Being Obscure, Just Like Jesus

servant-king

“But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant.”

Mark 10:44

I must admit that I’m processing something right now.

I suppose its implications could turn everything ‘upside down,’ at least for me anyway. Some scientists have postulated that our planet is due for a complete magnetic switchover. This is when the north becomes south and vice versa. My issues at this moment are not quite that cosmic.

There are 7,000,000,000+ people now alive on this planet.

Sometimes I wonder if many of my issues come from not seeing this. It seems that there’s an intoxication of success when we become increasingly confused over ‘who’ we are. We think it’s about our efforts, our giftedness. Pride drives us, even among mature Christian believers.

3 “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”

Philippians 2

Jesus was not driven like we seem to be.

We on the other hand, think we need to be assertive, (at least the Christian version of it) and push our way forward. However, Jesus’ message and teaching were all about emptying Himself of being God and becoming a servant of servants. This is the arresting fact we fail to consider–

Jesus did all of this while wearing a towel, not a crown.

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet.  

John 13:3-5

He could have just done a ‘teaching’ on servanthood and I’m reasonably certain it would have been more than sufficient. But instead, Jesus put ‘skin on His words’ and actually got down on His knees to wash dirty feet. His disciples freaked out when they saw him do this.

It was something they could never forget.

6 “Though he was God,
    he did not think of equality with God
    as something to cling to.

Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
    he took the humble position of a slave
    and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,

 he humbled himself in obedience to God
   and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”

How can we not do this? This is a hard question to ask, but to be perfectly honest, does our  discipleship include emptying our self daily? Can we find peace and fulfillment by becoming an unknown? Is this what we’re missing in becoming Christlike? These are very hard questions.

“Humility is perfect quietness of heart, It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.”   

Andrew Murray

 

bry-signat (1)

(All verses are from Philippians 2, NLT, unless noted.)

A Bit More Than We Can Imagine

‘The angel showed me a river that was crystal clear, and its waters gave life. The river came from the throne where God and the Lamb were seated. Then it flowed down the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river are trees that grow a different kind of fruit each month of the year. The fruit gives life, and the leaves are used as medicine to heal the nations. God’s curse will no longer be on the people of that city. He and the Lamb will be seated there on their thrones, and its people will worship God.

Rev. 22:1-3, CEV

A  remarkable thing happens to  John; he has a vision that is extensive and yet without any embellishment or elaboration.  He sees, not imagines, the deep things of God. Those things that are happening are astonishing, and yet are spiritually significant and compelling right down to the infinitesimal detail!

The leaves are bringing wholeness to the people of the the earth.  The fruit of each tree brings a comprehensive work of healing deep within.  There is nothing but blessing coming from these trees. I’m looking forward to being healed by them. I hope you are too.

It all seems a fanciful dream, but it is a true and certain reality that John is seeing.

I think that the most amazing thing that happening is the lifting of the wrath of God on the earth. Furthermore the terror of being judged is eradicated. We won’t be afraid anymore. There is no sense of lostness,  damnation or death.  There has been a release from that bitter darkness.  Life now rolls out without the impediments of sadness, sin or doom. I can’t wait.

“There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’  

Romans 8:1

Some of us have struggled a great deal.  The darkness has definitely tried to destroy us.  We’ve come through however, painfully aware of the bleak despair and despondency.  And yet God comes prepared, bringing His spiritual ‘bulldozer’ to clear the way.  It’s funny, but these things at one time seemed permanent, and forever attached to our spirits.  But He thinks otherwise.  For we now have fully become His own.

bry-signat-1-1

 

cropped-christiangraffiti1.jpg

 

An Open and Sincere Prayer

mental-health

Eternal Father, you alone fully know my past and the deeds I have done.  I ask that you remove from my burdened mind the guilt and darkness of those days.

Having been set free from this pain, I earnestly want you to direct my steps.  The futurebelongs to you and there is nothing more from me that would desire the dark.  I have had enough of sin and the vain delights of this world.  I am yours forever.

Lord, I struggle with my depression.  It trips me up at times and I let it take control. Forgive me.  Unless you bring your light I will continue to struggle further while sinking deeper. I so need your help in this.

 

Help me to reach forward to the prize of the upward call of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Help me to forget the ugly past and lunge for the tape.  Amen.

________

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”

Philippians 3, the Message

*

Hope this blesses you today.

 

cropped-christiangraffiti1 (3)

He Won’t Give Up, [Patience]

 

hourglass

But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners.”

1 Timothy 1:16, NLT

I find that I often worry about the patience of God. Not that my worrying makes any difference. But I am quite aware of my sin and my failure. I am definitely not a “model citizen” of the Kingdom of God. I believe I’ve committed more sin as a Christian, than I ever did as a pagan.

But I must insist on God’s patience. I would easily slide through His fingers if I didn’t. But it is good to pay attention to the fact of patience. It is a good thing for us that He’s completely patient.

And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved.”

2 Peter 3:15 , NLT

The very idea that God can be patient both chafes and comforts. We might see Him “tolerating” sinners. But yet we also see Him forgiving our sin. Patience gives Him the freedom to do both.

We could get critical, and maybe even frustrated with God’s love for lost people. He loves the world (John 3:16.)  However, our love doesn’t extend this far. We see the superficial, and believe that to be the whole story. But it isn’t. We give up on people, but He doesn’t.

Often, “sinners” will become disciples. (And mighty fine ones, at that.) The patience of God works effortlessly in the hearts of “sin-confused” people. At times it seems like it is “two steps forward and one back.” But that is ok. God will wait for sinners like us.

The patience of God draws us into a repentant life. He is “long- suffering,” which means that He will suffer long. But slowly, inexorably He brings us to His side. We offend Him, disregard Him, but He continues to love us. It makes no sense at all.

But He teaches us, by example to be long-suffering. We see in Him such kindness and mercy. His love for us is immeasurable. He takes it far, far beyond human reason. His patience is illogical. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them — every day begin the task anew.”

Francis de Sales

bry-signat (1)

cropped-christiangraffiti1.jpg

***

%d bloggers like this: