself against the evil ones lies and deceiving promises.

I think if Jesus set this example for us, we’d better follow it. Imagine how often satan comes to tempt us and we give in. You know why? Because we don’t know the Word of God. We don’t know the Bible. We don’t have these living words come to life within us often enough. The power of the Bible is so great, but unfortunately it’s useless (to you and I individually) if you don’t become intimate with it. The power of it never comes alive in your life and you don’t get to experience the great victories God has prepared for you.

These words are simply brotherly love towards all of you my brothers and sisters in Christ. I became convicted of the lack of scripture in my life and I want you to experience the same conviction so that things can start changing in, around, and through us! Thank you for reading todays post. I hope it encouraged you, strengthened you, and convicted you like it did for me. May God’s peace, love, and joy be upon you all today. Amen.

UPDATE & A Promise of the Bible

UPDATE: I apologize for the long break, however I was in Romania for a couple weeks and I didn’t have a chance to post anything. But I do have REALLY great news! As some of you may know, I am serving in Austria as a missionary. We have quite a few ministries here and a rehab center is one of them. As of this last week, we now have a new leader, two more students, and we might even be getting another student on Friday. We have seen such blessings from the Lord in just the past couple of days, so thank you to all who sustain us in prayer and fasting! God really is working!

Today I want to encourage you all with a passage I read from 1 Corinthians that is really powerful when you accept it, believe it, and trust it!

“8 He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9 God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  1 Corinthians 1:8-9 (NLT)

These verses were so amazing for me to read. It doesn’t matter who you are, as a Christian, somehow satan will find ways to discourage you, and make you lose heart, and get attacked, and so on. That is why I wanted to share this with you all.

If you are in a difficult time, if you are facing a storm in life, if the problems in your life are bringing you down, then you must read these verses and realize the truth they can have in your life. Paul says God will keep us strong to the end. And he says that God will do this. He says that God is faithful to do what he says he will do. He is saying this confidently and this means that this is a promise!

Let’s trust in this promise of the Bible! God will keep us strong. So if today you’ve lost heart, if you’ve been discouraged, please, don’t let it continue. Please turn to Christ and give it all to Him. He will help you out in this time. Only He knows how to bless us and help us out of these situations.

Thank you for taking the time to read today’s post. Thank you for sharing. May God bless you! If you need encouragement, have any questions, have any concerns, or even need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to email me at jasondumitru@gmail.com