Becoming More Like Jesus

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To be a Christian is to be Christ-like, a follower of Jesus, a witness for Him, and (the big one) sharing in His sufferings. Philippians tells us: “…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…”

Knowing Christ and being like Christ is not only a means of experiencing the power of His resurrection, but also sharing in His sufferings. So, the question becomes, are you still willing to become more like Christ?

Hebrews 5:8 tells us that Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered. You and I are not exempt. To become more like Christ, we have to be willing to endure and persevere through some of the same things He did: humiliation, persecution, ridicule, rejection, being mocked, and betrayed. This is what makes us stronger, better equipped and more effective disciples for Him. We have to drink from the same cup!

“But Jesus answered and said, ‘You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’”

I personally just went through an act of betrayal that kind of rocked my world. I don’t think there is a greater sting than betrayal. My first instinct was to say, “The heck with him! He will never get another thing from me!” I felt I could even justify this Biblically “The Bible says, don’t cast your pearls among swine!” :) Because of this, I shut the door on this person and refused to communicate with him. Needless to say, the Holy Spirit began to deal with me:

Holy Spirit (HS): “Do you want to become more like Jesus?”

Me: “Of course I do.”

HS: “Jesus turned a betrayal into a sacrament and washed the feet of the man who betrayed Him.”

Me: “Surely you don’t expect me to…”

HS: “Do you want to become more like Jesus?”

Since then, I have opened the door back up to this man and let him know I’m there for him. The blessing came from the Lord immediately.

He truly does reward obedience. I learned it first hand, when His peace invaded my heart!

Being Remade In His Image,

Steve Malek

In Honor of Father's Day

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“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” ~I John 3:1a.
A little over a year ago, I received a jpay (electronic correspondence for the prison population) from an inmate who was a guest of the state residing at the Gus Harrison Facility in Adrian Michigan.  He informed me that he had met a man (Tom) on the yard who was finishing up a 17 year bit, and had nowhere to go, so he told him about Gateway. 
Tom came to us broken, hurt, tired, and angry…and unsaved.  Fortunately, this is right where Jesus meets us!  Here is what Tom wrote just a few days ago:
“Hello, my name is Tom S.,  and currently a resident at Gateway to Glory home, since late July 2017, following my release from doing 17 ½ years in prison.  I was not really feeling the love of the Lord in my heart.
Many things in my life occurred that left a lot of unresolved anger, the most important being the loss of my son to cancer at the age of 10.  But, as this past year has moved along, I realized I had every right to question Jesus about my son’s death.  For it in turn opened me up to God’s direction, guidance and love Jesus actually had for me.
So, in honor of my son and the love Jesus has for him, it be only fitting that on June 17th, 2018, Father’s Day, I choose the gift of salvation for myself, by placing my faith, trust and love in our Lord, Jesus Christ…”
What better gift to our Heavenly Father on Father’s Day to rejoice with all the angels over one lost sinner who came to repentance!  Glory be to God!
Praising the Father,
Chaplain Steve Malek