Passage of the Day: Philippians 2: 8 [ NIV - see highlight passage in bold/underlined] … 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!
My Journal for Today: John MacArthur begins his Strength for Today devotional on this date by reminding his readers (that’s me!) of what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 11: 33, writing (from the NASB), “Oh, the depth … of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” And Paul was agreeing with David, the Psalmist (in Ps. 36: 6) who wrote, “Your judgments (are like) the great deep.” We also read God say, through the Prophet in Isaiah 55: 8 – 9 [NIV], “8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. 9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
When we consider the passage we’ve been studying this month [i.e., Philippians 2: 5-11], certainly no human would have ever scripted God coming to mankind in the way His Incarnation unfolded from God’s plan. And even Christ’s Disciples had trouble recognizing their Messiah, even though they knew of the Old Testament prophesies and walking with Him as they saw Jesus fulfill so many of those prophesies. And in today’s devotional, John MacArthur even speculates on what Jesus’ thoughts might have been about mankind, when MacArthur wrote, ” Somewhere along the path of Christ’s descent, you’d think He would have said to Himself, These people really aren’t worth redeeming. This is too degrading and humiliating!” But thankfully, MacArthur analyzes that Christ’s humility was such to the Heavenly Father that God, the Son, had no such thoughts. Our Lord was inexorably set on a path to humble Himself as a man to the point of death to become the Lamb of God and save mankind.
Who would have thunk it ?! A babe, born in a manger, not a palace; … a boy raised as a carpenter’s son, rather than as a powerful prince; ... and the King of kings, living out his adult years with a ragtag group of itinerants, rather than leading an army against Rome in deliverance of God’s people. And yet, this was the wild and wondrous plan which God used to redeem mankind, culminating in the horror and humiliation Christ endured to shed His blood in atonement for Man’s sin. But no wonder the Disciples of Christ, even His inner circle had trouble seeing Jesus as THE KING of kings and LORD of lords.
As MacArthur states for this date, “God’s ways ARE unsearchable; His truths profound. And His plan to redeem us was accomplished by Christ’s humiliation.” As the kids would say today, “Go figure!” … However, for the one who does figure it out, or at least seek it out (i.e., reasoning and responding in faith from his/her heart), he/she will plumb God’s incredible plan for eternal life from the depths and treasures of the very mind of God [so beautifully summarized in John 3: 16, which you probably have memorized].
That’s where one finds The Good News of the Gospel and gets a glimpse personally into the most incredible display of humility ever fashioned for us to follow. Yes, God’s heights are so incredibly high; but they must be scaled. They are so vastly deep; but they must be plumbed. That, to me, is the essence of any Advent season; and as we move on into this Christmas Season, there will be more; … so, again, stay tuned!
My Prayer Today: Too high and deep are Your ways, Lord; but help me to find them as I seek to know You, my Lord and Savior. Amen