Devotion: Monday, April 15, 2019

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections from His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is from Philippians 2:5-8, where the Bible says,  


St. Paul 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 would be faithful to the Word of God, the words of the Bible, in thought, word, and deed. He would be holy and live a holy life in all things to honor the Father who sent Him into the world. He would seek to live a life of obedience that not only teaches and speaks about love, but puts such love into action. And here’s the kicker: He has this mindset, this purposeful action, NOT for himself, but for others. In fact, He does this for 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, and He put it all to work to save people like you and me. 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, and we get to put that to work for the lives of others with His power and in His Name!

I was trying to come up with a metaphor or a picture of what that mindset might look like. What would it look like to be a disciple of Jesus who puts all of his/her stature, status, and wisdom to work, not for themselves, but for others? I think the image of that kind of disciple of Jesus would be one that looks like a “first responder” of grace in the lives of the people whom God sends our way.

Just think about what first responders are. They are people who are well trained and well versed in the things that matter in their vocation. 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, all that training, and all that expertise to work, NOT FOR THEIR OWN GAIN, but for the rescue of others. I can’t think of a better analogy of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus than to be a “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, especially those whom we love.

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 in serving others in His name. There’s a reason that we value firefighters, policemen and military folks; they run into the fire, the battle, the fight, when everyone else is running for their lives. And they do it for the sake of others above all. That’s a mindset we all need and, by God’s grace, it’s a mindset that we can have and put to good use right now.

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.