To walk or not to walk


The Bible commands us to walk in God’s ways and to fear him (Deuteronomy 8:6), but have we covenanted (made a pact or a contract with God) to walk in God’s ways as did king Josiah (2 Kings 23:3)? So what does it mean to walk in the Lord? Our walk ought to be as the walk of Jesus (1 John 2:6) – humble before God as Jesus was humble (Micah 6:8; Philippians 2:8). This is what the Lord requires of you and me (Micah 6:8).

Points to ponder:
God’s command is for us to walk in his ways – as Jesus did.
Our covenant should be to walk in his ways – humbly as Jesus did.
To walk or not to walk is the question, that demands an answer as this is what the Lord requires of you and me!
Have we made that covenant?

Deuteronomy 8:6 (KJV)
Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.

2 Kings 23:3 (KJV)
And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant.

1 John 2:6 (KJV)
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked

Micah 6:8 (KJV)
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Philippians 2:5-8 (KJV)
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Jesus in the NT :: Philippians


The book of Philippians gives us a glimpse of who Jesus is in the  New Testament (N.T).

And as we explore Christ in the Scripture, from the book of Philippians, we learn that Jesus Christ is the EXALTED ONE. The Apostle Paul writes in this book, “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who being God, thought it robbery to be equal with God and made himself of no reputation.

See God became a Servant to a man to a dead man, but not a dead God.  The April 8, 1966 Time Magazine frontpage cover read “Is God Dead?” and the article began with the statement – Is God Dead? It is a question that tantalizes both believers, who perhaps secretly fear that he is, and atheists, who possibly suspect that the answer is no. but sadly, the very last statement in this article read as follows – Perhaps today the Christians can do no better than to echo the prayer of the worried father who pleaded with Christ to heal his spirit possessed son. “I believe, help my unbelief”

A legal term, res ipsa loquitor (reez ip-suh loh-kwi-ter) in Latin means – the thing itself speaks. Now if God was dead, there is no reason for the world to prove that he is, is there? The fact that people are so caught up in proving that God is dead is res ipsa loquitur that He isn’t and more importantly it is evidence that those who try to prove their case are themselves dead and blind to the truth.

So God became a dead man, but He did not remain there. He rose again and is now Exalted because of His humility to be above all. He is exalted with a Name that is above all names, that at the name of Jesus Christ, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is God. Jesus did not find it right to rob God or claim his sonship for our sake, so that he could rob us, the sons and daughters of men, from the bondage of death and the grave.  Petra’s song ‘Grave Robber’ beautifully expresses this.

In Philippians, Jesus is the HUMBLE one who is EXALTED over all other names; Jesus is a robber God.

Points to ponder:
You have heard of pride goes before a fall, but the inverse is true as well. If pride goes before a fall, then humility goes before exaltation. How humble are you and me? Has Jesus Christ robbed your heart to be his.

Philippians 2:5-11 (KJV)
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus’ Prayer :: Selfish?


The first five verses of what is referred to as Jesus’ Great Prayer or the High Priestly Prayer, that is recorded in John 17, goes on as follows and is unique because it publicly records what Jesus prayed for himself. He prays that God glorifies him now.
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

While on the surface this may seem to be kind of selfish, and seeking self-glorification, close scrutiny of this prayer, reveals certain hidden treasures; treasures of knowledge that reflect, in essence, who Jesus is.

Jesus started his prayer by looking up to the heaven, and addressing God as Father, stating the time had come. To his earthly mother, Jesus had stated that his time had not yet come (John 2:4), but now to His heavenly Father, Jesus is stating that his time had come. He then goes on to express, that it was God’s time to glorify Him, by saying “glorify thy Son that your Son may glorify you.” (John 17:1). Here Jesus expresses the fact that he is indeed the Only begotten beloved Son of God, in whom God was well pleased because his glory was to be a reflection of God’s glory.

Then Jesus states the power that had been granted unto him, by God the Father, who had sent him; power to save and deliver all who know God the Father and Him. Here he defines eternal life by saying that “Knowing God the Father as the one true God and knowing Jesus Christ” is eternal life. What does it mean to know God? The Bible says, whoever loves, knows God and is born of God (1 John 4:7-8) and he that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love. Jesus summed up the law of the prophets in Loving God and Loving Man. Eternal life comes by loving God (i.e., hating sin) above all else and it comes only by Him for there is no other name, under heaven among men, by which one can be saved (Acts 4:12). Here Jesus expresses the fact that He is not only the Son of God, but also the Savior of the world (John 17:3).

Then Jesus states that He had glorified God the Father, and finished the work (of Salvation) that had been entrusted unto him (John 17:4), and reasserts that God the Father now glorifies Him with God’s own glory, which He had with God, before the world began. By using the phrase, “glory which I had with thee before the world began” (John 17:5), Jesus expresses his Sovereignty making himself equal to God, which He rightfully was. Jesus had made himself of no reputation, considering equality with God, as a robbery before he had finished the work, that He had been entrusted to fulfill (Philippians 2:6-7). Now that the time had come, it was time for Jesus to be restored into his heavenly glory and hence his prayer.

