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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Want to read Scripture with me?

kHave you been longing to get into God’s Word, but don’t know where to start? Have you started reading God’s Word before and then got lost in all the details? Or you’ve missed some days and then lost heart? I think it may be time to stop thinking about what’s gone wrong in the past and start thinking about what could be!

I’ve been using Robert McCheyne’s Bible reading plan for the last year or so. It is a good one! He is a 19th century Scottish preacher who wanted his people to get into the discipline of reading the Word, especially in homes. This has been a big challenge for me. His plan is this.

1. Read 4 passages a day. (morning, noon, dinner, evening).
2. Read 2 of the 4 passages aloud with someone in the house.
3. Read the other 2 passages alone.

If one sticks to his plan, he/she would read the Old Testament once, the New Testament and Psalms twice each. I know it sounds aggressive. And for most of us, it seems undoable. But let me challenge you…

One and half years ago, I was a couch potato. I started walking after a heart surgery and realized how we can create new habits. In my rehab they said it takes 40 days to make a habit. The danger is, missing for just a few days can break a habit. So, the power is in our consistency. They also said about physical exercise that it takes about 10 weeks of regular exercise to experience health benefits, but it takes just two weeks to lose all the benefits you gain. If those principles hold true to spiritual growth, we now know why we are such up and down creatures. We need good, firm, spiritual habits.

If you want to accept this challenge, you can follow the reading on Twitter. My goal is to send a tweet about each text just before it is scheduled to be read. So, check out the tweet, read the text and be filled with the Word of God.

My wife Kris and I are taking the challenge. I hope you will consider that too.
Follow this on Twitter, @jimrenke We are putting the reading schedule in our weekly bulletin insert at Village Green Baptist Church and I will post it on this blog weekly.

I hate to let you off the hook from trying something big, but if you want to do just one or two passages a day, that would be an option. But really, isn’t there 15 minutes of TV, or radio, or Facebook that you could give up to do this? I know there is for me.

So, let’s go for this! And let’s see what God will do in us, through His Word.

READING FOR THIS WEEK:

JAN 1 – Gen 1; Matt 1; Ezra 1; Acts 1

JAN 2 – Gen 2; Matt 2; Ezra 2; Acts 2

JAN 3 – Gen 3; Matt 3; Ezra 3; Acts 3

JAN 4 – Gen 4; Matt 4; Ezra 4; Acts 4

JAN 5 – Gen 5; Matt 5; Ezra 5; Acts 5

JAN 6 – Gen 6; Matt 6; Ezra 6; Acts 6