Thursday Reflection – Rights or Obedience

The scripture I was reflecting on today was Philippians 2:5-8 (Msg)

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

We all know our rights, but what are those really?

America says, we have rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

If you get arrested, you are read your rights. You have the right to remain silent, to an attorney, etc.

Some think education, and healthcare are rights. What about I have the right to do what I want with my body.

The big one I hear screaming is “EQUALITY!” Equality of gender, income level. Fairness.

Go back and read the scripture above, where does any of that fit in? Rights, equality, fairness.

What I see is Jesus gave up all that and lived in obedience.

We don’t like the word obedience as much as rights, equality, and fairness. It just doesn’t have that little ring that our ears like to hear, yet obedience is what is required of us, but obedience is not a bad word. It’s a loving word. We confuse obedience with another “O” word. Obligation.

Obligation says, I have to, even though I don’t want to. Obedience says, I love, therefore I will.

I’m no saint. I struggle. Sometimes I cry out, “Lord, it’s not fair!! Don’t I have some kind of rights?”

Or I’ll turn my nose up and say “but Lord, I don’t want to!”

This happens more than I’d like to admit, but God is gracious with me. His mercies are new every morning,

What is God asking of me, of you, of the church? Are we listening? Are we being obedient? Or are we reading our rights? Are we concerned with equality? Are we drudging along in obligation?

Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

He also said, “deny yourself and take up your cross.”

His way is so much better than we can even fathom. Trust Him!

The next section in Philippians says,

9-11 Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

Our obedience will also bring us great rewards! We will one day wear a crown!

Blessings! Have a wonderful weekend!

In Christ,

Johanna

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