Monday, February 11, 2013

Now or later...

Week 7:

Philippians 2:9-11 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

These verses end a passage that emphasizes Christ’s humility. Paul writes about Christ giving up his place in heaven in order to become the servant he was…a servant who died for our sins. These verses however, point out that through that humility, Christ has been exalted again.

The last three verses pointing out Jesus’ sovereignty has often prompted me to think in terms of “now or later”. We can either declare Jesus as Lord of all now, by choice, or later (in the end) because it will be obvious. As I have read this over and over through the years, the language has had such an edge for me.  

First, Jesus is given the name above all names. There is no one placed in a higher position than Jesus. He is king. Second, every knee should bow. All of the universe will bow to Him. Third, every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. To me this means we can choose now to believe and follow or we can find out the hard way in the end.

Right now, God gives us a choice. He reveals himself to us through the Bible, His Son, the Holy Spirit, through prayer, speaking through others, and circumstances. Humankind has drifted away from God and Jesus is the redemption needed to bring us back. If we choose not to believe that now, there will come a time when Jesus returns and all eyes will be open and all will see Jesus’ sovereignty. And we know by other scripture that those who have not believed will have a rude awakening.

There has always just been something that is powerful to me about how Jesus will come again. And in this passage he is giving us a peek into how some of that might look. Jesus will be exalted over all. So, we have a choice to believe…either now or later.

I think I will choose now.

1. In what ways has this passage challenged you?
2. In what ways has this passage given you comfort?
3. In what ways has this passage given you a hope?
4. In what ways has this passage given you a since of victory?
5. This week, really think about these last three verses. Who in your life needs to know that following Jesus requires urgency? Have a talk with him/her/them this week.

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