Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 20 Number 3 March 2018
Page 3

What Have You Given Up?

Gary C. HamptonJesus gave up being equal to God to come to earth to live as a man, living willingly as a slave (Philippians 2:6-7). Paul explained it in simple terms when he wrote, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).

Jesus gave up Heaven for me, but I fear there are times that I have given up service to Christ to fulfill selfish desires. Sleeping in instead of attending Bible class would be an example of failure to imitate the selflessness of Christ. Another example would be participating in my hobby instead of knocking doors to extend an invitation to some spiritual gathering, or in lieu of attending myself, would be another example.

Paul saw the importance of giving up the things that mattered to him in order to pursue the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:8-11). He was willing to suffer, even to the point of being killed, so that He could finish that all important race (Acts 20:22-24). He declared, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

I need to take to heart Paul’s plea to the saints at Rome. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

The only way to follow in the steps of the Savior is to sacrifice our desires in order to pursue the Father’s will. Each of us needs to ask ourselves, “What have you given up?”

Jesus, The Great Physician

Robert Johnson

Robert JohnsonThis flu season has been a particularly fierce one. Emergency rooms have been filled to capacity, hospital bed space has been at a premium and doctor’s waiting rooms have witnessed standing room only. Many people have been seeking therapy for the aches, pains and illnesses that have plagued them.

The English word “therapy” comes from the Greek word “therapeuo.” In its original setting, it meant to serve. Later, however, doctors who rendered service in healing the sick became known by this word. Because it was used in reference to doctors, it took on the meaning “to care for the sick, to treat medically, to cure.”

In the New Testament, this word is never used in the general sense to serve. It’s often used, though, with the meaning to heal. However, it wasn’t used to refer to medical healing by doctors, but of the real healing Jesus performed. Only Jesus could “cast out the spirits with a word and heal all who were sick” (Matthew 8:16), even to restoring withered limbs and life itself.

Jesus performed such acts of healing, not just for the sick person’s benefit, but also more importantly, to testify that He is the Son of God. The healing He provided physically is secondary to the healing He offers spiritually to heal a world sick with sin. Only in Christ is there spiritual healing and the cure for sin’s consequences. “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Luke 5:31-32).

No one likes getting sick physically, and we should be even more concerned with what sin does to our spiritual vitality. The blood of Christ is the cure for sin, and living for Him is the therapy to avoid a setback (1 John 1:7). Rejoice in the salvation Jesus, our great Physician, makes available!

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