TITLE: Dying and Living
DATE: January 28, 2019
TEXT: Philippians 2:6-8 ESV - Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Back when I was in the congregation, I used to do a children’s sermon. A children’s sermon is a short message designed to teach the children the Sunday’s message on a level which they can understand.
It was great fun because you almost never knew what the children were going to do or say.
I say “almost never” because there was one question which they always answered the same way. When I said to them, “What did Jesus do for you?”, without hesitation they always answered, “Jesus died for me.”
It was a wonderful answer, a blessed answer, a Spirit-given answer. There is nothing wrong with that answer. It might be the very answer you would give.
But you should know the Evangelists report Jesus did more than die for humanity.
When I ask, “What did Jesus do for you?”, you might also want to add, “Jesus said ‘no’ to temptation for me.” You can say that, because it’s true. You see, Jesus also lived for you. And that living for you included being tempted by the devil. Most certainly you remember the most famous of Jesus’ temptation-days, don’t you? But the day Jesus resisted Satan’s three-fold temptations was not one-of-a-kind.
Every day for the rest of His life, Jesus said, “No” to temptations. When the devil offered Him something good if Jesus would only do something bad, our Redeemer said, ”No.” Jesus lived for you and every time, at every opportunity, without exception, He said, “No” to the temptation of the devil, of the world.
But Jesus did say, ‘no.’
Jesus always did what was right so His heavenly Father might do something which was unbelievably, unexpectedly, undeservedly wonderful.’ From cradle to cross and every day in between, Jesus did what was right, what was necessary, so you could be forgiven.
Jesus did what we couldn’t so we might be saved.
Did Jesus die for you? He did. But He also lived for you. Which is why we do the same for Him.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I stumble and fall. I have weaknesses and shortcomings. I commit sins and transgressions. All of these things Jesus was never allowed to do. For His perfection which saves me I offer thanks and praise. In His Name I rejoice. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html