More than 2000 years after his death, people throughout the world, by the millions, still remember and honor His birth! Why is that?
Is it because he was a darling little baby born in a manger among the animals, because His mother had neither status nor money to secure a room in the Inn? Or is it because He grew up to be a perfect sinless man, rumored to be the Son of God, himself. Or maybe it was because He was crucified and died to redeem us, though we didn’t really understand it. It might just have been because he rose from the dead on the third day as He said he would, and later rose to Heaven while believers watched, remembering his promise to return on day to end evil and take us home to our father in Heaven.
Actually we probably remember Him for all these reasons and more. There may even be reasons we aren’t fully aware of today. Those reasons are that He is God, and our spirits testify to that within us.
The most powerful proof of His deity does lie in His birth, because in birth He fulfilled over 400 prophecies of his coming and life. For thousands of years beginning in Genesis 3, His coming was predicted with pinpoint accuracy. The circumstances of his conception and birth, the manger, the light for all the world to see, the jealous King who would try to kill Him, all happened exactly as written centuries before.
Prophets had been tortured and given their lives to tell of His coming and that He would save the world from the scourge of wickedness and evil. For hundreds of years they wrote and watched as God had guided them.
And then…here it was, His magnificent and majestic birth that settled and validated all scripture. This baby came as the savior redeemer of the world and every believer. He came as a gift of GRACE. No one could earn His grandeur, and it was given to us freely, because we are loved. That’s why we remember him still.
Tonight in our new Twitter Chat on Angels of the Word, some confusion came up when someone tweeted, ” Jesus was made Lower than the angels”. This seems so contrary to all we know about Jesus, yet it is in the Bible. So let’s sort it out and put it in context.
The Supremacy of the Son of God- Colossions 1:15-16 15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
This is one of those awesome scriptures that show us Jesus has always been! He wasn’t just born at Christmas. He was always with God and shared the creation of even the angels. What more can we learn about Gods intent for Jesus?
____________________ God’s Final Word: His Son – Hebrews 1 1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways,2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
The Son Superior to Angels 5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again,
“I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”?
6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”
7 In speaking of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire.”
8 But about the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”
10 He also says,
“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 11 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. 12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”[f]
13 To which of the angels did God ever say,
“Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?
14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
So that makes the diety of Jesus pretty clear! So what is this stuff about him being lower than the angels???
Jesus Made Fully Human – Hebrews 2:5-9
5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But there is a place where someone has testified:“What is mankind that you are mindful of them,a son of man that you care for him?
7 You made them a little lower than the angels;
you crowned them with glory and honor
8 and put everything under their feet.”
In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. 9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
So there it is!!! No contradiction at all! Jesus willingly condescended to the level of man to be fully human and to fully taste the hurt, pain and death that comes with being human. For a time he willingly gave up His supremacy over the angels. He suffered and died with no angelic rescue so that we may be redeemed through His love and grace forever. When he arose triumphant, He was once again a part of our Triune God with the authority over all the Universe. And he left with the promise of GOD that He will return to take authority over sin and all the fallen angels on earth. He is no longer lower than any angels! HALLELUJAH!!
Well, last week I promised to add Biblical principles for organizational development as our Wednesday blog theme. Who knew we would see a melt down in Baltimore? So I dedicate today’s blog to Baltimore.
I thank Peter Senge for the concept of “creative tension”. Let’s see what it has to do with Baltimore this week. Let me show you what creative tension is.
This is not my best artwork, but it is straight off my workshop flip chart . All healthy people and organizations maintain a forward creative tension. They have a vision of their future and the hope, faith, and belief in their ability to be successful. That pull has to be strong enough to overcome the backward pull from past experiences and memories that cause them to fear their own failure or unworthiness that will keep them from their hopes and visions.
If the vision is weak, the frustration leads to anger that is at first paralyzing, so that no forward progress happens. The feeling of being stuck or disempowered takes over.
If this continues the backward pull increases with increasing daily experience with failure. Eventually this anger erupts in many ways. For individuals it may erupt in bursts of uncharacteristic violence. In a community, if a lot of citizens experience this frustration continually, the community is a prime target for riots and being stirred to rioting by those who incite them for fun.
This is what we have seen in Baltimore in the last days. The large number of disenfranchised and fearful citizens, mostly youth, were incited to riot and the results were tragic for individuals, businesses, and the police and Mayor.
Today is calmer, thanks to the good people and grown-ups in the community with the courage to step up and do the right things. The big question is how solid is this calm? Is it really a new calm, or merely a respite before a new and possibly worse storm. Another good question is how many other communities are in a similar state of unstable calm and need to join Baltimore in citizen-engaged continuous improvement action teamwork. Such a situation requires immediate action to reestablish forward creative tension. It’s the only answer to the backward pull of destruction.
Many have commented in the last few days wondering why these people haven’t learned from past riots how destructive this is to their community. Let’s first recognize that for 95% of the rioters it is not an analytical time, but a highly emotional time. If the community does not create a continuous improvement momentum for it’s citizens, frustration will pull people backward again and riots will happen again.
So where to go from here?
There is nothing more powerful for healthy individuals, a companies, or a communities than a positive upliftting shared vision. And “shared” means shared engagement and involvement that leads to a wide spread sense of ownership pulling people forward in their shared belief in their future success. When this positive tipping point is achieved, constructive momentum takes on a life of it’s own.
The citizens have many grievances in Baltimore. This will pull the community backward again if those grievances don’t get a fair hearing and treatment in an overall continuous improvement process.
