WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, April 11, 2022 -WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW – CHRIST’S “SPIRITUAL FIRST RESPONDERS!”
WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, APRIL 11, 2022
Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is Philippians 2:5-8, where the Bible says,
Have ths in mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himelf by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW – CHRIST’S “SPIRITUAL FIRST RESPONDERS!”
St. Paul here tells us to “have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.” What do you think he means by that? Well, let’s unpack the mind of Christ, shall we? Jesus is faithful to the Word of God, the words of the Bible, in thought, word, and deed. He is holy and lived a holy life in all things to honor the Father who sent Him into the world. He lived a life of obedience that not only continues to teach and speak about love, but also put such love into action. And here’s the kicker: He has a mindset that leads to purposeful action, NOT for himself, but for others. In fact, He does all this for all people even though they don’t deserve any of it. Wow!
Paul says that Jesus had godly status, godly stature, godly power, and godly perfection (verse 6), and He put it all to work to save people like you and me (verses 7-8). Just try to fathom that for a moment. Then there is even more! All of us who put our trust in Jesus now have stature and status as children of God as a gift of His grace. Then we also get to put that to work for the lives of others with His power and in His Name!
I’ve been using a metaphor of what that mindset might look like in my teaching and my writing for the last year. It paints the picture of what a disciple of Jesus might be like, one who puts all of his/her stature, status, and wisdom to work, but not for themselves. I think the image of that kind of disciple of Jesus would look like a “first responder” of grace, a “spiritual first responder” in the lives of the people whom God sends our way.
Just think about what first responders are and do. They are people who have been well trained and are well versed in the things that matter in their vocations. They are to be faithful to that training and willing to execute it at a moment’s notice whenever it is needed. Yet here’s the thing that makes first responders unique: They are to put all that wisdom, training, and expertise to work, NOT FOR THEIR OWN GAIN, but to rescue others. I can’t think of a better analogy for what it means to be a disciple of Jesus than to be a “spiritual first responder.” It means to be equipped with God’s Word and the power of His Spirit, to become well versed in the challenges that are in this world, and then being willing to engage them as we put all that to work for the sake of others.
Can you imagine if that became the image of Christians in the minds of others? Can you imagine if people thought of us as well trained, deep biblical thinkers who strive for holiness and excellence in all we do, AND ALSO REALIZED THAT WE STAND AT THE READY TO PUT ALL THAT TO USE, NOT FOR OUR OWN GAIN, BUT TO MEET THE NEEDS OF OTHERS, FOR THEIR LIVES AND EVEN SALVATION? Let’s constantly think about how we can be what Christ “gifts” us to be, and let’s keep encouraging one another to be ready to put ALL that to work by serving others in His name.
There’s a reason that we respect firefighters, police officers, and military personnel. They run into the fire, the battle, or the fight when most everyone else is running away. And they do it for the sake of others. That’s a mindset we all need, especially as we try to speak God’s truth in love to others (Ephesians 4:15). By God’s grace, it’s a mindset that we can have and put to good use right now. And our world needs God’s people ready to engage in that kind of service now more than ever.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, continue to amaze us about all that You have done for us, and let that amazing joy empower our service to others with a first responder mindset! AMEN.
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