Entries tagged with “Christ”.

In the midst of Lent and now Holy Week I found this Scripture to be very fitting and thought provoking. It is Ephesian 1:4-14 from The Message. (emphasis added)

Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.
It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.

Thank you for thinking about me and planning a way for me to be free!

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Christians should not be doormats.  Too often Christians get depicted as “pushovers” or “weak” but we are not to be doormats. Lots of professional athletes help dispel this image to  a degree, but what does it really mean to make oneself meek and humble?

So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. Mark 10:42-44 (emphasis mine)

I know for me servant and slave are not words that I readily identify with.  Like Chris I have always read this passage and thought that to become a leader or first I must be a servant and slowly work my way up in an organization or group.  I don’t think this is completely incorrect, but Chris provided an alternate idea that really got me thinking.  In our society by being a servant and serving the needs of others we are being leaders of Christ’s kingdom, spreading His love.

Chris explains it much better than I, but basically the way we think about leadership and power is focused on the world, but when Christ thinks about leadership and power it is on a very different plane (one that we would think of as low).

Christ came to invert the world or to use the language from the message: Vertigo.  Vertigo is when our surroundings seem to whirl dizzily! Christ’s perspective can seem so different than ours that is whirls by us without ever truly understanding.

Christ was known by His love.  What are you known by? This is the famous tombstone or epitaph question. Christ doesn’t want us to be a doormat, but does want us to love others as He loved. He doesn’t want us to feel the shame that comes with being lowly but the joy that comes through loving service.

Another main point of the message was that we are called to give everything.  Many of us rationalize that when we “make it” or make our first million we’ll give a substantial amount to the church or missions.  That’s not what Christ wants, if the widow had waited to give 5 mites instead of her 2, she might never have been able to do it.  We are asked to remember that God has blessed us and we should give back to Him and honor Him now.

This point can also be hard, when your budget is tight and you are barely able to put food on the table, it makes sense that you should provide for your family’s needs before the others.  Yet, the widow “put in everything—all she had to live on” (Mark 12:41-44)

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“We dwell in Him” I John 4:13

Do you want a house for your soul? Do you ask, “What is the cost?” It is something less than proud human nature will like to give. It is without money and without price. Oh, you would like to pay a respectable rent! You would love to do something to win Christ? Then you cannot have the house, for it is “without price.” Will you take my Master’s house on a lease for all eternity with nothing to pay for it, nothing but the rent of loving and serving Him forever? Will you take Jesus and “dwell in Him”? See, this house is furnished with all you want; it is filled with riches more than you will spenf as long as you live. Here you can have intimate communion with Christ and feast on His love; here aretables well set with food for you to live on forever; in it, when weary, you can find rest with Jesus; and from it you can look out and see heaven itself. Will you have the house? Ah, if you are homeless, you will say, “I should like to have the house, but may I have it?” Yes, there is the key — key is “Come to Jesus.” “But,” you say, “I am too shabby for such a house.” Nevermind, there are garments inside. If you feel guilty and condemned, come; and though the house is too good for you, Christ will make you good enough for the house in time.

Strengthen My Spirit: Daily Devotional Insights from Charles Spurgeon
Hahn, Jennifer (Compiled by)

Strengthen My Spirit: Daily Devotional Insights from Charles Spurgeon

From Sept 13.

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