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WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, APRIL 6, 2020

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 verses are Philippians 2:5-11, where the Bible says,   

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

THROW YOUR PALMS DOWN FOR THIS, FOR HIM!


Yesterday was Palm Sunday and today is the beginning of Holy Week for Christians around the world. This is the week where we realize why Christmas matters. Jesus was born for this moment, for this week. This is the week, like that week so many years ago, where Jesus’ mission was and still is in full view as the Son of God in human flesh took our place so that we might be saved. This is the week where we realize that forgiveness, life, and salvation for sinners like us were all accomplished by a Savior like Him and a cross that was meant, not for Him, but for us. This is the week!

What a week it was back then. Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem by many with palm branches and “hosannas,” but not everyone was joining in the worshipful celebration. After that Palm Sunday reception, Jesus’ week became one of confrontations with false teachers and political hacks; it contained corrupt trials, brutal beatings, and mob rule. Yet Jesus entered that arena willingly, through blood, sweat, and tears. And what happened to Jesus Christ that week literally changed the world! The benefits of what He endured and accomplished during the “Holy Week” of His passion continue to change people’s lives.

Today, like others back then, we often confuse the things that we need to honor with the things that we are called to worship. The Bible makes the distinction. Show respect for fathers/mothers, magistrates, artisans, business people, yes, but worship only the God who created and redeemed you. Faith toward Him alone; fervent love toward neighbor.

In a figurative way then, throw down your “branches” today in worship of the Savior who endured rejection and unbelief so that we might be reconciled to God the Father in all things.

Do not lay down your branches before a politician or a policy, an entertainer or a celebrity, and not even before your own greatest dreams or any other worldly desire. Instead, lay them down in praise before your Lord and Savior whose mindset was set on you so that you could be saved. His life, death, and resurrection for you gives you a way of thinking and living that empowers your daily walk as a walk to eternity. It gives you certainty and purpose in your relationship with God no matter what is going on in your life. It also gives believers wisdom to live life abundantly here and now.  

So, throw your worship-filled branches down before Jesus in faith. Then charge ahead not only with His mindset, but also with His promises for your life and salvation, today and always. 

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, give us courage to throw our “palm branches” of faith down before You so that we trust in You above all things. Do not allow even the important things of the day to take the place of our enduring trust in You. In fact, let our faith in You truly empower and order our days in faith toward You and fervent love toward others in Your Name. AMEN.

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