Friday, March 28, 2014

God Exalted His Son

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
And gave him the name that is above every name. . . “
 Philippians 2:9 (NIV)

This verse begins with a conjunction. What follows comes about as a result of what has preceded that conjunction. I read recently that we are to concentrate on the words before the conjunction as a part of our study of the thought that follows it.

God accepted Jesus back into heaven, to sit at His right hand. This was the Son’s original place.
Have you ever wondered, “Why?”

God allowed Jesus to come to earth because of His love for this world. (John 3:16) We discover that Jesus Christ was God’s only Son.

Now, when we have children, their well-being becomes important to us. We work to keep them healthy. We want them close to us as they grow and learn about life. We try to ‘be there’ for them during the times of illness and physical and emotional hurt. Magnify our feelings for our children at least a quintillion times; that might be close to how much love God has for Jesus. (I say ‘might’ because we really can’t quantify God’s love.)

God chose to honor Jesus by granting Him the best position and the best name available to anyone–the Son of God


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ultimate Humility

“And being found in the appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death
even death on a cross.”
Philippians 2:8 (NIV)

“. . . he humbled himself. . . .” Jesus’ attitude was unlike any we have seen. He allowed Himself to be taken from the garden of Gethsemane, away from those who followed and loved Him. The soldiers removed Him to a place where He received beatings, scourging, and the highest form of disrespect-they spat upon Him. Before his agony was over, the soldiers had gambled for His clothing. The soldiers also mocked him, saying, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

“. . . and became obedient to death. . . .” Our Lord obeyed the Father; accepted God’s will and submitted to the ultimate sacrifice. He gave His very life in order that you and I might live with God forever.

“. . . even death on a cross.” Execution on a cross was a horrible death, reserved for the most heinous of criminals. It seems ironic that Jesus Christ, the only perfect person to walk this earth, would have to endure this kind of treatment. But God chose to allow this to happen. I wonder; did God permit this to come about in this way in order for all of our sins, no matter how horrible, to be covered by Christ’s blood?

Dear Jesus:

            We thank You for the sacrifice You gave on the cross for us. We want to live worthy of Your selfless act. We praise You for who You are. In Jesus’ name, we pray. AMEN.


Monday, March 24, 2014

A Servant’s Nature

“. . . but made himself nothing, taking the very nature
of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Philippians 2:7 (NIV)

            “. . . made himself nothing,” Jesus chose to not play up his heavenly position he left for the likes of us. Could we envision it, Jesus telling Mary Magdalene in a haughty attitude that He was the Son of the King and He came down from heaven and all he found were sinners, thieves, and prostitutes? I think not.

            “. . . the very nature of a servant” He came to Earth to save us and to serve us. God planned it for Jesus to preach and to enlarge His Kingdom. But in order to do this, the Son took it upon Himself to serve those who were close to Him.

            God’s children should follow His example. They aren’t to bandy it about that they are Christians. His spiritual children are to let their lives and ways show it. Their beliefs will come through to those to whom they minister.

            It’s the small things in life that seem to matter to people. Jesus rewards people who band together to meet a need. A friend told a group of us that she read a story about a small bunch of people who did an astounding deed. The lesson that came through was “People can do anything, as long as no one cares who gets the credit.” That’s one reason we give glory to God.

            He came to Earth to save us and to serve us. God planned it for Jesus to preach and to enlarge His Kingdom. But in order to do this the Son took it upon Himself to serve those who came across His path. Jesus became a servant to His followers and to us. As we emulate Him we are to learn to serve others.


Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...