New Priorities, New Living

Reflect

Matthew 10:34-39Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’

37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

Luke 12:13-21 13 Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”14 But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?

15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’ 16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.

17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”

20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ 21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Philippians 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.

8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Luke 22:14-30 14 When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. 15 Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. 21 But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table. 22 And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!”

23 Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing.24 Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’

26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.

“But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. 29 And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Matthew 23:1-13 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 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. 4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. 6 They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ 8 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. 13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

Discuss

What surprises you from the Bible verses?

What do they teach you about people?

What do they teach you about God?

Is there a command to obey?

Who do I need to share this message with?

Study Notes

Phil 2:5-7 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” .

Lessons from Scripture Confused about what freedom should look like? Paul reveals one of the most detailed descriptions of the birth of Christ in all of Scripture. Some theologians have called this the “cascade of God’s love.” In Philippians 2:5–7, Paul declares, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” (NKJV, emphasis supplied).

Notice the contrast between these two expressions: the form of God and the form of a bondservant. The Greek word for “form” is morphe, which can also be translated as “the essence of ”or having the “nature of.” Jesus was equal with the Father in the very essence of His nature.

Christ existed with the Father from all eternity as coequal and coeternal. He “made Himself of no reputation,” or, literally translated, He emptied Himself of His privileges and prerogatives as God’s equal and became a man. He not only became a man, but He also became the lowliest of men, a servant.

He not only became a servant, but He also became a humble, obedient servant. He not only became a man who was a humble, obedient servant, but He also died the death of the cross, the most horrible of all deaths.

Jesus, our eternal Lord, our all- powerful Creator, the One served by all, became the servant of all. Jesus’ life graphically illustrates that a life of self-sacrificial service is a life of restfulness and lasting joy.

Jesus life of self-sacrificial, loving service stands in direct contrast to two brothers found in Luke 12:13–15. These two self-seeking young men were arguing about the inheritance they were to receive from their father’s estate.

One of the brothers came to Jesus asking Him to mediate. Jesus refused, clearly pointing out that true peace, joy and freedom come from giving, not grasping.

We are truly happy when we make others happy, not when we try to manipulate them to make ourselves happy.

Jesus was establishing a kingdom on different principles. He called men, not to authority but to service, the strong to bear the infirmities of the weak. Power, position, talent, education, placed their possessor under the greater obligation to serve his fellows.”— The Desire of Ages, p. 550.

The thoughts and example of Jesus are counter cultural to the cancel culture philosophy of our world. The principle of this world is grasping. The principle of Christ’s kingdom is giving.

The principle of this world is self-promotion. The principle of Christ’s kingdom is self-sacrifice. The principle of this world is a focus on self. The principle of Christ’s kingdom is a focus on others.

So ask yourself, what does real freedom look like? In contemplating the life of Jesus, we may just come to a very different conclusion to what we previously thought.

We experience freedom when we are changed into His likeness and behold His grace, mercy, compassion.

We experience freedom when we give and seek the benefit of others. His self-sacrificial life inspires us to look outside of ourselves to the needs of others.

Next Step

Find a quiet place to be alone and ask God to help you see and alleviate a specific need in someone close to you.

Make a positive decision that you will give of your time to help someone else within your sphere of influence.

As you support someone else, you, in turn, will be blessed beyond measure.  

 “ Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

FINDING FREEDOM IN REST