My Favorite Devotionals—The Great LifeSeptember 6, 2023
Time for Body – Mind – SpiritSeptember 20, 2023
You may have noticed that here at 721 we say the name Jesus more than we do God. We even propose a wake-up call exercise wherein you try to say Jesus for a month, instead of God, Lord or Christ. Why this emphasis on Jesus?
Because only a cursory reading of the New Testament reveals that God the Father purposed Jesus to be the catalyst for both salvation, as well as the A+ Life to the Full. In other words, we cannot have either without Jesus.
If I asked you to estimate the percentage of your time each day when Jesus is in your thoughts, how would you answer? I don’t have to guess because I asked the same question to the various 721 men’s groups and received answers ranging from 1 ½ % to 20%. Most were in the lower part of that range.
We then proceeded to read,
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.—Col. 1:15–18
We then read the Creed, or hymn, from Philippians 2:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage or to be held onto;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Have you ever thought about this? Jesus the Christ, the Son of God Almighty, “volunteered” to leave the ultimate joy of perfect fellowship in perfect love, to become … one of us – a mere human? CS Lewis likens this to you and me becoming snails.
Yet the piercing message of this Philippians passage comes next:
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
“Every knee shall bow”: Yes, yours will too, either in abject horror and regret, or in joy, humility and overwhelming love.
It is a binary choice.
So I ask you, based on these revelations, what percentage of your daily thoughts should be focused on Jesus? The obvious answer is 100%, but of course none of us will ever achieve that. Can we shoot for 50%, perhaps on our way to 75%?
You do not want to one day have to say to God Almighty, and his Son, “You just were not that important to me, so I gave you only 5%.”
If you want a little more:
How to start this process? And yes, it is a process. Start a conversation with Jesus on and off throughout the day. Bring him into the details of your day. Laugh with him. Cry with him. Consult with him. He is real. He is the catalyst. He will respond. And you will become the most surprised person on earth to realize this Jesus, the one who left the perfect fellowship of the Trinity to sacrifice himself for you, has become your best friend.
Today, as you read this, determine that you will start the process. It is a binary choice, but he is not a binary Savior. He can and will pervade your entire life, and the results will be what is my prayer for you:
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. —Eph. 1:18