Thursday, September 9, 2010

Jesus vs. Me

Passage: Matthew 12: 1-29

V. 15b-21: Many followed Him, and He healed them all, and warned them not to tell who He was. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah, the prophet: “Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen; My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased; I will put My spirit upon Him, and He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel, nor cry out; nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A battered reed He will not break off, and a smoldering wick He will not put out, until He leads justice to victory. And in His name the Gentiles will hope.”

Observation: In sharing this O.T. prophecy we see the nature of Christ in a few words: He is God’s servant, He is loved of God, He is the Chosen One, He pleases God first and foremost, He announces justice, He seeks peace, He does not draw attention to Himself, He is gentle and merciful, He is patient, He is trustworthy.

Application: I can know that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He continues to serve the Father, to be loved. He is the Chosen One who pleases God first. He makes known the way of justice. He seeks peace. He does not draw attention to Himself, but gently and mercifully cares for that which is losing hope. He continues to patiently wait for His time to lead in justice and victory. He is worthy of our trust.

I can take heart that, as one who is called to be His imitator, this is His calling on my life. I am called to be God’s servant—not my own master, not the servant of my own desires and whims. Through Jesus Christ, I am loved and chosen. I am free to seek His agenda and His will because my own agenda and will are base, temporal, fleeting. Because of His love and choice, I have the freedom and authority to accomplish His purposes. I am not called to quarrel against those who would disagree. It is not my place to cry out. I am not called to draw attention to myself and put myself in the limelight. I am simply called to minister mercy and grace to the hurting, the lost, and those losing hope. In reaching out to those in need, I will patiently wait for His victory and justice, holding out that same hope to others.

So how am I doing? Not well. My flesh does not want to rest in being chosen, but wants to strive for importance. As a matter of fact, it does not want to be chosen at all—it wants to choose “for itself” (no pride there?). My flesh wants to be the one to love, not the one who is loved (again, I want the control). My flesh wants to please me, not Him. It does not want to proclaim justice; it wants to create justice (Clint Eastwood style!). My flesh wants to cry out, to quarrel, and to draw attention to the misdeeds of the world, of circumstance, of sinful man. It wants to hold center stage—now and always. It does not want to flubber over a smoldering wick or apply mercy to a broken reed. It wants victory NOW. It wants confidence and assurance NOW.

Wow. Good thing I’m reading God’s Word. It’s so not who I am. But by God’s grace, and by His Spirit, He will do the work as I submit. Whew. Praise God who gives the victory! Salvation is not a moment of faith; it is a lifetime of faith.

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