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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Claim Your World"

Date published: 04/16/2018
Luke 2:48-49 “When his parents saw Him  (Jesus), they were astonished.  His mother said to Him, ‘Son, why have You treated us like this?  Your father and I have been anxiously searching for You.’ ‘Why were you searching for Me?’ He asked, ‘Didn't you know I had to be in My Father's house?’” (NIV) 

   Reading this passage reveals some of the little information we have on Jesus’ early life. It also challenges us to follow Jesus as Paul instructed in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (NIV)  

Following the example of Christ in Luke 2 teaches us two things:

   1) Jesus and His family had come to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. After the feast, Mary, Joseph, their relatives, and their friends had traveled about a day towards their home in Nazareth when they discovered Jesus was not with them. Upon returning to Jerusalem they found Jesus, at age 12, in the temple court interacting with the teachers! His parents were astonished. Just as Jesus astonished those who observed His life, your life can also astonish those around you. People know your ungodly nature, but do they know your new creation nature? Even though Jesus was fully human, He lived in the power of the Holy Spirit allowing God’s life and wisdom to shine through Him. As a follower of Christ, the same should be happening to you. You should live not as a mere mortal trapped by your old nature, but instead as a new creation with the Holy Spirit alive and active in you. Having the proper frame of reference is critical for this lifestyle. 1 Peter 2:9-10 declares your position in Christ: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (NIV) 

   2) Living in this position takes us to the second thing we learn from Jesus’ life. Jesus’ frame of reference was His acknowledgement of His position with His Heavenly Father. Jesus did not live like the child (slave) in Galations 4:1, but as one who owned the whole estate: “What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.” (NIV) Jesus’ mother should have known better than anyone that this was how Jesus lived. Jesus lived for His heavenly Father in the power of the Holy Spirit. 

   Every follower of Christ should live the same way. Your life should astonish those of this world who knew you before Christ. A life lived through the power of the Holy Spirit should constantly point to God while astonishing others as you live in God’s ways rather than the world’s ways. Living this way requires the mindset of Jesus where His life and purpose was lived constantly in His Father’s house. Jesus did not live for the world, but for His Father. Who do you live for? Would you like to live a life that astonishes the world, while bringing glory to your Heavenly Father? If so, then live exclusively for God through faith and obedience, so that you can constantly live a fruitful life that glorifies God. 

John 6:38 “For I have come down from heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me.” (NIV) 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “Satisfaction” and “Discipleship.” 

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