Day 8 of 21 Day Challenge
What John reveals about Jesus –
What do we learn about Godliness?
There is a lot to focus on but my heart this morning leads me to the final section in verses 54 onward. “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing.” I can remember a while back playing basketball with a guy that liked to encourage himself out loud. He would make a three pointer and shout boastfully: “What a great shot!” After making a decent pass, to a guy who made a far more difficult shot he would shout out “What a PASS!” It cracked me up. Jesus says, “If I glorify myself,my glory means nothing. My Father, who you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me….I know him and obey his word.”
John is preparing his readers for the Father to glorify his Son. Because Jesus obeys his Father’s word, he will end up on the cross. One of the reasons why Jesus has ditched out of the crowds who were trying to make him king was because of this. Jesus doesn’t say “What a great miracle, look at me, make me king.” He does, almost the opposite and goes to great lengths to get out of an earthly position of glory like kingship. Jesus does what the word of the Father tells him to. He’s obedient, and as Paul puts it in Philippians, “obedient to death, even death on a cross.” And as that wonderful old hymn encourages us “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11
We learn that true Godliness, that God-honoring life we are called to in Jesus Christ is a matter of obedience. Jesus was obedient, even to death. That decision brought him ultimate glory through the resurrection. It reminds me that I am not in this Christianity thing for my own glory. I have chosen to follow Jesus, not to what earthly heights he may take me, but to the humble task of cross bearing. Godliness is humility and obedience to the word of God and the reward is wonderful “Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.” 8:51.
How does this apply to our world?
Jesus has the words of life, how will they hear it if it is not modeled by the church? The application for our world is for the church to be obedient to the Word of God. We must always be students and applicators of God’s word.
How does this apply to me?
There can be dark days in ministry. Sometimes I feel like I have to be the one to tell myself “What a great Shot” or in this case “What a great sermon!” I don’t have to often because I am a part of a very encouraging church and I am thankful for them. But there are times when I long for earthly glory. What see in the life of Jesus is not a deep infatuation with the praise of men. What we see is a man who desired nothing more than to live a life that brought God glory. Ultimately, this must be true in my own life. Certainly, the praise of men is welcomed, it’s far better then criticism, but my hearts desire ought always be to bring honor and glory to God the Father. We do that by obedience to the Word of God.
My Prayer – Father, your Son models true obedience. He followed your word to the last iota; he was perfect as you are perfect. Help me to model this same obedience to your Word. Your words offer true life and real hope. Make my heart new. Transform me Lord, and recognize me as your child who does your will. Do your work in me and through me, so I may bring you all the glory. Thank you for Christ, Amen.
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Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.