A Change of Mind. Day eight...
Do you have anything you'd like to trade with Jesus beside your sin? Would you be willing to want everything He wants more than anything you want?
Yes, He wants you to have a place in Eternity with him, and He made that possible by paying for your sin on the Cross. But that's the end of the story. The beginning is now—this very moment. He came that you might have an abundant life, beginning right now (if you want it).
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. (John 10:10–11 NKJV)
The use of abundant life in this chapter is not a reference to Heaven, because in Heaven there is no stranger trying to lead the sheep astray or thief trying to steal, kill, and destroy. The abundant life He has made possible for us is this life right now. It is the alternative to a life of having the devil continually stealing and killing and destroying at every opportunity.
The contrast is stark: A life of abundance based on His example and His Word. Or a life of hell‐on‐earth based on our perceptions.
I fully realize it's easier to think, “How am I going to put up with this stuff?” than it is to think, “How am I going to control this stuff?” So we need a change of mind. And Jesus sets the example.
You may be tempted to say, “Well, He was God and I'm just a man (woman). How can I possibly follow His example?” Let me assure you that you can follow His example—but only by thinking like He thinks.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5 KJV)
Be like‐minded with Christ Jesus. It is possible. He made it possible.
Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross! (Philippians 2:6–8 AMP Bible)
Jesus was, is, and always will be fully God.
But He did not walk this earth as God. He walked this earth in the likeness of man. The Bible simply doesn't support the doctrine that Jesus incarnate was fully man and fully God. Yes, He was still God but He purposely stripped Himself of His position as God and assumed the position of man. And this is vital to what He did for us.
Jesus was still speaking, when Judas the betrayer came up. He was one of
twelve disciples, and a large mob armed with swords and clubs was with
They had been sent by the chief priests and the nation's leaders. Judas
told them ahead of time, “Arrest the man I greet with a kiss.”
Judas walked right up to Jesus and said, “Hello, teacher.” Then Judas kissed him. Jesus replied, “My friend, why are you here?” The men grabbed Jesus and arrested him. One of Jesus' followers pulled out a sword. He struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear.
But Jesus told him, “Put your sword away. Anyone who lives by fighting will die by fighting. Don't you know that I could ask my Father, and right away he would send me more than twelve armies of angels? But then, how could the words of the Scriptures come true, which say that this must happen?” (Matthew 26:47‐54 CEV)
Can you see how deliberate Jesus was to avoid using what He had every right to use? He could have called down thousands of angels to obliterate the mob, and completely avoided the indignity of the Cross. But He didn't—for our sakes He didn't. He intended to show us how to live by example—by His example.
After Jesus had washed his disciples' feet and had put his outer garment back on, he sat down again. Then he said: “Do you understand what I have done? You call me your teacher and Lord, and you should, because that is who I am. And if your Lord and teacher has washed your feet, you should do the same for each other. I have set the example, and you should do for each other exactly what I have done for you.” (John 13:12‐15 CEV)
Jesus could not be our example if He allowed Himself access to what is inaccessible to us.
Please don't miss this. As an illustration, if you wanted to show me how to repair—by example—my washing machine, you could not do so by using a bunch of fancy tools that I had no access to. You couldn't show me by example if you were using tools that I couldn't have.
I know this is a potential mind‐bender, so please chew on it over the holiday weekend.
Have a good day,