How to Slow Down So You Don’t Miss What Jesus Has to Teach You about Himself
- Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Mika Nappa's upcoming book, God in Slow Motion: Reflections on Jesus and the 10 Unexpected Lessons You Can See in His Life (Thomas Nelson, 2013).
We often rush through Bible passages, trying to gain spiritual growth from reviewing them quickly before moving on to the rest of our lives. But Jesus Christ was never in a hurry during His time on Earth. The life Jesus modeled was one of patience, and patience is necessary for us to learn the lessons that He wants to teach us.
Slowing down will enable you to pay attention well to what Jesus has to tell you, so you don’t miss lessons about His character that can change your own life for the better.
Here’s how you can slow down so you don’t miss what Jesus has to teach you about Himself:
Learn about mischievous glory. Making the time to fully reflect on the humble way that Jesus chose to enter our world – as a baby in a manger (a feeding trough for animals) can show you how mischievous God is about His glory. Just as Jesus’ touch transformed the lowly manger into a symbol of God’s glory, God’s touch transforms our lives. We’re forgotten beings used for base purposes until we begin relationships with Jesus, but from then on, we become treasures who are free to pursue glorious purposes. Jesus welcomes us as we are (sinful, lost, helpless, and debased) and transforms us into people who enjoy His glorious presence and radiate it to others as His love flows through us.
Learn about mysterious grace. The Bible story of how Jesus met with a Samaritan woman at a well and offered her “living water” shows how He draws people to Himself by pointing out something we need but don’t currently have or something we want to know that only He can reveal to us. Jesus’ interaction with the woman shows both the curiosity of human nature and the mystery of God’s grace at work. Studying this story, you realize that God won’t be defined or limited by human expectations, so He can’t be easily explained or understood – but in every one of God’s mysteries that you encounter, you see glimpses of God at work that can help you get to know Him better.
Learn about criminal kindness. Reading about how Jesus transformed Levi the tax collector (who was considered a criminal due to his corrupt practices) into Matthew the apostle (who joined Jesus in His earthly ministry and wrote the Gospel of Matthew) shows you that when Jesus comes along, even people with the worst behavior can change into people who work for the best. Reflecting on this story teaches you that Jesus sees you as a beloved person that He wants to use in His kingdom – regardless of the mistakes you may have made in the past – and inspires you to say “yes” whenever Jesus calls you to follow Him into an adventure.
Learn about frightening wonder. When you reflect on how Jesus calmed the storm that was raging on the Sea of Galilee around his frightened disciples, you can discover the wonder of how Jesus can help you, too, in even the scariest circumstances you encounter. Jesus hasn’t promised to help you avoid trouble, but to overcome it. Jesus is always in control of the circumstances in your life, and you can tap into His awesome power to deal with them. Choose to trust Him to help and guide you when storms hit your life.
Learn about stolen miracles. The Bible story of how Jesus miraculously healed a woman who had been suffering from a bleeding condition for years can teach you about the proper perspective on miracles. Jesus won’t simply hand out miracles just because people ask for them, and when He does choose to perform miracles, He does so in unexpected ways. Jesus’ compassion is bigger than your vision; it encompasses everything you need, including factors you didn’t even realize that you needed. Choose to trust Jesus even when His vision for you is different from your expectations of Him.
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