Monday, April 3, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Restoring Christ


Sonia Joseph
St. James MTC, NY

"In your relationship with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.."


In the letter to Philippians, Apostle Paul encourages us to be Christ like in our relationship. It further discusses the humble nature of Jesus and how Father God exalts Him at the end.

1. Humility of Jesus
Apostle Paul points out that even though Jesus was fully God in nature, He did not regard equality with God. Being equal to God did have its own privileges like power, glory, riches etc. But Jesus humbled Himself and took the nature of a servant, being obedient to the Father even in death.
We live in a society which is obsessed with social status. We try to achieve importance by having material possessions. We are constantly in a fight to come up a step higher than a friend, relative or neighbor etc. Apostle Paul asks us to be Christ like in our relationships. Jesus Christ asks us to value the other person above ourselves. In Matthew 20, 26-28, he says, "Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be your slave."  Jesus demonstrated this concept throughout His entire life. From the simple birth in a manger, to spending time with the socially and economically marginalized, in loving and accepting the outcasts,  in washing the feet of His disciples and ultimately to sacrificing His life on the cross for us. The manner in which Jesus gave His life itself points to the very fact that He loved and regarded us above himself. Death by crucifixion was considered a heinous punishment as it was reserved for criminals and murderers. God's own son bore all this disgrace to save all human kind. Jesus fulfilled His father’s will by being totally obedient to Him. To imitate Christ in relationship is a great challenge for us. Can we consider the needs of our spouses and children above our own? Can we give more importance to the needs of our friends or people at our church?


2. The Exaltation of Jesus
Apostle Paul points out that God exalted Jesus and gave Him the name above every name. James 4:10 says, "Humble yourself under God's mighty hand that he may lift you up in due time. Being a Christian does not guarantee an easy life. Psalms 34:19 says many are the trials of the righteous: but the Lord delivers him out of them all. It is easy to get discouraged and question the faith when we face difficulties. But the life and resurrection of Jesus teaches that our father God always has us in the palm of His hand.


If Christ Himself, though He was divine, did not seek selfishly anything, but obeyed His father, we ought to do the same.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, You have called us to lead a life valuing others above ourselves. You have shown this through many examples in Your life and by giving Your own life to save us. O Lord, help us to follow Your example in our relationship and lead a life pleasing to You. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
To be blessed, be a blessing.
To be loved, give love.
To be honored, be humble. "