Tuesday, April 23 2024 - 10:48 AM

Sharing Scripture — March 2, 2024

Blessed is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord

 

For use: February 25 – March 2, 2024
Texts: Psalm 2, 22, 23, 89:27-32; John 10:11-15; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 7:20-28

 

Shelving our opinions and biases doesn’t come easy, especially when it comes to our passions. But somehow Ross Bennett did just that after being selected from the crowd to stand in as a match official following an in-game injury sustained by a referee.

Bennett did his best to call fairly, even when that meant not cheering for his favorite team after it scored the game-winning goal, propelling them to the fourth round of the FA Cup.

“I was just gutted that I couldn’t celebrate our goal,” he said during a post-match interview with the the British Broadcasting Corporation. “I had to stay neutral.”

As if taking a neutral stance isn’t hard enough, emergency backup goaltenders (EBUGs) of the National Hockey League often play for teams they don’t favor. Just two months ago, St. Louis Blues fan Joseph O’Brien stepped in as an EBUG for the Dallas Stars.

One of the most memorable NHL EBUG debuts is that of David Ayres who, despite practicing with the Toronto Maple Leafs and being employed by a Leafs’ affiliate, was called to play for the opposing Carolina Hurricanes. Ayres gathered up his own goaltending pads and helmet (EBUGs must supply most of their own equipment). Thus, while donning the Leafs’ colors, he debuted in his first and only NHL appearance as a Carolina Hurricane – facing off against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

And he won.

Ayres became an overnight sensation around the NHL, as well as a fan-favorite, and a beloved friend to the Hurricanes players.

There are times when we, like Bennett, O’Brien and Ayers, are called to causes greater than ourselves. We are called to put aside our personal preferences and our interpersonal differences in pursuit of justice and fair play.

The apostle Paul was adept at this, modeling himself after the character of Jesus. As the latest He Gets Us ad campaign “Foot Washing” (first aired during Super Bowl LVIII) showcases, Jesus cares for everyone, even across ideological divides.

As Bennett put aside his personal feelings to judge fairly, Christ simultaneously acts as our fair and just Judge (John 8:15-16Romans 2:1-11)) and High Priest (Psalm 110:4-7). Surpassing the abilities of O’Brien and Ayres, Christ not only serves as our last line of defense against the enemy, our emergency backup sacrifice, but stands with us while we are yet still sinners (Romans 5:8). He became one of us.

Like a shepherd He fends off the threats to our well-being (John 10:11-15), even putting Himself on a cross that we may gain life through His excruciatingly painful and terrifying sacrifice (it’s just up to us to accept or decline Him as substitute). He is faithful to the end. And for these very reasons, Christ is our Hero, our King.

As His followers it is only logical that we should join Paul in emulating His character.

 

For Reflection

 

Connecting: Which of Jesus’ traits is your favorite?

Sharing: What makes Christ’s reign as High Priest and Judge unique?

  1. It is a true theocracy
  2. He doesn’t compromise His integrity – He is consistent
  3. Every person must be held accountable (no bribes!)
  4. He cannot be recused despite the personal connection we all have with Him
  5. I don’t know
  6. Other:

Applying: How can you personally lower ideological walls without compromising core values and mission? Pray for the Holy Spirit to show you where some of your walls can be broken, allowing healing and communion to blossom between you.

Valuing: Jesus is forever faithful, even when we are undeserving. Prayerfully consider the life applications you can take away from His example.

~ Stefani Leeper


New Release:

As One Who Serves

 

Our newest resource, As One Who Serves: Perspectives on Adventist Mission & Ministry to Members, Families, and Communities is now available!

Much has been written about how the ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church can be more effective. There is a continued need for new approaches to ministry, guided by new and rigorous research. This volume honors the contributions of Monte Sahlin, who has dedicated his career to ministry and research spanning more than fifty years. The research, tributes, and other information presented in this book were each submitted by those who worked closely with Monte Sahlin during his career or were strongly influenced by his research, his many books, articles, presentations and blog posts and focuses on areas where Monte Sahlin has made significant related contributions:

  • Pastoral Ministry, Evangelism and Church Growth
  • Urban Mission and Ministry
  • Compassion Ministries – Social Action and Community Services
  • Church Administration and Leadership
  • Family Ministry, You and Young Adults

This book is organized around important topics offering new and important insights for those in ministry within the Seventh-day Adventist Church, highlighting recent research and inspiring continued scholarship.

You can obtain this special volume in paperback or for Kindle by visiting Amazon.

PS: While you’re fighting the cold weather and sipping at a tasty hot beverage, Center for Creative Ministry would LOVE to be your indoor companion. Not only will we provide you uplifting resources such as iFollow and Amazing Transformations in Christ, but we also provide spiritual food like Sharing Scripture, and denomination-related reports and statistics.

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