Day 2 :: Jesus.

on October 2, 2011 in 31 Days of Courage with 28 comments by

When I think about courage, at least when I think about it in my own life, it all sorta goes back to the same place. If I was a more strategic writer, I would save this post for the end of October.

Le grand finale.

Like, “hey, you’ve been reading about courage every day and the cherry on the top of this is JESUS!” But I just don’t feel like that is being honest.

He’s not just the top, He’s all of it.

Courage was born in a manger on Christmas Day.

The truth of who Jesus is and what He did on Earth – the Son of God who made Himself fully man to take on our sins – is the most courageous thing this planet has ever seen.

I recently heard a teacher [Andy Byrd from YWAM’s Circuit Rider school] say, “Jesus fasted Heaven for 33 years.” And it sorta broke my heart. I guess I had never considered all that He gave up – I mean, I knew He gave up being with God the Father and I knew He took on human flesh, but I guess I forgot that He gave up freedom from temptation, He gave up being worshipped and adored and fully loved by everyone around Him, He gave up all the things you dream Heaven could be like.

As if that wasn’t enough, for those 33 years on Earth He healed and set free and forgave sins and poured love into those around Him.

Then. He died on the cross, taking all of our sins with Him.

Then. He was resurrected so that we could have eternal life and live free of the guilt of sin.

“Jesus gave it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”

THAT is courage.

While we will spend this month celebrating bravery in others and calling it forth in ourselves, it would be ridiculous to believe that anything we do even lights a candle to the courageous things Jesus did for us.

So on the first Sunday of October, in a month where our focus is courage, I think of Jesus.

Philippians 2: 1-11 (The Message)

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care”” then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death””and the worst kind of death at that””a crucifixion.

Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth””even those long ago dead and buried””will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

. . . . .

What do YOU think of Jesus?

28 comments

  1. posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 5:50 AM  |  reply

    Oh my gosh, I’d never EVER thought of it that way: that he fasted Heaven. I agree, that breaks my heart. Wow. A very powerful and beautiful post. Thank you!

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 12:28 PM  |  reply

      Right? He’s more amazing with every new thing I learn.

  2. posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 5:56 AM  |  reply

    That is the verse that Sara had on her funeral program. It’s haunting me this week.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 12:30 PM  |  reply

      Wow. I didn’t know. But I miss her already.

  3. posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 6:02 AM  |  reply

    Ah, truth spoken here. So glad you started with Jesus. It’s so hard to comprehend what He sacrificed. Keith Green has been #1 on my playlist for weeks now. His music makes me think of Jesus’ obedience, His sacrifice and our response.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 12:30 PM  |  reply

      I will go listen now.

  4. posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 6:34 AM  |  reply

    I change my mind from yesterday’s comment (even though I was being silly). Jesus IS the ultimate example of courage & bravery. Thanks for writing this post today & not saving it til the end of the 31 days.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 12:31 PM  |  reply

      Amen.

  5. posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 11:11 AM  |  reply

    Jesus fasted Heaven for 33 years.. wow. gonna have to treasure that one.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 12:31 PM  |  reply

      Right? Me too.

  6. Merideth
    posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 11:29 AM  |  reply

    I never thought about it like that either. Jesus gave up the best of everything for us by giving up heaven for 33 years. Pretty amazing. I have to think on this post some more.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 12:31 PM  |  reply

      Samesies. I replayed that idea in my head for weeks.

  7. posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 12:00 PM  |  reply

    “Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”

    These are great words for our small group working through the book Radical. As much as the book challenges us to rethink how in-step we are with the monetary aspects of the American Dream, I think it also challenges how in-step we are with the culture of not getting involved and looking after ourselves. It takes courage to let our guard down and ignore what others might think about us offering to help or starting a conversation with a stranger.

  8. posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 2:12 PM  |  reply

    “Jesus gave it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.” THAT is courage.

    Wow. Those two sentences side by side remind me all the more of what He really did for me. That, though I am a sinner, He loved me to the point of death on a cross. Thank you for sharing. I’m excited to follow your journey.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 3:04 AM  |  reply

      Amen, Stephanie.

  9. posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 3:19 PM  |  reply

    In discussing courage and bravery over the last few months with some friends and a co-worker we often talked about other people from the Word who showed courage but never Jesus. He is the best and most wonderful example of courage. He fasted from Heaven for 33 years will be repeating in my heart all week. Wonderful and thought provoking post Annie.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 3:04 AM  |  reply

      Yeah- we are going to talk about a few different Bible folks, but I figured Jesus should be first. 🙂

  10. posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 5:58 PM  |  reply

    Love your take on the courage of Christ. Like others, the cross seemed the most courageous act of His life.
    Nicely written.
    Thank you!

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 3:05 AM  |  reply

      Thank you, Stefanie! 🙂

  11. posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 7:30 PM  |  reply

    “Courage was born in the manger on Christmas Day”. Last year I put myself in the shoes/sandals of the people that were waiting on His arrival; waiting for a Saviour, back in the day. The anticipation, the Excitement, and the Courage to believe……Annie, you didn’t need this 31 day challenge (you are already changing the world), but I love your challenge choice.

    xxx

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 3:05 AM  |  reply

      Thanks, Reese! 🙂

  12. posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 8:09 PM  |  reply

    Wow, I’ve never even considered it like this. Fasting heaven for 33 years. What a sacrifice was made so that I could live eternally with God.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 3:06 AM  |  reply

      Right? It’s a crazy thought.

  13. Donna
    posted on Oct 02, 2011 at 11:53 PM  |  reply

    Thank you for the good word today. Jesus “fasting heaven” makes me think of how great His love is and how “…God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 3:06 AM  |  reply

      LOVE that verse. I learned it when I was little from a kids’ series called G.T. and the Halo Express. 🙂 And I’ve never forgotten it.

  14. Jackie
    posted on Oct 05, 2011 at 9:55 PM  |  reply

    Uhh, what do I think of Jesus? Oh not much, just that he’s the most amazing person on the planet! The fact that he knowingly took his life for some goofy awkward girl 20 centuries later, makes me so grateful to be here and some humbled. Reading his life and his fight makes me feel like I can do anything. 🙂 Caren sent me to this blog and I’m no obsessed! Thank you for shining some light Annie.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 07, 2011 at 6:04 AM  |  reply

      Amen, Jackie. Good word.

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