The Obedient Leader

21st August

…He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”

Philippians 2:8

The cross in Bible times was a mark of shame. It was one of the worse ways to die and was reserved for the most wicked of criminal’s. The bible even calls it a curse to be hanged on a tree in the book of Deuteronomy. Some even say that because sin entered the world through a tree (the tree of knowledge where Adam took the apple from) that is why it was cursed. Make of that what you will, but what we do know for sure, is that on the tree that Christ was crucified on, all sin and curses were broken as Jesus became sin for us and broke the curse of the law by becoming the curse for us. He took our place.

Yet all this was in submission and obedience to the Father. When Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, “Lord, take this cup from me”, the anguish He was feeling was real. It was far from easy for Him to give His life, to take our sins and to be beaten to death. Yet He cried out the most powerful words, “Nevertheless, not My will but Yours!!”.

True obedience calls us to submit our own desires and align ourselves with the will of God; even if the cost is great and involves big sacrifices. Jesus our perfect example, showed us how to live an obedient and self-less life. The cross now stands a blessing for humanity. Moreover, it is not so much the cross itself, but what happened on the cross that causes us to rejoice. Let us draw on the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection to enable us to live lives submitted in obedience to God our Heavenly Father.

Getting Re-Charged

20th August

The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told Him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said that because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His disciples didn’t even have time to eat.”

Mark 6:30-31

Yesterday morning, after I had charged my phone I touched the screen to see if the charge had been successful. The big green battery icon indicated to me that the phone was charged to 100%. As I walked away something just jumped out at me. I am charged 100% for Christ or do I need to get re-charged? It’s a thought that didn’t leave me and was confirmed when reading this verse.

Jesus sent out His twelve disciples, commissioning them to cast out evil spirits, heal the sick and call many to repentance. After they came back, they sat down with Jesus and told Him all they had seen and taught. Yet Jesus realised that they all were so caught up in serving that they had forgotten to eat. He called for them to retire to a quiet place and revive their bodies before carrying on with more ministry, (interestingly they never got their rest but did receive food when Jesus fed the 5000).

The principle Jesus teaches here, is that we can so easily get caught in ‘life’ and forget to look after our bodies. Furthermore, we can get so busy that we start giving from our own resources instead of being connected with the real source, the Holy Spirit. When the danger light comes on, stop what you are doing and get connected again to the source. Re-charge your Spirit. If even Jesus recognised the need for rest and re-charging, how much more do we?

Paul echoes Jesus’ thoughts in His pray for the church in Ephesus with these words. May they be applicable to us and may we plug in and re-charge in Christ.

I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.” (Ephesians 3:16)