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Sunday, January 31, 2021

Is Your Head in the Game?


"Discipleship is built on discipline. Period. It’s getting up when it is hard to get up. It’s praying when your brain is heavy with preoccupation. It’s choosing to spend time in Scripture instead of mindlessly watching YouTube videos. It’s choosing to follow when the world, the flesh, and the Devil are all trying to prevent it. Get up. Get your head in the game. You have been given a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline. (2 Tim 1:7)" - The Rev. Chris Findley, Rector St. Patrick's Anglican Church, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Related reading:  Discipleship is a Team Game; INDEX of Topics at this blog

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Humble and Bold Servant


Saint Paul described himself as a servant/slave of Jesus Christ in Romans 1:1 - "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God..." and in Philippians 1:1 - "Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus..." In doing so, he set an example for the early Christians. 

This was not false humility. Paul knew he owed everything to the Master. Paul's letter to the Romans emphasizes the realtiy that it is only by the power and grace of God that we are alive, and it is only by His love shown through Jesus that we may inherit Eternal Life. Paul said we are called to be living sacrifices because it’s our reasonable service, our spiritual duty.

Paul was both humble and bold. He held a true and proper understandiing of his dependence of the Holy Spirit and his need of God's grace, and he was bold in his proclamation of salvation through the Blood of Jesus. He wrote, "If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10) In this, he exemplifies the true disciple.

A.W. Tozer wrote, "Jesus calls us to his rest, and meekness is His method. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort."

A slave has no rights, only duties. Yet the most lowly slave in God's household has higher status than the most honored king on earth.

How will you serve Christ the Lord today?

Related reading: Marks of a True Disciple; Humility or Idealism?; INDEX of Topics at Distinctive Discipleship

Sunday, January 17, 2021

God With Us!


The incarnation of Jesus Christ is greatest of all miracles. That God should take on flesh is astonishing and marvelous! The distance between the Creator and the creature has been closed. Communion has been restored, though many reject this great gift.

The union of the human nature with the fully divine nature is uniquely found in Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us! By His incarnation God the Son has shown us God the Father. 

He has shown us the way to the Father. It is by taking hold of Him by faith. 

At his baptism, Jesus was revealed as the Beloved Son whose authority we are to embrace. We are to heed his words.

On Mount Tabor in Galilee with Peter, James, and John Jesus "was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias [Elijah] talking with him." And a bright cloud overshadowed them and a voice from heaven said: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." (Matthew 17:1-5) 

He is truth. No matter how the philosophers define truth, it is no longer a vague concept. It is personified in Jesus Christ. (John 14)

He has fulfilled God’s promises to Abraham that God's son is made the sacrifice that brings life. 

He has fulfilled the Law so that the rules and ritual obligations imposed by Judaism do not block the way of salvation. 

He has fulfilled the prophecies of old. (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 53; Hosea 11, Romans 15:8)

He became the propitiation for our sins: "and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)