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Friday, November 9, 2018

How to Handle Stress Like Jesus

In review of 1 John 2:2 it says, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (NIV).

Today’s verse comes from 1 John 2:2-6. In it John is writing so that I won't sin, but if I do, reminding me that I have an advocate who will plead my case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. For Jesus himself is the sacrifice that atones for my sins and the sins of all of the world. To really know him is to obey his commandments. Only those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love him. This is how I know I am living in him. For if I say I live in God, I should be living my life as Jesus did.

If I'm (or anyone else) is feeling condemned, John offers reassurance. I know I have sinned, and Satan is demanding the death penalty. When I feel this way, I do not need to give up hope, because the best defense attorney in the universe will be pleading my case. Jesus Christ, my advocate, my defender, is the Judge's Son. He has already suffered my penalty in my place. I can't be tried for a case that is no longer on the docket. United with Christ, I am as safe as he is. I should never be afraid to ask Christ to plead my case, he has already won it.

Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for my sins. He is my defense attorney. He can stand before God as my mediator because his death satisfied the wrath of God against sin and paid the penalty for my sin. Thus, Christ both satisfied God's requirement and removes my sin. In him I am forgiven and purified.

Sometimes I find it difficult to forgive those who wrong me. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to forgive all people, no matter what they had done! But this is what God has done in Jesus. No one, no matter what sin has been committed is beyond forgiveness. All a person has to do is turn from sin, receive Christ's forgiveness, and commit his or her life to him.

How can I be sure that I belong to Christ? John gives me two ways to know: if I do what Christ says and live as Christ wants. What does Christ tell me to do? To "believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another." True Christian faith results in loving behavior; that is why John says that the way I can can give me assurance that I belong to Christ.

To live as Jesus lived doesn't mean choosing disciples, performing great miracles, and being crucified. I cannot merely copy Christ's life, much of what Jesus did had to do with his identity as God's Son, the fulfillment of his special role in dying for sin, and the cultural context of the first-century Roman world. To walk today as Christ did, I must obey his teachings and follow his example of complete obedience to God and loving service to people.

So when it comes to stress, it can feel like I have the “weight of the world” on my shoulders. Often my responsibilities outnumber the hours in my day. Lots of people in my life want a little piece of me, and it feels like I have nothing left to give.

I’m not alone.

The truth is, only one person has ever had “the weight of the world on his shoulders.” It’s exactly what Jesus came to do: to carry the weight of the world.

The Bible says of Jesus, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2 NIV).

Nobody carried greater stress in life than Jesus. He not only carried the sin of the world on him while on the cross, but he also faced constant demands on him during his life. People frequently wanted to see him and be healed by him. He had no privacy. Other’s tried to trap him and they sought to kill him.

But Jesus knew how to handle the stress. He had an incredibly attractive balance to his life. He handled pressure with peace.

I’d really like to have the same.

Listed below are seven secrets that Rick Warren talks about regarding the stress management that Jesus consistently demonstrates in summary they are.

Identification: Jesus knew who he was.
Motivation: Jesus knew what he was living for (purpose).
Vocation: Jesus understood his calling.
Concentration: Jesus knew what mattered most.
Meditation: Jesus listened to God.
Collaboration: Jesus had a small group.
Recreation: Jesus took time to recharge.

These seven characteristics can define my life as well.

If I can learn to make these characteristics a part of my life, my stress level will go down.

Bottom Line:
Christ is the sacrifice that takes away our sins and the sins of all the world’s people.

What this means to me:
Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for my sins, and not only mine but also for the sins of the whole world.

In summary, the life of Jesus provides me with seven secrets that Jesus consistently demonstrated that I can learn from. They are identification, motivation, vocation, concentration, meditation, collaboration and recreation. Jesus has the ultimate weight of the world on his shoulders. He alone was the sacrifice that atones for not only my sins, but the sins of the world. His atonement covers me when I believe in him and obey his commands and be a loving service to others.

Today is more or less a day away from work and constant immediate demands. I’m taking it as a day off, however, I’ll be using it to organize myself and do some planning for tasks and activities ahead of me. I pray this morning Father for clarity, wisdom and guidance in what I do. These things I pray in Jesus name, amen!