6 Christ himself was like God in everything.
But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be used for his own benefit.
7 But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing.
He was born as a man
and became like a servant.
8 And when he was living as a man,
he humbled himself and was fully obedient to God,
even when that caused his death—death on a cross.
9 So God raised him to the highest place.
God made his name greater than every other name
10 so that every knee will bow to the name of Jesus—
everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
11 And everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord
and bring glory to God the Father.” – Philippians 2:5-11 (NCV)
“So, how’s Mr. B?” I queried my son who just got home from volunteering in a nearby high school for a couple of hours. He has not seen this particular teacher from middle school and he was eager to volunteer and helped him out in preparing his classroom before the new school year would begin.
“He’s doing well, Mom. It was great to see him and he was so happy to see me and hear about what was up with me and the stuff I had been doing at school. He was asking about you and dad.”
“And…what did you say?”
“I asked him if he could pray for you because Mom, if you didn’t mind, I told him a little about what was going on at your work. I was surprised how quickly he replied that it was illegal. I mean, he doesn’t even work there in the prison.”
“Well, I didn’t mind that you told him and thanks for asking him to pray for me. I certainly need prayers.”
As we ate lunch together, he was so excited to tell me about how his time went with Mr. B. I was glad that they had time spent together today and in prayers, I was grateful for one of God’s greatest blessings in my life: “my child.”
I knew he was very observant of my own life’s struggles. He had been watching me do my steps carefully as I continued to rehearse and perform this dance of life. He knew that perfecting my moves had nothing to do with my own strength knowing how limited we truly were! He witnessed that I was quick to fall down on my knees and in tears, lift up my petitions to the One Who had strong convictions if I had done any wrong steps. He knew I read His instructions daily, as I tried to go against this world’s rules and regulations. My son saw the truth in His Word and the importance of following His commands. He understood that aside from being obedient, He also desired for us, dancers, to seek Him first on top of everything and then…to love others and even our enemies...
Through this greatest rehearsal, others are watching every step and every move…Whether they like our dance or not, what matters is pleasing the One Who is always patient to teach us the right moves!
“I love you, Mom. Thanks for the lunch… Thank You, Lord,” my thoughts interrupted by my son’s gratitude.
I fell many times as I danced. I cried many tears as I went through so much pain. I had been broken but comforted and healed anyway. I knew deep inside, there was no promise for only good, fun times as I chose to dance in this narrow stage. And the crucial thing to know was that bowing down was the first step even prior to my performance. And for those who choose to not listen and do the moves on their own strength, all the things we all do would not matter. To bow down after one’s performance was over might even be too late in God’s sight…For in God’s perfect time, there would not be any exemption.
And all of us will bow down…
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.
Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.
All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.
When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.
The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.
When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: Life Application Bible]:
We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14
Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].
Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.
Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.
Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].