RSS Feed

Tag Archives: obedient

The Service and Intervention of Jesus

When most Americans hear the term service, entering the military after high school is a practical way to serve your country. In recent years, public schools have used MLK Day as a way to give back to their local community. If you attend a church or belong to a group, service projects are a popular way of serving the less fortunate and those in need after a major storm or natural disaster.

Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:] Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross! – Philippians 2:5-8

While service tends to be an isolated activity for a day, weekend or entire week, an intervention is an immediate act taken to improve a dire situation. The apostle Paul does a great job of explaining mankind’s problem in Romans 5:8. Like a virus that doesn’t go away, sin slowly decays human beings via addictions, bad habits, and poor choices. Despite being undeserving, Jesus spent 3 years on earth serving God so that this spiritual intervention could be completed.

And God purposed that through (by the service, the intervention of) Him [the Son] all things should be completely reconciled back to Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, as through Him, [the Father] made peace by means of the blood of His cross, Colossians 1:20.

The entire book of Colossians is dedicated to the service and intervention of Jesus. This restoration project began in Genesis 3:14-15. In desperate need of a second Adam, Romans 5:12-21 explains how this plan was fulfilled through Jesus. Serving as a perfect Lamb of God, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Jesus became a sin offering for all who believe. When Jesus became obedient to death on a cross, the service and intervention of Jesus was completed on Easter Sunday. This is why the gospel refers to the good news about Jesus Christ, a servant who intervened on our behalf.

by Jay Mankus

The Hidden Years of Jesus

In the life of a Jew, adulthood begins at age twelve.  A ceremony known as a Bar-mitzvah for boys and Bat-mitzvah for girls commences this stage in life.  Luke 2 provides the only glimpse of Jesus’ life as a boy during his Bar-mitzvah.  Following this event, there are 18 years of silence known as the hidden years of Jesus.

And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart, Luke 2:51.

Despite this gap of missing time, there are a few things we know about Jesus.  First, Jesus continued in the ways of his earthly father Joseph as a carpenter.  According to Luke, Jesus remained an obedient son, providing for his mother Mary after Joseph’s death.  The next time Jesus appears in the Bible is in the day of John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus’ earthly ministry.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man, Luke 2:52.

There are 3 qualities that highlight the missing years of Jesus,  First, Jesus grew in wisdom by daily taking time alone to pray with his heavenly father.  Second, Jesus’ actions, constant care and nurturing words magnified his stature as a godly man.  Finally, as Jesus keep in step with the Holy Spirit, God favor remained on Jesus in the form of daily blessings.  All these things prepared Jesus for the accounts portrayed in the four gospels which transformed the lives of 11 disciples.

by Jay Mankus

Offense

As the seasons turn from winter to spring, an annual commotion draws near.  This month long hysteria known as March Madness serves as a drug for college basketball enthusiasts.  When you look beyond the brackets, politics and officiating, you’ll find amazing performances, buzzer beaters and even Cinderella.  Although offense is more entertaining, defense wins championships.  If a team can possess both, their squad becomes an impenetrable fortress on their way to the Final Four.

In life, roles are often reversed.  Arrogance, pride and over confidence lull people to sleep spiritually.  Instead of going on the offensive, many Christians resemble a goalie being bombarded with balls and pucks, trying to secure a daily shutout.  However, in the game of life, if you only play defense, you’ll never score.  This feeble strategy results in exhaustion, mental fatigue and emotional burnout, leading to a spirit of defeatism.

In the days of the apostle Paul, the residents of Corinth were avid sports fans, the host of the Corinthian Games, an Summer Olympic like competition.  This likely explains Paul’s use of athletic terminology in his 2 letters to the members of the Corinthian church.  Trying to connect with their culture, Paul addresses a lack of offensive minded individuals.  In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Paul reveals why people are failing miserably, they’re not using the proper weapons.  The key to game planning an offensive attack against the devil is through your mind, verse 5.  As soon as you learn how to take each thought captive by making them obedient to Christ, you can begin demolishing spiritual strongholds.  Paul’s further advice in Ephesians 6:10-11 is crucial if you want to begin seeing progress.  Stop being one dimensional, play offense today!

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: