Dear Bros in Christ, Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Brothers in Christ, this monthly devotional is sent and meant to be an encouragement to all and to build up and edify in the Lord Jesus Christ. Oikodome means "Builder". The Lord has put this on my heart to send out a monthly Iron Man Oikodome {oy-kod-om-ay'} to build up and encourage the men who love and follow Jesus Christ in their walk with Him. Romans 14:19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Hebrews 3:13 "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." DECEMBER 2007 REAL OR IMITATION I recently read an article about how the Thai people worship their king in such a way by imitating what he wears. They love him so much if he wears a pink shirt or jacket they all wear pink shirts, we are talking thousands and hundreds of thousands of people wanting to be like their king by being covered by his style and color tastes. They literally go bananas for whatever he wears, they go buy the color he is wearing because they adore him and love him so much that is why they say they imitate him. They say he is a good king and they want to show him how much they love and respect him by loving all the pastel colored clothing he wears and dressing like him and imitating him. Is this real love or imitation pastel love? Think about this for a moment as it relates to how we imitate our King, Jesus Christ and how we follow Him. If we are to imitate our King, Jesus Christ the “KING of kings” we would have to go everywhere in complete humility, in meekness, gentleness and humble spirit. Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Considering or esteeming others better than us also, self denial; Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. To be like Him we would have to clothe ourselves in His complete and absolute unconditional love, to love one another; John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." Walking in His complete grace and knowing it is His Grace which allows us to walk in Him. Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. His never ending mercy on those He sees and hears and loves. His obedience to the point of death. If we imitated Him like this would everyone take notice around us? Would they see Christ in us and insist to know this Jesus and want to learn more about the real reason we are imitating Jesus Christ in our lives, is it because He first loved us that we love Him. Would it be that apparent that we loved Jesus like in the Thai people when you see all those pastel wearing folks in one group you must ask what is going on, what are these people doing or why are they wearing the same clothes as the Thai king, do they really love him that much? Will they ask you this Christmas season why are you imitating Jesus or will they even notice who you are imitating? In other words will they see Christ in you, a reflection of Him as you go about all the holiday celebrations and every get together? Our families, friends, neighbors and all those we come in to contact with everyday need to see Christ in our lives not just this holiday season but everyday we need to imitate Christ in all our goings out and comings in, they need to see His holiness and love in us. Leviticus 11:45 “You shall therefore be holy, for I [am] holy.” Knowing we cannot be fully holy like Christ. But like Paul said we are in a race, so we should be in pursuit of holiness in that race. Pursuit means chasing after holiness… They can buy all the pastel colored clothing they want to be like their king or maybe for some your king is your chariot you can buy all the chrome accessories and sunglasses and clothes to look like and have the image of your chariot. Maybe your castle is your king; you can accessorize your life style to imitate your castle lifestyle all that and more that you want

this Christmas so you can be dressed like your king. But bros lets let Jesus be King of our castle; Joshua 24:15 …But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." You can’t buy things like pastel shirts or chrome accessories or any other thing to please our King, Jesus Christ what He gave can’t be bought, we can’t impress Him with imitation flesh or pastel love. He already gave and continues to give all the best gifts to us in the fact that He paid the price in Full on Calvary- “that is real love”. He is our “All in All.” Bros lets give Him ALL of our heart this day and everyday for Christmas- that’s real love for our King, abiding in Him, following Him. Imitate Him and His love for us…1 Corinthians 11:1 IMITATE me, just as I also imitate Christ. It’s our privilege in being His children to be able to imitate Christ and follow Him, let us engage in it more earnestly than ever, being now stirred and now we must be filled with the Holy Spirit who alone can glorify Christ. I may try to glorify Christ in my own pastel efforts but it will avail nothing without the Spirit of God. I implore you bros to practice holiness and every Christian virtue, but all my urging will avail nothing if you are not filled with the Holy Spirit. We must have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us every moment to enable us to live the life of Christ. Lord, Jesus fill us up overflowing and control us by your Holy Spirit that we might indeed imitate You. We know that the reason why the Holy Spirit was given from heaven was to make Christ’s presence obvious to us and to all those around us. In His Real Love, Daniel Wright Iron Man Oikodome Proverbs 27:17 PRAYER REQUESTS: If you have prayer, requests we will send out email prayer requests to the men in a discreet manner that respects your privacy if you so desire and glorifies the Lord. The main thing is to lift up your needs and bring them before our Father. That would be an honor and a privilege. To have your email address removed from future mailings please reply to ironmanoikodome@earthlink.net and type "PLEASE REMOVE" in the subject box, thank you! To view the Iron man Oikodome website please click on the link below or copy and paste to your browser. http://home.earthlink.net/~ironmanoikodome/