Wednesday, September 18, 2013

This Is How It Should Work

Here is part of something I talked to my teens about this week.

42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ~Mark 10:42-45. 

Jesus points to a secular model and how those in charge let it go to their heads. But He says this is not the model for what He is doing. In the Church, the servants will be the greatest. Jesus puts an exclamation point on it all by saying that even He came to be a servant and to give up His life.

This is foreign to our thinking. A King comes to conquer and live as long as possible. A King does not come to die. You can’t rule if you’re dead. You can’t be awesome if you’re not around to show people how awesome you are. You must stand strong.

I've often said, 'Who is going to talk about me if I don't talk about me?'

But Jesus says, ‘Not so fast.’ Even the Son of Man…. Even the greatest One ever…. Even God in the flesh…. Even Jesus came to be a servant. Even Jesus came to die. It was His calling, His purpose, His reason.

So I’m telling you that our purpose is linked forever with the identity of Jesus. In another book of the New Testament, this one written after Jesus died and rose again and bolted for Heaven, we find the apostle Paul writing to the church in Ephesus. He is talking about how lost we were and basically as good as dead before Jesus did what He did for us. Then Paul lays out our purpose and calling.

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~Ephesians 2:8-10

In this few short verses we get several aspects of our identity and calling.

  • We are saved sinners. (by grace)
There’s nothing you can do about this. It’s being given a birthday gift after you did nothing to help the birthing process. Oh, and to top it off, you were a bit of a brat on your birthday. But you still got a present.

  • We are people who believe. (through faith)
You can’t prove it. You often can’t even explain it. But you choose to believe it.

  • We are to be humble. (so that no one can boast)
We brag about everything else, from sports to grades to clothes to income. But this, we are all absolutely equal.

  • We are artistic masterpieces of the best Artist ever. (We are God’s workmanship)
I don’t know how you see yourself. But God saw something worth dying for. God saw something that He made and had called good.

  • We are supposed to do good things for other people. (Created in Christ Jesus to do good works)
This become sour thankful and joyous response to the gifts we have been given.

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