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.

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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

Victory Over Sin

I want to share something about sin that God put on my heart a couple days ago. Too many times I hear about how someone I know is tormented because sin is ruling over them. I hear that they have depression, are withdrawing from their social life, have no peace, no joy, and so on. Too many times in my own life I thought that I had no control over what I did. I though I could never overcome my struggle with cigarettes, or alcohol, or porn, or cursing, or lying, and so on. I thought I was bound to these sins until someone else, greater than me prayed over me and freed me. Boy was I wrong.

I came across some powerful stuff in Romans the other day. I mean, I always heard that as Christians, we have the power to overcome sin through Jesus Christ, but I never read it for myself, to understand it for myself, to absorb it for myself, and to study it by myself. Then I read Romans chapter 6. In this passage, several times, we are reminded that we can overcome the power of sin because of Jesus Christ. Because We have chosen to follow Christ and be his children, we now also have the same power to overcome as he has! He frees us from our bondage! We don’t have to be stuck in it! Read these powerful truths:

“… Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.”

“6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.”

“10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.”

“12 Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.”

Now I don’t know what you understand from here, but it’s pretty clear to me. When we were in the world, when we were slaves to sin, when we had our fleshly desires as our master, we had no power over sin. But once we decided to follow Christ, once we decided to let Him lead our lives, that power was broken. (Another reason why water baptism is so important and significant, but I won’t go into this now)

WE HAVE POWER OVER SIN! Now its up to us. It’s up to us to choose the victory or to choose the loss over it. When that tempting sin creeps up in your life, are you going to give in? Are you going to fall again? Are you going to tell yourself this is the last time for the millionth time already? Are you going to stop tomorrow that isn’t guaranteed? Or are you going to finally say “Enough is enough, I will NOT give you control over me. I will not allow you to further separate me from the Lord, and I WILL NOT hurt my God who loves me so much that He sent his only son to die for me.” It’s up to you at this point.

If you are someone who doesn’t know Jesus Christ personally, please feel free to email me at jasondumitru@yahoo.com. If don’t know this power over sin, or what freedom from this bondage is, please email me. I’d love the opportunity to share what God’s done in my life, and what He has done and can do for you!

God bless you all and thanks for reading today’s post. Be encouraged.