He Took on the Status of a Slave
If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if His love has made any difference in your life,
if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor:
Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends.
Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top.
Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage.
Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of Himself.
He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of Himself that He had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what.
Not at all. When the time came, He set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!
Having become human, He stayed human.
It was an incredibly humbling process.
He didn’t claim special privileges.
Instead, He lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
Because of that obedience, God lifted Him high and honored Him far beyond anyone or anything, ever,
so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ,
and call out in praise that He is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.
The Unforced Rhythms of Grace
Next Jesus let fly on the cities where he had worked the hardest but whose people had responded the least, shrugging their shoulders and going their own way.
“Doom to you, Chorazin! Doom, Bethsaida!
If Tyre and Sidon had seen half of the powerful miracles you have seen, they would have been on their knees in a minute.
At Judgment Day they’ll get off easy compared to you.
And Capernaum! With all your peacock strutting, you are going to end up in the abyss.
If the people of Sodom had had your chances, the city would still be around. At Judgment Day they’ll get off easy compared to you.”
Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer:
“Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work.”
Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly.
“The Father has given Me all these things to do and say.
This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge.
No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does.
But I’m not keeping it to Myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life.
I’ll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
These simple verses capture the heart of the good news.
Lowering Himself, the sinless Jesus took our sin upon Himself and canceled its power through His death and resurrection.
As believers are united with Him, they are raised up with Him and embody God’s righteousness,
experiencing forgiveness, reconciliation, and new life.
This righteousness is a new creation gift that can never be separated from the Giver,
and so believers only experience it because they are “in Him.”
Staying at Our Post
Companions as we are in this work with you, we beg you, please don’t squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us.
God reminds us,
I heard your call in the nick of time;
The day you needed Me, I was there to help.
Well, now is the right time to listen, the day to be helped.
Don’t put it off; don’t frustrate God’s work by showing up late, throwing a question mark over everything we’re doing.
Our work as God’s servants gets validated—or not—in the details.
People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times;
when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating;
with pure heart, clear head, steady hand;
in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we’re telling the truth, and when God’s showing His power;
when we’re doing our best setting things right; when we’re praised, and when we’re blamed; slandered, and honored;
true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God;
terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die;
immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy;
living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all.
(2 Corinthians 6:1-10)
As God’s partners, we beg you not to toss aside this marvelous message of God’s great kindness.
We are only God’s coworkers. You are God’s garden, not ours; you are God’s building, not ours. (1 Corinthians 3:9)
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf:
in agreement with the will of the Father who sent Him.
Hope of all hopes, dream of our dreams,
a child is born, sweet-breathed; a son is given to us: a living gift.
And even now, with tiny features and dewy hair, He is great.
The power of leadership, and the weight of authority, will rest on His shoulders.
His name? His name we’ll know in many ways—
He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Dear Father everlasting, ever-present never-failing,
Master of Wholeness, Prince of Peace.
His leadership will bring such prosperity as you’ve never seen before—
sustainable peace for all time.
This child: God’s promise to David—a throne forever, among us,
to restore sound leadership that cannot be perverted or shaken.
He will ensure justice without fail and absolute equity. Always.
The intense passion of the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies,
will carry this to completion. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
as My yoke-fellow, burden-bearer, co-laborer in unlimited, unfailing, unstoppable love.
In Jesus’ n ame. Amen.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6)
Shoulder each other’s burdens, and then you will live as the law of the Anointed teaches us. (Galatians 6:2)
Our Jesus isn’t just a human being struggling in a corrupt human body up there in heaven.
No, He is the One God has highly exalted. That is Who our Intercessor in heaven is today!
Nothing but the Cross
Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself.
You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed.
Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.
selfless surrender leaning on His Son as they share the yoke of the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
This is the heart of David. This is the spirits of Joshua and Caleb. The selfless love of Ruth towards Naomi.
Join us now as we walk in step with His Holy Spirit in rhythm with the heartbeat of heaven’s cadence
What is worship really but coming into communion with God in sweet surrender as One as Christ Jesus is and as He prays for His to be
in John 17. In beautiful simplicity it is “not my will but Thine be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
In essence this is called, ‘taking upon oneself the yoke of the kingdom of heaven.’
As such your hearts transform as conduits conveying the Living Waters of His holy presence via the throne room of heaven
The Arm of the LORD is not too short to save. He waits.
“Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon”