John 8:12, "Later, Jesus talked to the people again, saying, “I am the light of the world. The person who follows me will never live in darkness but will have the light that gives life.”
Remember as a kid doing dot-to-dot coloring pages? You could almost know what the picture would be but unless you connected the dots correctly the picture wouldn’t turn out right. You had to follow the numbers in order, to reveal the hidden picture before you could color it. If you didn’t, you usually had a jumbled mess in front of you.
When I think about the many dot-to-dots I did as a child or helped my children with when they were young, I found some spiritual applications we could learn from them.
Are you ‘on the dot’?
… In your prayer life- Prayer is essential, prayer is vital, we are asked to pray, and Jesus said our way to communicate with the Father is through prayer. Jesus spent time daily, in prayer, just to gather strength to get through each day. How is your prayer life? Are you ‘on the dot’ with Jesus?
Colossians 4:2, “Continue praying, keeping alert, and always thanking God.”
… In your thought life- Oh the many thoughts that run through our minds every hour, every minute, every second. The world is full of distractions and appealing ideas. Do you take time each day to turn your thoughts heavenward? Jesus’ mission on earth was to fulfill God’s will, do you turn your thoughts to helping fulfill the will of God as He has asked of you. Do your thoughts uplift you or bring you down?
Proverbs 4:23, “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”
… In your hospitality- Sometimes reaching out beyond our social circle of friends can be hard and unnerving. We may feel others won’t like us or accept us. Maybe we are worried we’d say or do something that would offend them or turn them off Jesus. Or we may simply be a little more reserved with our money. Yet Jesus tells us in a parable how we should be willing to take care of the less fortunate. He also speaks about how we should welcome strangers into our homes. When we show hospitality, we are showing Jesus through us. How much do you really open yourself up to others or do you hide behind a reserved wall?
Romans 12:13, “Share with God’s people who need help. Bring strangers in need into your homes.”
… In your compassion- Jesus showed compassion to everyone including those who turned against Him. ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.’ It’s hard to show compassion to someone who has hurt you, talks bad about you, is mean to others and more. Yet to be ‘on the dot’, in our compassion we need to look to Jesus’ example and show it to everyone, not just the people we like. Some people simply aren’t aware they are like they are, and your act of compassion could change everything.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father who is full of mercy and comfort. ‘He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us.’”
… When called by God- It’s easy to get caught up in our daily routines and our lives and God gets pushed to the back burner. We believe, we trust, we have faith, but we are called to be servants for Him. He calls us to bring others to Jesus. Although we have to live our lives do we remember to be ‘on the dot’ so when the Lord calls, we will be ready like Esther, for such a time as this.
Have you ever heard about ‘dotting your “I’s”?’ Have you dotted your “I’s” with Jesus?
“Identity”- are you a child of God? John 1:12, “But to all who did accept Him and believe in him he gave the right to become children of God.”
“Instruction”- Are you listening and following God’s Word? Joshua 1:8, “Always remember what is written in the Book of the Teachings. Study is day and night to be sure to obey everything that is written there. If you do this, you will be wise and successful in everything.”
“Integrity”- Are you living as a light for Jesus? “Proverbs 28:6, “It is better to be poor and innocent that rich and wicked.”
“Influence”- Are you bringing others to Jesus or are you a stumbling block leading them away? Mark 16:15-16, “Jesus said to His followers, ‘Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved, but anyone who does not believe will be punished.”
Dot to dots is fun because once completed you have made a picture of something that was a jumbled mess of numbers. Whether we like it or not people are preceptive, people observe other people, and people are forming conclusions about us. Once they finish connecting the dots of our character will they find a shape that forms a Godly life that glorifies God, or a jumbled mess?
Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, you should live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in Heaven.”
Then there are others living on the dotted line. When we color outside the lines, follow a path off the marked path or write of the dotted line we can find ourselves in a place we may not feel safe or in control. When we give a little to the world, we can find ourselves giving in a little more easily. Jesus tells us to walk (live) on the straight and narrow, stay on the path He has marked for us, and to stay within the lines. Not to punish us, keep us bound, or because He wants to control us. He tells us these things to keep us safe in His care because what the world offers only leads to destruction.
So, as you live your daily lives, go through your routines, go to jobs, raise your children. Try to remember to be ‘on the dot’, ‘dot your “I’s”’, and stay within the dotted lines. So, when the dots are connected you are complete with Jesus, and others can see Jesus living in you.
The word of God is described as “the sword of the Sprit” (Ephesians 6:17). Like any weapon, we need to know how to wield it properly. As Paul told Timothy, we need to know how to accurately handle the word. For instance, we need to recognize how to use the Old Testament, knowing that it was “written for our instruction” (Romans 15:4) but has also been “nailed…to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). Other examples could be cited to demonstrate the importance of handling God’s word correctly. Just as a weapon that must be wielded properly, the word of God can be dangerous if it is mishandled. Those who “distort” the Scriptures do so “to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). Therefore, it is essential that we study the Scriptures to know how to handle them aright. Today let's continue our study and read 2 Peter 3:8-13.
Study 7, 2 Peter 3:8-13- https://www.docdroid.net/HJ7pEHr/study-7-docx
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