Humility

humility

But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. — Matthew 23:8-12 NKJV

Men, Jesus has just showcased to the multitude that the Pharisees are all about façade. He goes further now to tell the people not to be called or address anyone on earth as Rabbi, Father, or Teacher. Jesus explains we have One Teacher, the Christ who is now in Heaven, and One Father, who is in Heaven.

Ask me again why I am not a Judaist or Catholic. Elementary interpretation should be sufficient. Jesus adds a familiar line, “he who is greatest among you shall be your servant”. As often as He spoke these words, we should begin to shift our understanding of the order of “great” in Kingdom.

First, no one has served more than Jesus. He told the disciples that anyone who had left family, home, fortunes, etc. for His namesake would be given more in Kingdom. Jesus left Heaven, the Holy Father, His glory, and all the comforts and privilege thereof. He humbled Himself to be born in flesh, live among us, accepted mockery, abuse, torture, humiliation, shame, death, the grave, hell, and then rose to bear witness of the resurrection, ascended and now is seated at the right hand of God the Father. This is our model for “great” in Kingdom.

Plush seats of privilege don’t carry us to greatness. Eloquent speeches, private jets, large extravagant homes and expensive vehicles do not equate to great. Titles, certifications, and worldly success don’t add a measure to great in Kingdom. Humility, submitted to the name of Christ Jesus, serving His people, His will, His name, leads to great. Jesus, and His life on earth are our model to great. Jesus follows this saying “whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Move forward men, humbling ourselves so it isn’t done for us, thereafter, the Lord God will lift us up at the appropriate time in eternity.

Vance Durrance

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Resistance is Futile

Resistance is Futile

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sean Zuniga is known to a few of you. He’s battling cancer and going through treatment and he send these updates (this is somewhere around number 14) that always encourage me. With permission, I’m sharing this one and I hope it blesses you, too. As Sean said, “As long as God gets the glory!” – Steve]

Those that have ever seen Star Trek (especially The Next Generation series), surely know this famous “phrase” from a complex breed of organic lifeforms and technological enhancements. This group, known as the Borg, will always state, when a lifeform is about to be assimilated, that they will add them to their collective and therefore enhance the entire collective of the Borg. Their eventual end goal and what they desire is perfection. And to them, resistance to this is…. futile!

WHAT?!??!

What is the world is Sean talking about and perhaps more importantly…why?

On Friday (January 8), I had a Vascular Implant put into my upper left chest. This will be used this Wednesday to pull blood from my body and then put the blood back.

Most English translations of the Bible state in Psalm 139 that we “praise God for we are fearfully and wonderfully made”. Some translations say, “remarkably and wonderfully made”. We are that, but I like what the ISV says.

I praise you, because you are fearful and wondrous! Your work is wonderful, and I am fully aware of it.– Psalm 139:14 ISV

Gives me chills actually!

I will praise God because He is fearful and wondrous! His work (us) is wonderful and I for sure, am aware of it!

Back to the implant…

As blood is pulled through this device, it is run through a centrifuge and God knows (as do the doctors) there is probably some other piece of technology to separate my stem cells from my blood. They then keep the stem cells and give me back everything else in one continuous flow. How could you not fall on your knees in worship just at that technological discovery and enhancement to improve the medical quality of life like people like me!

I feel like I have joined the Borg. I already had (still have) a port in my upper right chest that is accessed and used give me my chemotherapy. I now have this second access (which by the way is really sore right now, so prayers that this will calm down are appreciated). So as these technological enhancements are adhered to my body, all I can “hear” echoing in my mind is “Resistance is futile”!

Is resistance futile or do we have a choice and can actually resist?

Walking with the Lord is a true partnership. Once I became His by accepting His free gift of salvation, there is an expectation on His part that I walk with Him and follow and be obedient to Him. You know what is great about the Lord (besides everything), is that He will not force His free gift of eternal life on anyone, and He will not force a relationship with Him once we are in His family. He will influence and cajole and draw us to Him, but never force.

I can choose to not walk with Him and therefore be disobedient to Him, but as a believer, as Hs child, why would I do that?! He gave His all for me. The grand reality of the Lord accepting us into His family is that even when He has done it all, He still allows us to choose Him on a day by day, moment by moment basis. When we do, life is so much sweeter. Not necessarily easier, just sweeter and more joyful. When we do not, He continues to “work” on our behalf, continuously drawing us to that relationship that He desires we have with Him

Unlike the Borg desiring perfection, the Lord is perfection! The Lord desires perfection on our part as well.

Therefore be perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect. — Matthew 5:48

The Lord’s end goal is for us to be One as He and His Father are One. As Jesus is praying to His Father, He says this about His disciples (including disciples of today)

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You. May they also be one in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory which You gave Me, that they may be one even as We are one: I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfect in unity, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. — John 17:20-23

Resistance is not really futile. In fact, resistance is way too commonplace which is very sad, especially amongst believers. Rejecting what He offers us is the ultimate in futility!

On Wednesday 20 Jan 2021, I will be back in Augusta University Medical Center having those stem cells removed from my body. There is a need to collect 5 million cells. (Who is counting these?) My BI colleagues know there are technologies that do exactly that, so when they get to 5 million, they are done. If they collect more than 5 million they only give me back 5 million. If after ~ 6 hours of in/out blood withdraw, they do not get 5 million, the next day is reserved to get to that magic number. As of right now, the removal of the vascular implant is scheduled for Friday the 22nd.  At that juncture, I am free to go home.

Then the waiting and more intense praying happen! Then February happens and the road that is set before me. Pray for February!

“We are the Borg….resistance is futile.”

At the fullness of time, resistance will indeed be futile.

Therefore God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord ,to the glory of God the Father.  — Philippians 2:9-11

Given the choice of being forced to bow and confess Him later, and gladly bowing now, I opt for now.

Pray for Isaac! The Lord knows and the Lord will be found faithful!

Peace and grace!
Sean
maranatha

For it was fitting for Him, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through suffering.  For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all of One. For this reason He is not ashamed to call them brothers, — Hebrews 2:10

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Humble Remembrance

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples,  saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. — Matthew 23:1-3.

Men, Jesus again speaks to the multitude and the 12, telling them that the Pharisees do in fact sit in “the seat of Moses”, therefore, they should observe the things they say to observe. But, Jesus tells them not to do according to their works.

Moses was a leader, who pointed the people into obedience to God’s Word. The Pharisees say but do not do. Jesus is telling the 12, the multitude, and us also in our time, He wants us to be reminded of the upcoming seasons, the festivals, His statutes, precepts and Law.

The Pharisees did not walk in humility. Jesus did not want the people’s walk to look like theirs. But even so, Jesus knows how forgetful we are. By remembering the festivals, by recounting His Word, the people could be encouraged in confidence by remembering their ancestors deliverance from oppression.

How often do we go through challenges and forget how the Lord God
came through for us in the past? Israel was no different. As we remember what He has done, recount His Word that tells the story of deliverance and redemption from front to back, we gain confidence that He will come through again. He is the same from past as He is future.

The Pharisees did the job of alerting the people of upcoming seasons and festivals, but they did not follow in the way of a humble servant, or fellow burden bearer as Moses had. We each hold the responsibility of being a co-laborer, a fellow burden bearer, an encouragement and a comforter. We each should remind our brother and sister of His goodness past, now and future. We each should be students of His Word, sharing that Word with others.

Move forward men, not by presenting ourselves publicly at religious events in our best attire and behavior as the self exalting Pharisees, but by humbly coming alongside each other observing all that God our Father has ordained for us as a reminder and Testament of His sovereignty, authority, goodness, and love.

Vance Durrance

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