He was cru·ci·fy·ed for our sins,

cru·ci·fy ˈkro͞osəˌfī/ verb past tense: crucified; past participle: crucified 1. – to put (someone) to death by nailing or binding them to a cross, especially as an ancient punishment. For as…

Source: He was cru·ci·fy·ed for our sins,

The Greatest

Mark 9:33 Then they came to Capernaum. When He was in the house, He asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34 But they were silent, because on the way they had been arguing with one another about who was the greatest. 35 Sitting down, He called the Twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

Galatians 5:13 For you were called to be free, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.

Philippians 2:5-7, “Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.   Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave…” (Bible quotes from HCSB)

Three Crosses and Silhoutted Person in Prayer at Sunrise

I am a follower of Jesus Christ because He has purchased me (bought my freedom) out of the slave market of sin.  As my Master, Jesus compels me into His service; I am not compelled by force or by threats of violence, but by the power of His love (1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Cor. 5:14-15).  As my Lord, Jesus commands me to take on His posture (“the form of a slave”) and become a servant (a slave) to others.

I was reminded of the above after reading Mark chapter 9 this morning for my devotions.  I took note that as Jesus walked down the road to Capernaum with his disciples (Wow!  Wouldn’t you give anything to walk the road with Jesus?), His disciples were engaged in a “Who’s going to be the big man on campus” debate.  Later, Jesus instructed His disciples (and us) to consider that greatness is not seen in how much status you have in the eyes of others.  Jesus taught His disciples that greatness in God’s kingdom is seen in how much you serve.  For when we take on the posture of slaves and serve one another, we take on the image of Jesus; and isn’t Jesus, truly, the greatest person of all.

Let’s be honest: we do not like being servants, and we especially do not like being called slaves.  However, Michael Card reminds us  (A Better Freedom) that the, “choice is not between slavery and freedom. The choice has always only been… whose slave will you be?”  Michael Card continues, “As Jesus had offered wisdom through foolishness, maturity through childlikeness, and wealth through poverty,”  Jesus’ followers understand that the only way to a “better freedom” is  to be found in slavery to Christ.

Card continues:

“In order to become rich you must become poor, (Lk. 12:33) in order to become mature you must rediscover your own childlikeness, (Mk. 9:36) in order to become wise you must embrace the foolishness of the gospel. (I Cor. 3:18) In Jesus, life comes through death (Jn. 5:24) and the only true freedom comes from slavery to Him. (I Cor. 7:22) He came to turn the world upside down, to shatter all our definitions and images, and to fulfill them. The fundamental mysteries of following Jesus are always rooted in paradox.”

“These are the harsh realities of faith in Jesus and if we are to be followers of him, in the truest biblical sense, we must give ourselves to understanding them.” (Michael Card, A Better Freedom)

http://www.amazon.com/Better-Freedom-Finding-Slaves-Christ/dp/0830837140/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462463648&sr=8-1&keywords=a+better+freedom

How to kill a giant

I needed to re-read this today. Thanks Lord for the reminder of your empowering grace.

A View From PEW

david-versus-goliath

1 Samuel 17:33, 37 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine {Goliath} to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.” …… David said, “The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Humanly speaking, Saul spoke the truth when he said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine.”  Take a quick look at David’s resume below and see if you don’t agree with Sauls words

  • David was merely a youth (a lad) when Saul shared his assessment of David’s chance of success against Goliath.
  • David was not even the choicest of his own fathers children.
  • David was a shepherd to this point of his career, and unskilled in war.

Goliath…

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A New Reality is Coming ….. hopefully very soon.

FRANCE-NATURE-ANIMALS-LION

I remember years ago listening to the Temptations sing, Ball of Confusion. If the world was a ball of confusion in 1971, just think of what it is today.  Look at the headlines below:

  • UK HIGH DRAMA!
    Global Crisis of Elites…
    Europe Gripped By Secession Panic…
    Eight separatist movements that could be next…
    British Pound at 2 Year High; Currency Traders Bet ‘No’…
    Murdoch: ‘Anti-establishment Groundswell’…
    Drunken Anger On Streets…
    BBC 5 LIVE… SKY NEWS LIVE…
    TURNOUT NEARS 90% IN SOME LOCATIONS; HIGHEST LEVELS SINCE WW2…
    AWAITING RESULTS…
  • MYSTERY VIRUS COAST TO COAST…Cases confirmed in CA…Hospital tells children to stay away…

    SIERRA LEONE TO SHUT DOWN FOR 3 DAYS TO SLOW EBOLA OUTBREAK…6 million people confined to homes while volunteers hand out soap…

    UN: Ebola threatens global peace, security…Eight dead in attack on virus education team in Guinea…

  • WASH POST LEAD THURSDAY: Disagreements how to fight ISIS mount between Obama and military leaders…

    Congress votes to arm Syrian ‘rebels’…FLASHBACK: Syrian rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda…

In the new heaven and earth, won’t it be great to cuddle up with a lion. Wow! Can’t wait! “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”

Isaiah 11:6 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them.

Isaiah 65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” Says the LORD.

Glory in this: God’s grace

cross and prayer png

Jeremiah 9:23 ¶ Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;  24 But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD.

2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

For many years I have lived with the conviction that if I think that I have found a hidden truth in the Bible that no one before me could see or figure out, or if I think I have gained a new insight or revelation from God about a particular Bible truth that has been lost for ages, or if I think that I possess a deeper understanding of the gospel than all of the other saints who have walked the faith road before me,  then it is more than likely (99.999% sure) that my newly discovered truth, revelation, or understanding of the Bible is heresy.  For this reason I like reading the words of the saints of old; Godly men that God has wonderfully used in the past to feed and shepherd his people.  I truly believe that better minds than mine have been at this thing for a long time, and if I humble myself, and suppress the inward inclination within me to think more of myself than I ought, then I can learn many things from the elders of the church that will help me navigate my own spiritual journey.  With this said, I love Martin Luther’s words below concerning the wonderfully humbling grace of Jesus.  Luther said:

God wants to regard and does regard us as completely righteous and holy, for the sake of Christ our mediator.  Although sin in the flesh is still not completely gone or dead, God will still not count it or consider it.

….. Therefore we cannot boast about the great merit of our works, where they are viewed without grace and mercy.  Rather, as it is written, “Let the one who boast, boast in the Lord.”  If one has a gracious God, then everything is good.  Furthermore, we say also that if good works do not follow, then the faith (the faith we say we have in Christ) is false and not true.”  (Martin Luther, The Schmalkald Articles – translated by Wm. R. Russell)