Points to ponder:
Do you know Jesus Christ as the Son of God?
Is Jesus Christ your Savior?
Is Jesus Christ your Sovereign King?

John 17:1-5 (KJV)
1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

Always Holding Someone Up


Always Holding Someone UpThe man, whom renowned Christian evangelist, Billy Graham expressed “I think he had personally touched more lives than anybody that I have ever known” is Dawson Trotman, founder of the Christian organization, The Navigators, whose focus is “to know Christ Jesus and to make Him known.” But Dawson Trotman is not only known for his life but for his death as well.

The July 2, 1956 issue of the Time Magazine in its opening paragraph of the article entitled “Religion: The Navigator” was as follows – “Dawson Trotman clambered back into a motorboat one day last week after two hours of waterskiing on Schroon Lake, N.Y. He was dog-tired, but before he settled down he asked one of the two girls in the boat, Allene Beck, if she could swim; when she shook her head, he traded places with her so she would be in a safer spot. Minutes later the speeding boat bounced on a wave, and both of them, the 50-year-old man and the girl, shot into the water. He swam to her and held her head above water until the boat could circle back and she was hauled aboard. But as hands reached down to seize Trotman’s hand, he sank out of sight.” Dawson Trotman died by drowning, as he saved the life of another in the throes of death. The caption under his picture in the article appropriately summed up his life as it read “Always Holding Someone Up.” The article also aptly concluded with “He lived to save others” and “His death was just the way he would have planned it.”

Dawson’s life and death emulated the mind of Christ as expressed in Philippians 2. Jesus lived and died to save others; you and me and he expects us to do the same. The expression of great love is where one lays down his life for another. True love is expressed in not allowing others to sink into the miry pit of sin and death, but holding them up so that they can be reconciled with God. True and great love is summarily “Always Holding Someone Up.”

Points to ponder
1. Can it be said of our life, that we lived to save others?
2. Can it be said of you and me, that we are “Always Holding Someone Up?”

John 15:13 (KJV)
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?


The fourth saying of Jesus as He hung on the Cross, living up to His Name, which was to save His people from their sins was a question directed not to any man, but to God. It is the only question in the seven sayings of Christ from the Cross and it was Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being translated, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mark 15:33-34; Matthew 27:46)

Even in dying, Jesus did not forget the scripture and was quoting from Psalm 22:1. But it is important to recognize that the answer is not specified explicitly. I wonder why?  We can only seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to try and understand the extent of meaning and implication of this saying.

Notice how in this saying, Jesus did not address God the Father as Father as he did in the first and last saying, but as God. What could be the reason for this? One explanation is that the father and son relationship, Jesus had with God the Father, had been broken when the sinless became sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), because God the Father is Holy and can have nothing to do with sin. What communion can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14). Another explanation that is scriptural as well is that Jesus in His obedience to God made himself of no reputation, for He considered it robbery to be made equal with God (even though He was), humbling Himself as a servant (not Son) and addressed God the Father as My God. (Philippians 2). Jesus, the first born of all creation, experiences what it means to be an orphan as His Father was God.

Lama Sabachthani when translated means ‘Why hast thou forsaken me?’ Without the answer given to us explicitly in the scripture, we can pray for wisdom and search the scripture to understand this question and apply what we learn to be faithful servants of God as Jesus was. Besides the word, ‘forsaken’, the other words that can be used to acceptably signify the meaning of the word ‘sabachthani’ are ‘abandon’ or ‘deserted’.

Human acts such as the loss of a parent, betrayal by a friend or loved one  or a divorce from a spouse causes the sense of being deserted, abandoned,  or forsaken. God had to divorce his Only begotten Son so as to save the wedding of the people of God, the church with the Lamb (Revelation 19). God hates divorce is what the scripture says, and that means, God’s love for us was so great, that He willingly forsook (deserted) his Son, Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary. Enough Said. Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us (1 John 3:1).

The closest answer of this question, I can find is from Galatians 3:13-14. God had to forsake God because God could not forsake man. Nicole Nordeman’s beautiful song ‘Why’ attempts to answer this question Jesus had for God which was ‘Why did you forsake me?’ and states that God’s answer to Jesus was ‘you and I’ are the ‘Why’. God had to stay true to the covenant he had made with a friend of his, a man by the name Abraham. Because Abraham had obeyed God, God has made a covenant to bless Abraham and his seed/children (Genesis 22:16-18).

God made God to become sin, because he wanted to make us righteous
God make God a curse, because of his word/covenant to bless us
God forsook God because he could not forsake us, He could not deny himself and what he had covenanted (2 Timothy 2:13)

Mark 15:34 (KJV)
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Galatians 3:13 -14 (KJV)
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 162 other followers