The first thing to do is to start a credible and trust worthy community-wide team building process including all strata of citizens to work together to create the new vision. The team should have enough authority represented that they can believe that improvement actions will follow. It also needs to be led by someone who is in it for the long haul and not quit when things get tough, because they will.
Such a cross-functional team should include citizens of all ages and interests, business owners, government workers, police, educators, spiritual leaders. Resist the temptation to get all postive folks. This is a partner making process. It is an opportunity to enlist some of those who have felt the most disenfranchised!But all must be committed to participate as though they are on the same team.
The temporary vision is that everyone will roll up their sleeves together and work as partners to make the community continuously improve in ways that are most important to all. But the team, once formed will create the actually vision and signs of success from which real actions will flow. Then they begin planning, steering, and monitoring, and celebrating the success milestones as they are achieved.
The excitement and good will that will come from a credible process like this, will begin to reestablish the forward pull of creative tension to a future everyone owns and believes in.
Withoutvision, the people abandon restraint, but those who obey the Law are happy. Proverbs 29:18
I have been involved in youth ministry much of my adult life and I know they can be engaged to give their lives for GOOD and for GOD.
These are all TEENS in prayer! They respond powerfully to the Love of Jesus & the Holy Spirit!
If we are to be relevant today, we must be talking about #Baltimore and the YOUTH REBELLION taking place there! I have listened nonstop to press conferences about all the police being called out to put down the riots they expect again tonight. Not ONE public official considering an approach that might change that dynamic.
I have a vision of a YOUTH Fair of Christian Worship Teams covering the streets of #Baltimore to minister to the young people. I devoted the morning to tweeting for that ministry approach. I have seen lives transform miraculously when inspired by the Word of God. That was where Dr. Martin Luther King derived his power! But somehow, today, his message seems so yesterday to so many.
ButGod’s Word is not yesterday, it is relevant for #Baltimore and anywhere today. No I am not stupid enough to think that prayer alone will transform a community in chaos. But that community needs to come together, talk together, plan together, and forgive one another together, heal together. This is the only way they will involve everyone, even the youth, in planning for tomorrow. That is where God’s Word will get a community doing loving things together for each other.
The only bright spot last night was when a group of spiritual leaders marched the streets of #Baltimore singing gospel. Unfortunately, led by politicians, they seemed to be there more for the cameras than for solving problems. Things visibly calmed down as these leaders did their half hour march. But everything erupted as they left!
Christians dedicated to being disciples of Christ, need to go into these angry streets and stay there to minister to the people. Love them into better versions of themselves.
Just when I was losing hope for #Baltimore, a bright light came shining through. Over a thousand citizens stepped up to begin cleaning up the mess and helping devastated business owners. Then came my new HERO, Pastor Donte Hickman. He is pastor of SouthernBaptistChurch.org and was building the senior citizen housing center that was burned to the ground last night. Admitting that he was disheartened last night, he said he faces today with new resolve to help #Baltimore transform. HALLELUJAH! He also said he had called the leaders of his church to meet him and go to the streets to minister…”out of the view of the cameras’. YAY!!! May God bless this strong Christian leader and send more to support him!
These problems are spiritual problems that take spiritual solutions so that people will work together to identify and solve the pressing problems of poverty, joblessness, education barriers, and racial tensions. If church leaders will come out of their buildings to the real church, God’s people, and lead them, countries will be transformed.
If my people will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, I will forgive their sins, and I will heal their land.2Chronicles14:7
TweetingGodsLove.com will continue to support our online ministry and bring you news of our Twitter Chats and the TGL family & friends. We will also continue to post topics on living the Christian life by applying Biblical truth to daily challenges.
But starting this Wednesday, I will begin drawing from my quality management consulting experience as well and posting practical lessons on “Leadership and Teamwork from the Heart of God”.
Biblical principles are the foundation of true excellence in the workplace, as people work together to build legendary teamwork!Leading with the heart of God is what it takes to build this kind of dynamic excellence focused organization . Small or large organizations all need to do the same thing….engage the hearts of their people!
Just read Psalm 19. WOW it’s beautiful. It is telling us that God’s laws, precepts, and decrees are beautiful and designed by a loving God to keep us safe and bless us. The Psalmist writes of the dependability, beauty, and warmth of the sky and sun as a metaphor for God’s creation of His laws.
As I got to the end of this Psalm, I heard on the background news that Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of 1st degree murder of his friend, Oden Lloyd. It struck me as such a stark reminder of the TRUTH of this Psalm.
Aaron Hernandez was a handsome young NFL $40mil/year star. He had all the blessings that anyone could imagine. But he decided he could leave the laws of God behind. The result is that he will now spend the rest of his life in prison.
We are always at risk when we step outside of God’s laws, yet people who keep them are often the target of scoffers. We’ve all heard how narrow minded and “square ” Christians are. We’ve heard we should loosen up and have more fun!
When a pilot gets into a plane there’s a manufacturer’s warning that says not to climb to steeply or fast or the aircraft will stall out and crash. The pilot, thinks,”Good to know!” He/she does not think, “Oh that boring ol’ manufacturer just wants to keep me from having fun! What a buzzkill!”
But when it comes to life, some people want to take the place of the manufacturer and be their own Gods, leaving the manufacturers warnings behind. Our prisons are not full because too many people follow the laws of God. Many only learn this hard lesson after they have tried to be their own God and make up their own rules. By that time, the may lose their freedom for life…just like Aaron Hernandez, and so many like him.
God has given us rules because He loves each and every one of us and wants to keep us safe. His words are the Manufacturer’s Warnings so our lives don’t stall out and crash.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14