Rick and Monique

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Chauffeur Revisted

The Philippians text says, "Being in the very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped--to be grounds for grasping, but poured Himself out, taking on the very nature of a servant."  One possible interpretation is concessive, i.e., "In spite of the fact that he was in nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped..."  Did Jesus become a servant "in spite" of the fact that he was God?   John Ortberg, in his book, "The Life You've Always Wanted" quoted writer Gerald Hawthorne who suggested that the "typical" and easy interpretation of this text "misses the essential point Paul is making about Christ," (John Orberg, page 115).  He says that the text illustrates a cause of Christ's action.  In other Words:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus--precisely because he was in the very nature God--did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but poured himself out, taking the very nature of a servant..." (p. 115).  

Ortberg says, "We perceive here the sheer goodness of God.  When Jesus came in the form of a servant he was not disguising or throwing off who God is.  He was revealing who God is,"--not in spite of, but because of.

Our friend Julie posted a blog entry called "Reflections", and I believe you'll thoroughly enjoy her post.  She wrote about the servant, righteous, and faithful nature of God.  She wrote the Easter post last year and decided the news was important enough to retell. I agree.

I'm going to do the same actually--yes, I'm a copycat this time around, but I liked the idea.

Neither of us repost because we believe that everything we say rocks or that all wisdom slides from our fingers, no.

Sometimes it's good to hear the story again. Sometimes we ponder old information and discover something new. Remember the gift--understand the Servant God.  And so here, again is last year's slightly altered version of Easter:

My wife and I read devotions together this morning. We read bible stories--Jacob and Esau, Cain and Abel, David and Bethsheba and Uriah, and the story of Jonah. We talked about revenge and forgiveness. My wife surfaced one of my past grievances, my past sins, and the memory felt painful and mortifying. Our loved ones often bear the weight of our sin more profoundly than even we do.

My eyes dipped to the floor, their glimmer dimmed.

My wife could've been vengeful towards me or she could've forgiven me. She forgave. I didn't do anything to merit her forgiveness...in fact, once my deed was done, time whisks it away. One doesn't get to relive the moment. There's no retracing steps to redeem the sin. I can't choose to go back. I can't even decide to be forgiven. I, the offender, cannot will the offended to forgive me.

John 6:44 says that no one comes to the Father unless he is drawn. Romans 9-11 contain poignant words about the forgiving and just mercy of God, His faithfulness, and the righteous power of God. Psalm 19 discusses the powerful words of God on creation. Some scientists say the universe stretches more than 80 billion light years! That's unfathomable. However, it only takes 1 second to see God the creator of more than 80 billion light years of universe...isn't that amazing? It takes a second because He’s here and He’s obvious. Believe that.

The bumper sticker says, “I’m the Captain and God is my co-pilot.” Another says, “I’m driving and God is navigating.” We've always believed we direct our own destinies, piloted to our own destinations.  Mankind have always believed they could control both good and evil. 
Adam and Eve were promised they would. 
The problem wasn't the consumption of fruit, but the vanity of the attempt at harnessing God's power. But, they couldn't. Impossible. We can't. We simply can't jump into our Angelic Luxury Car and drive to our Heavenly Mansion just as Eve and Adam couldn't harness God's power over good and evil by snacking on some fruit. We could never stand equal with God over all that is. We do know that God reveals his glory, his mercy, his justice and his righteousness in all things, from an eternal time well before Adam and Eve. Like my wife, God forgave me. I was formed, found and forgiven. By the time I realized my humanity, I was safe amongst the Angels.

My eyes no longer dipped.

"MY GOD MY GOD! WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?!" Jesus hung with those words. Do you know what they mean? They mean we aren't driving our Angelic Mercedes to our Heavenly mansion ... the words mean we're being chauffeured.

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