By PAT HUTCHENS, A rework of Imitation of Messiah by Thomas A. Kempis—
If you follow me, you will not walk in darkness” (John 8:12). These are the actual words of Jesus when he was on this earth. Think of it. Here he gives us the answer to darkness, to blind groping in the dark. Here he tells us how to have light on life’s path. The answer is to “follow” Jesus, go where he goes, do what he does. Imitate his life and character. So anyone who does not want to walk in darkness – listen! Make it your goal to study, pray and concentrate on what it means to “follow” Jesus. In other words, WWJD? (What would Jesus do?)
2. The teachings of Messiah Jesus surpass all the teaching of holy men and women of history. In fact, those who have the Spirit of Jesus, the very Spirit of the Holy One, will find what the Bible calls “hidden manna” (Revelation 2:17). Many people hear the good news of God’s Kingdom, but their hearts do not long to know more, nor do they do have the mind of Messiah. However, anyone who longs for wisdom and understanding about God and His Word must conform his or her whole life to following His Salvation (Yeshua), Jesus.
3. What good does it do anyone to have deep discussions about who God is and how He manifests Himself, if you lack humility and thereby displease God. It is certainly not deep words that make a person upright and holy. It is true faith in God – backed up with a good life that proves the faith is real – that pleases God. I would rather feel a humble and contrite heart inwardly than to be able to skillfully explain what one is. Even if a person knew the whole Bible by heart and knew all the sayings of all the philosophers, what good would it be without knowing and experiencing the real love and grace of God? “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity,” said the Preacher (in the book of Ecclesiastes) – except to love and serve God and to keep His commandments. Now that is the way to wisdom. That is the way to put the world behind you and reach forward to the everlasting heavenly Kingdom of God.
4. It is vain and useless to seek after or trust in riches. Why? Because riches perish. Riches shrivel up and vanish. It is also vain and useless to let lusts and desires of the body run your life. Why? Because, in the long run, that will lead to sorrow and failure. It is vain and useless to do everything in your power to live a long life but do little or nothing to live a good life. It is vain and useless to think only about the life here and now and think little or none about the life to come. It is vain and useless to love that which is here today and gone tomorrow, yet pay no attention to eternal matters.
5. Think about this. “The eye is never satisfied with seeing, nor the ear with hearing” (Ecc.1:8). Seek to turn your heart away from always trying to get what you want. Put your heart into what really matters – things that are unseen. Why? Because anyone who allows fleshly lusts to rule his life, defiles his conscience – and hinders the work of God’s grace in his life. Beware – that is a long and hard road. Don’t go down it. Instead, choose to follow Jesus on a road that leads to light and life.
Dear Heavenly Father, as I begin my journey turning from darkness and walking in your light, I turn toYou for mercy and grace. Shine your light in my heart. Messiah Jesus, enter my heart. God, make me the person you want me to be. Teach me what it means to follow you. Lord Jesus, Anointed One, Son of Almighty God, have mercy on me, because I am a sinner. Amen.
A rework of Imitation of Messiah by Brother Thomas A. Kempis