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?