Listen-again I say-Listen. Press into knowing the voice of God on a new level this week. “BE STILL AND KNOW…”
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Good Friday of Holy Week is the ultimate picture of surrender. The day when Pilate surrendered to peer pressure, resulting in the crucifixion of Christ. Jesus surrendered to the will of God and suffered in agony and pain for the salvation of all mankind. Hanging on a cross for hours upon end, undergoing more than most can bear to hear. The ultimate sacrifice to make way for grace. And yet, as He was suffering, He asked the Father to forgive those who were persecuting him (Luke 23:34). His divine nature and unconditional love for others is mind-boggling. Astonishing mercy, grace, and love!
The last words uttered by Christ are found in Luke 23:46. A display of extraordinary sacrifice and submission to God. The scripture reads, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. All that was within him he placed into God’s hands. Enormous trust in the Father was demonstrated for all the world to hear and see. His last seven words are forever part of Good Friday. What a testimony for followers.
Jesus’ submission is a display of ultimate praise. Christ validates his trust through the yielding of his spirit. I can’t help but sing, “You can have it all Lord, every part of my world”. All for your glory, all for your will, all for the advancement of your kingdom. Praise Your Holy Name!
Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great in the LORD and most worthy of praise, he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place. Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. 1 Chronicles 16:23-29
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1
The surrender of praise is a choice much like our attitude of praise. We are called to be living sacrifices. Scripture reminds us that this is what brings ultimate adoration to the Father. May this Good Friday bring to mind submission and allow you a time to reflect upon your personal commitment to the Lord.
Are you willing to give it all to Him? He gave His all for you.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statues and be careful to obey my rules. Ezekiel 36:26-27
Thursday of Holy Week is a reflection on the Last Supper, Jesus washing the disciples’ feet, and a new covenant. As the disciples watched and listened to Christ, the information didn’t quite make sense. They had questions—How can your body be broken and your blood shed for mankind? Why are you serving us when you are the Messiah? Who is this Spirit coming to live within us as part of the new covenant? What do you mean someone will betray you or even deny you three times? Why are you going away? When will you return? How can this be? Why does the world as we know it have to change? Within a short period of time, their grasp of the Savior’s knowledge began to unfold and their intellect began to align with the very words Christ shared and displayed.
The intellect of God is exceedingly great. Psalm 139 describes the Father as an all-knowing Lord. Scripture continually reminds us of His power and wisdom. God is magnificent in all of His ways. It is difficult for our human minds to completely comprehend the vastness of the Almighty nor understand His methods and approaches because they contrast from our human nature. Therefore, we have to rely on His Holy Word and the Holy Spirit to lead and guide. Wisdom and insight come from our faith in the unseen. The marvelous light that fills our heart, mind, and soul is far above anything we can physically see or touch. Knowledge in God produces an awareness of our purpose and who we are. We come to realize that we are created for Him and His glory. Without this discernment, how can we praise Him?
Praise can be accomplished when we become very familiar with what we are adoring. How can we bring worship and honor to something or someone we only know on a minimal scale? What makes it worthy of praise? Could it be a false act and we do it because everyone else does? Or is it a genuine celebration of the most valuable thing in life deserving of honor because of what we know about them? Do we have a deep personal connection establishing meaning for our praise?
I would encourage you my friend to examine your reason for praise. The intellect of it is pinpointing the purpose and intention. Get to know the Father on a higher level. Let Him reveal who He is through your reliance on His Word and the Holy Spirit. Embrace the stretching of your faith and be open to God’s intelligence. It is a sure way to increase your praise and defend your reasons for honoring your #1.