3 Ways to Possess What Jesus Came to Bring

Christ-incarnation
He came to endure the cup of suffering, so to us it could be the cup of life.

This morning I awoke 2 hours before the alarm sounded.  I began thinking about Jesus and the season of advent.  I started paging through my Bible and found a couple of verses that made me appreciate Jesus even more.  And it made me meditate on whether I am enjoying all He has done.

Check these out:

Philippians 2:7 ‘[Jesus]…emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”

and

Galatians 4:5 “[God sent Jesus]… to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”

Note: Let me try to remove a stumbling block before I go forward.  “Adoption as sons” in that day meant that men and women were given the place and privilege of the son that would inherit all of Dad’s stuff.  So, instead of relegating women to an inferior status, the promise lifts all of us to equal footing in our relationship with Christ.

In reading these two verses together, we see the means and the meaning of Jesus’ coming.

THE SON BECAME A SERVANT, SO THE SERVANTS COULD BECOME SONS.

I love that line!  Sit on it for a bit.  What is the difference between a servant and a son (or child with full status)?  Servants are humiliated, their lives are sacrifices, their lot is suffering. Children belong, their hope is inheritance, and in the household they are free.

What a wonderful gift, that the Son of God would become the servant, so we could become real children in the household of God.

I don’t know about you, but this makes me wonder why I’m not aware of this gift more often?  How is it I feel more like a slave?  I feel like I don’t belong.  I often feel like I’m just trying to get it right so God will like me.  How do we move from the slave-life, to the life as His child?

  1. Don’t live at a distance from God.  Come to him.  Trust in what Christ did for me, for the world – everyday!  Turn, repent, confess, call, trust, pray, listen, follow.  In other words, reorient your thoughts and ways around Him.
  2. Be lifted by the hope he gives.  The kingdom is yours in Christ.  Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:5).  It IS! Not, it will be.  It belongs to you, if you belong to Christ.
  3. Don’t ensnare yourself again to the things that want to keep you enslaved.  Steer away, let go, run from the demands, and the expectations, and the empty promises of the kingdoms of this world.

Jesus came, humiliating himself.  He served our needs.  He opened the door.  He called us to follow.  Embrace Him and the life He gives.  The Son became a servant, so the servants (like you and me) can become sons.

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Of Royal Weddings and Birth Certificates

Two items have completely monopolized the news cycle the last several days. Each one has reminded me of spiritual truths that give great joy and meaning to life.

First, are you tired of the Royal Wedding already? I am. In my book, this isn’t news. At least it’s not worthy of the time, attention and money being thrown at it. Ok, I guess I’m not a romantic. But, thankfully, neither is my wife.

Let me tell you about a really royal wedding! The King of kings (not just some powerless monarch), but a King of great power and authority is going to get married. And His Bride is the Church. Right now they are pledged to be married. His Holy Spirit is the engagement ring. And the day is coming when He will come and escort her to their new home together. And we will be the most beautiful bride because of what He’s done – Ephesians 5:25-27 “…he gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

A loving Groom, a perfectly radiant Bride… together forever! Now that’s a wedding to look forward to!

The second item of news is that our President was born in Hawaii. We know that because yesterday we saw his birth certificate. In this case, a birth certificate is supposed to prove a legitimate claim of belonging to a nation.

To belong to God’s Kingdom of heaven no certificates will do! We were all born not belonging; non-citizens of God’s heaven. No paperwork could prove otherwise. But God offered us adoption. His love, poured out through Christ’s death and resurrection, accepted by faith legitimizes us as His children and guarantees our part in His holy nation.

Ephesians 1:5 “he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…” Why did he adopt us? It made him happy to do so. That is the kind of family I want to belong to; the kind where Dad wants me around!

Belonging requires no certificate, only a confession of faith in a Savior who did all that was needed!

Legitimacy as a child and a secured, glorious future as a perfect bride… much better than the trivia that fills the news day.