Philippians 2:8-11 – And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
- Reflect On: Philippians 2:5-11
- Praise God: For Christ’s victory on the cross.
- Offer Thanks: Because you share in Christ’s victory.
- Confess: Any tendency to forget what God has done for you.
- Ask God: To sharpen your spiritual vision.
My favorite Bible promise is this: “Love Wins.” Okay, so it’s really a bumper sticker and not a Bible promise. But doesn’t the Bible say that Jesus died for us because He loved us? And doesn’t it also say that God has exalted Him to the highest place of all so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord? So, in the end, it does seem that the Bible promises us that “Love Wins.”
Here’s another little slogan I saw on the marquee of a church [building] the other day: “Heavenly Forecast – Reign Forever.” Corny as it sounds, it happens to be true. Jesus has already won the most important battle in history, and now he is on the throne and calling the shots. But if it is true that Jesus is the clear winner in the fight against sin and evil, why does it sometimes seem as though the outcome, at least in our corner of the world, is still in doubt? Because Satan has not yet admitted defeat. Because God wants to bring as many people into His kingdom as He can before wrapping things up. Because Christ wants our faith to be honed and perfected and that can only be accomplished in an environment of conflict and battle.
Have you heard of contrarians, people who buy stocks when everyone else is selling? Though this is not a strategy for the weak-kneed, it can yield enormous returns for those whose vision is clear. I believe that Jesus wants our spiritual vision to be so clear that we can become spiritual contrarians: people who continue to believe when life is at its worst, people who keep faith though everyone around us loses faith, people who continue to obey no matter how high the cost. If the apostle Paul had not had this deep certainty of Jesus’ power and authority, of His ability to keep His promises come what may, how could he have endured being whipped, beaten, shipwrecked, stoned, and imprisoned, “in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger,” as he says, “from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers” (2 Corinthians 11:26)? How could he have labored and toiled and gone without sleep and been hungry and thirsty, cold and naked? How could he have endured martyrdom?
Paul was the ultimate contrarian. I wish I were more like him. I want to stop complaining over small things and large, to press on no matter what presses against me, to have so clear a vision of what it means that Jesus is Lord that my natural pessimism is converted into a fierce kind of spiritual optimism.
Join me today in praising the Lord and in repenting for having so little faith. Let us plead with Him, begging Him to open our eyes through faith so that we will know the full measure of His love and the greatness of His power.