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By Watchman | June 6, 2011

For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.  For every tree is known by its own fruit.  For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil.  For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.  But why do you call me “Lord, Lord,” and not do the things which I say?

     Recently I watched a movie called WWJD, an updated version of Charles Sheldon’s “In His Steps.”  Christian movies, like all others, can be  good, bad or indifferent;  and as I inserted it into my DVD player, I hoped that at least it wouldn’t be too lame.  Actually, I enjoyed it very much.  More than being an enjoyable movie, however, it set up a train of thought in my mind that made me realize how often I don’t consider whether or not Jesus would have done as I have.  I’ve mentioned before that I’m not particularly fond of Christian catch-phrases, so I haven’t really paid much attention to the question “What Would Jesus Do?” which adorns so many wristbands and keychains.  Many fundamentalist churches stress being “Christ-like,” a laudable but impossible-to-achieve ambition.  Bad news here:  we are not Christ (only Jesus is Christ) and therefore we cannot be exactly like Him.  The good news, though, is that we can live lives that are pleasing to Him, ever learning, loving and growing closer to our Father in heaven.  As Jesus cares about every tiny aspect of our lives, we can indeed ask the question of ourselves in our daily situations “What would Jesus do?”.   In order to do so with any success, it is necessary to study His word.  Just a quick review of the four Gospels chronicling His life on earth shows us that many of our present day problems were addressed by our Lord.   Of course, we know that Jesus was without sin and was born without a sin nature, so perhaps our question should actually be “What Would Jesus Have Us Do?”


     First to be considered is the fact that, according to Scripture, every time Jesus had faced a difficult choice or decision He took it first to His Father in prayer.  He did this during the forty days of fasting He spent in the wilderness before beginning His earthly ministry; He did it the night before He chose the twelve men who would become His apostles ; He did it the night before He went to the cross to become the sacrificial Lamb.  From these and other instances we can assume that He took all things to the Father before He acted.  Do we, when we must make our life choices, take them all to the Father?  While I dither and moan about not knowing what to do in a given situation, do I go to God immediately and ask His will in the matter?  Too often, no I don’t.  But that is what Jesus would do.  It is what He would have me do as well.  Do we seek God’s will as we choose our relationships–our friends, our spouses?  Probably not; and yet, if He cares about every aspect of our lives (and He does) shouldn’t we be consulting Him about the most important decisions we will make concerning the well-being of our hearts and emotions?

     Jesus never put His own needs above the needs of those who followed Him.  Even when He became so tired that He withdrew from the crowds to rest, when they followed Him He took pity on their needs and infirmities and healed them and gave them the words they so needed to hear.  There have been times when I have felt resentment that others have made claim on my time and emotions when I was in need of  help myself (or felt myself to be)–did I ask what Jesus would have me do?  Too often not.  Selfishness is a much more easily acquired trait than is compassion.  Had I asked myself what Jesus would do in my situation, I would have known that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” and the resentment would have died.  Since the time of creation, it has always been a truth that when we follow the way of the Lord faithfully we will have peace in our spirits and be more emotionally healthy than if we follow the way of the world.

     Each day on television  there is a plethora of courtroom reality programs showing.  Every day millions of viewers watch Judges Alex, Judy, Mathis, Brown, Hatchett, etc.  settle disputes among families, friends and neighbors; every day these viewers relish the animosity and even violence of those who appear to have their court claims settled publically.  How many of us ask, “Is this the way Jesus would have us settle our differences?”  Of course, I’m sure He prefers this to physical violence, but the answer must indeed be “Probably not.”  What He is more likely to tell us is “…pray for them which despitefully use you.  To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also.  And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.  Give to everyone who asks of you.  And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.”  (Luke 6:29-30) 

     Every day thousands of people are on the street begging for food or money for shelter.  These people are often the subject of political debate, with some liberals claiming the government needs to provide completely for them while usually refusing to help them themselves, and some conservatives claiming they are the product of their own bad choices and deserving of no aid since helping them will only encourage their depraved lifestyles.  It doesn’t take more than a quick reflection to realize that neither stance mirrors what Jesus would do or have us do.  God cares very much that people have something to eat, and intends His people to supply want as much as is within our means to do so.  While on earth He fed the hungry and commanded others to do the same.  He would do so yet today–and then teach them what His heavenly Father would have them do to turn their own lives around!      

     When we meet those who have been in prison or jail or been addicted to alcohol or drugs and have sincerely repented of their past behavior yet have difficulty in finding work and Godly friends, do we embrace them as brothers or sisters in need, or is there a metaphorical drawing aside of skirts when we encounter them?  Jesus greatly loved those abominable sinners who left their sin behind to follow Him–should we be doing any less?

     There’s another, joyful component to asking what Jesus would have us do:  too many times, when we fail at a task we have undertaken for the Lord and it does not bear the fruit we hoped it would, we become despondent; feeling as though we have in some manner failed the Lord.  I have felt this myself numerous times over the past couple of years.  Many television evangelists tell us that if the fruit is less than we had hoped for, then our efforts weren’t of God: we were wrong, wrong, wrong.   Yet even Jesus was not always able to bring into the kingdom of God all the people He ministered to–and He was not only preaching as God Himself, He was healing leprosy, restoring eyesight and hearing, feeding thousands of people from a little boy’s lunch bucket and forgiving sins!  My dear sister went through the same feelings of failure when she visited a dying relative with whom she hoped to pray and lead to salvation.  Unfortunately, the woman’s heart was closed to the love of Christ and refused the offer of  prayer, dying in her sins.  Would Jesus have her be disheartened?  Not at all; she did the will of God in making the attempt to bring the woman into the kingdom.  Jesus did not castigate Himself for not being able to reach everyone; He mourned for the loss of their souls and continued to preach the Kingdom of God.  What would Jesus have us do?  Feel for the lost so much that it spurs us on to greater efforts to reach those who have not yet found Him!

     Brothers and sisters, we are nearing the end of the days in which we will be able to influence others for Christ.  Our time grows exceedingly short, and we are in a desperate race with the forces of evil  for the souls left undecided as to how they choose to spend their eternity.  It is not a time to pick and choose what will go over easily with those around us, or which passages of the Bible we will ignore in order to pacify those who are against the holy word of the Most High God.  Now we have only the time to ask, “What Would Jesus Do?”







Topics: According to Scripture, Kingdom Living | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “WWJD”

  1. Susan Says:
    June 6th, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    This is an exceptional example of the work He has done within your heart and life. With every WWJD I too come up short so many times. I remind myself to do that right? Then I allow the devil to use outside distractions to deter that which aim to do.

    Yes, He could call for us the next 30 minutes or so. I wish with all my heart that people would cease listening to those who have not one clue-(experientially speaking)-as to Whom Jesus Christ is, and start listening to the ones whose lives and hearts He has changed forever!

    Here’s to praying for the one flap of the hearts that are still pliable, for the Holy Spirit to beckon them now, before it is too late for them. You know I have heard people say-“people can still get saved in the Tribulation via the 144,000, etc? I say in reply to that “If you haven’t accepted the truth of God through Jesus NOW when it is easy too…Well..I just think if they can’t do it “IN season”…how much harder will it be for those who may wish to then.

    If the “world” is so attractive to them now I can only imagine the stuff that will be taking place on this Godless earth during the 7 year Tribulation when Satan has his last day.



  2. Watchman Says:
    June 6th, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Thank you for the kind words, Susan. And yes–accepting the Lord during the Tribulation hour will mean an almost certain death sentence–many may wish to make Him Lord of their lives, but will not have the courage to refuse the mark of the beast.