A Walking in Jesus’ Steps 30-Day Devotion
Day One: John 1:3 Part 1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3)
Who Was Jesus?
We are climbing high into theological peaks in John 1:1-5. Wonderful blessings. We first must address the theology because it is the key to us recognizing who Jesus is, and why we’d want to worship him and walk in his footsteps.
John Piper clarifies the answer well: “Therefore, what John is doing in John 1:1–3 is telling us the most ultimate things about Jesus that he can… He wants us to have in our minds, fixed and clear, from the beginning of his Gospel, the eternal majesty and deity and Creator rights of Jesus Christ. … John means for us to read every word of this Gospel with the clear, solid, amazed knowledge that Jesus Christ was with God and was God and that the one who laid down his life for us (John 15:13) created the universe.
We Christians have faith that God created the universe, is a living God, and he laid down (sacrificed) his human life for us so we can have eternal salvation. Clearly, John is stating that God and Jesus are one. The Word, Jesus, was with God, as part of the Holy Trinity with the Holy Spirit.
What did Jesus Do?
So, with that strong foundational idea, we can look at Jesus’ life and see how we might emulate it as an act of worship, and also as a pro-Christ Kingdom citizen.
We are in the “world.” We know it is temporary, but we aren’t here to wait around. God created us to act, to show his kingdom. It’s difficult, because we have a fallen human nature. But the more we try to act as Jesus did, the more we shed layers of the old sinful self and drape ourselves in a rising spiritual nature that comes to fulfillment in heaven.
I’m focusing this devotional on what Jesus did and encouraging us to walk in his footsteps. So in this verse we see he created the earth (in fact the universe) and everything upon it, including you and I.
God created a vast aquatic world we hardly know, and a terrestrial world of mountains, deserts, plains, lakes and rivers and estuaries, hardwood forests and jungles. He created species from sloths to elephants, puppies to tigers, parrots to eagles. He created the air, the clouds, the rain and the wind. His creativity (see Devotion 3), worked at the tiniest cellular level and into the immense star-laden sky.
Worshipping the Creator, not the Creation
We worship the Creator, not the creation.
However, isn’t it praiseworthy to know God has put the responsibility for being caretakers of his creation in our hands? Genesis 2:15 says “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” To use and enjoy it, and even to thrive in it, of course. But never to abuse it, or greedily seek wealth from God’s creation for personal gain. We know Jesus despises greed, pride, and selfishness. Abuse his creation, and you abuse God. (As I write this, I’m devasted as I look around and see a trash can full of plastic items and other items that could be recycled! I’m abusing God! We do it and don’t even realize it. Tragic.) Instead, caretaking his creation is part of our kingdom celebration and expansion. It brings kingdom joy, the opposite of selfish, and temporary, gain.
From a Scriptural perspective, Christians should have been leading the environmental agenda says the Evangelical Alliance. Delve more into that scripture here.
What can we do?
So, we want to do what Jesus did? We certainly have our work cut out for ourselves. Yet, there are many wonderful things we can take from this. This is a BIG challenge.
There are literally hundreds of personal ways we can take care of God’s creation. We can conserve water, not litter, and be aware of what causes air, water and soil pollution. We can plant trees, clean beaches of plastic and other trash, and limit our carbon footprint. There are so many small things we can do that can add up to a large impact. Each is an act of worship of the creator.
Creation Justice Ministries offers up 50 quick ideas. Please check it out to find a few ideas. Consider doing them an act of worship! Two of my favorites:
- Try Cooking One-Pot Meals: By using one pot to cook your meal, you save on electricity, gas, and water, which reduces your footprint and may even give you leftovers for the week!
- Evaluate Coffee and/or Tea Habits: Do you use a reusable or disposable cup and filter? Do you use loose leaf tea or tea bags? Where does your beverage come from? Is it ethically sourced? If not, find out how you can make the sustainable switch.
Finally, should we join governmental and environmental groups? For some of us, yes, of course! Take the spirit of Christ into those groups. Show Jesus in your desire to be good caretakers, but also by the manner in which you serve in those groups. Bring the church, via our bodies, words and actions, into the organizations. Guard yourself that the world doesn’t corrupt you. But be Matthew 28:16-20 Christians, obedient to Jesus’ last command to his apostles, and also be obedient in protecting the creation.
Questions to stimulate your ‘walk’
- Can you take a concrete step today? One small step leads us to “run with the perseverance of the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1.
- Read Christian Justice Ministries 50 ideas. Do one new thing!
- Think about how you are living on this earth. Meditate about a day in our life.
- How does your life show a love and respect God’s creation?
- How do you use the land, water, air? Respectfully, worshipfully?
- What behavior, action, habit, do you feel God telling you to change?
- Pray over your response to someone who may have a different political philosophy than you do, but is an active earth caretaker. They may not know it, but they are performing an act of worship, and it may be God’s way of drawing them to himself!
- Remember, too, Christians should lead the environmental movement if we believe in what the scripture says. Do you see a way to lead?
Journal: How will you walk with Jesus?
Meditate on the questions and answer them honestly. Let the Holy Spirit help you write your thoughts. Focus on how you can walk in Jesus’ steps.
Then lift a prayer to God to help you
Jesus, I look at the sky, water, land, the trees, the living creation, and I’m in awe. I’m overwhelmed that you created such a place for us. We know there are many challenges, because this is a fallen world awaiting your return. But I pray you guide me on how best to serve you by caring for your creation. Amen.
This is planned as a 30 day devotion looking at John 1-13 and following in Jesus’ steps. What did he do? How did he live? What did he care about? To work towards emulating our Savior should be the basis of our lives and the main focus of our churches. When we get involved in worldly things, we tend to bring the world into our church, and Jesus’ face and work becomes faded. This is not a theological review, but I hope an action review that will inspire us to do more than we talk (smile).