February 28, 2019
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:” Philippians 2:9. Jesus is the second person of the Holy Trinity and, in fact, is God. It’s not easy for us to wrap our human understanding around the fact that God loved us so much that He put aside His deity to become human in order to give us the one and only way to eternal life. If you stop and really think about it you’ll be in awe of what He did. He gave His life so that sinners such as you and me can live eternally. Unfortunately, many of us take that act of love for granted. Many who claim to be Christians fail to bow before Him and live as if sin is no big deal. Wrong. Sin separates us from God. Reconciliation was important enough to God that He gave His life to pay the price for our redemption. Can you think of anyone you might sacrifice your own life for? Maybe your child, or a husband may be willing to protect his wife with his life, but most people wouldn’t lay down their life for a stranger. “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.” Romans 5:7. Self-preservation is in our nature. Jesus Christ laid down His life so you and I can live. Most people won’t even set aside time to study Scripture, let alone help other people. We need to put our pride aside, bow our knees, humble our hearts, and confess Jesus as Lord.
Jesus is the example Christians are to follow. If anyone had something to be prideful about, it was Jesus. He was God incarnate. He walked on water, healed many who were sick, and fed thousands with only a small amount of bread and fish. Did He boast or brag? No. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Hebrews 2:9. God chose to walk among sinners because of His love for us. Even though He was tempted in the same way all people are tempted He never sinned. Jesus Christ set aside the glory He had in Heaven and laid down His life for us. When we think of laying down our lives for someone else, we usually think of an act of heroism. The example Jesus gave was that of daily choices to set aside our own comfort in order to care for the needs of others who don’t deserve grace and mercy. When the time was right He did shed His blood, but His example of walking daily in humbleness is a Christian’s guide. Pride is a sin and keeps us from serving the Lord. Marriage is a model of Christ’s love. The husband is the head of the family, but he is to love his wife as Christ loved us. Jesus humbly set aside His exalted place in Heaven to give His life for His bride. A man needs to follow Christ’s example and be the leader of his household and unconditionally love his wife. It’s easier for the wife to submit to her husband if he bows before the Lord. When Christ is first in our life we will yield to His authority.
Christians should have no problem bowing before Christ because we love Him. Sadly, many Christians live our own way instead of bowing our knees before Him. How many of us choose our words and actions in order to honor Christ? “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10. A Christian shouldn’t live their life to gain the approval of men. It’s God we need to please. In every part of our life, we need to humbly bow before our Lord and behave in a way that honors Him. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. There are many human actions that are motivated by our sin nature. Our sins were nailed to the cross when Jesus shed His blood and we need to crucify our will to His. When you have a desire to seek revenge for a wrong that’s been done to you, yield your will to Jesus and choose His way instead. “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” Luke 23:34. Jesus forgave those who crucified Him. He took the sin of the whole world upon Himself when He went to the cross and He forgave those who pounded the nails, but He also bore your sins and will forgive you. When temptation comes your way, crucify the carnal desires of the flesh and submit to the way of Christ. Scripture is clear about what constitutes sin and no matter how you try to justify your choices, it’s still sin. Following Christ means turning away from sin.
Jesus gave us the example of how to be humble but many of us choose to ignore that example. We get so caught up in our own pride that we forget to put Christ first. We say we’re Christians but we don’t follow His ways. When you set your heart to understanding what the God of all creation did for you, you should be very humbled. If we call ourselves Christians we need to follow Him. “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you and example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” John 13:13-15. Jesus spoke those words to His disciples not long before He laid down His life and willingly went to the cross. Those men had followed Him but didn’t really understand God’s plan, but their lives had been changed. Jesus would be arrested and crucified. His blood would pay the price for their sin as well as yours and mine. How did Jesus spend that last night? He washed the feet of His disciples. He knew what was about to happen, but set the example of humility. In order to wash their feet, He had to bend His knees before them. Why is it so difficult for us to bow before Him? If you claim to be a Christian you need to think about that. Instead of following the ways of the world, follow Him. “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15. When you accept Christ for salvation you no longer belong to yourself.
People who don’t recognize Jesus as Lord can’t be expected to bow before Him and follow His ways. Christians need to be the example to show them a better way…the way of Jesus. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return. That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” Isaiah 45:22-23. This is an Old Testament verse that speaks a New Testament truth. How can this fallen world learn to bow before God if Christians don’t? If we don’t give a true picture of Christ through our life we misrepresent Him to the world. Brothers and sisters, let’s humble ourselves before Him and confess Him before men by words and deeds. “Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: but he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.” Luke 12:8-9. There’s more than one way to deny Him. The words you use can praise Him or deny Him and you can also deny Him with your way of life. When you’re faced with a choice in life, be sure to choose to bow before Jesus. The simple act of obedience to Jesus will speak loudly and show the world that you’re a Christian.
There will come a time when saint and sinner alike will see Jesus. Some of us will feel unbounded joy because we chose to follow Him. Others will face the consequences of their choice to reject Him. “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father ” Philippians 2:10-11. Everyone will die one day. Judgment will come after death. There’s no possible way for a human being to be good enough to merit eternal life with God. Only faith in the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ will bring eternal life. As a Christian, you’ll be judged by His righteousness, not your own. The things you’ve done for Him will earn rewards, but things done when you didn’t submit your will to His will be burned. If you humble yourself and bow before Him now you’ll be very glad you did. People who’ve rejected Christ will also see Him. Sadly it will be an “Oops” moment when they realize too late that Jesus was, is, and forever will be Lord. Those who refused to accept His death, burial, and resurrection for their salvation will know too late that they should have bowed before Him in this life because the choice must be made while living on this side of Heaven. After death, it’s too late.
When will you bow? Will you wait until you stand before that White Throne awaiting judgment? You’ll know without a doubt that Jesus Christ is Lord, but your eternity will have been sealed. You will have condemned yourself to eternal death. You would be wise to accept Him as your Saviour today. Bow your knees now and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at our Home Page under the Newsletter Archive Tab.
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