40.Day.Week2

JULY 5

PERFECT SCORE

HEBREWS 5:7-9 | In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.

Jesus Christ is the Champion and Coach of our salvation. He fully entered the human condition. He is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters (HEBREWS 2:11). He became one of us (2:17). He was tempted like us in every way (4:15). He wept and wailed in the shadow of torture and death (5:7). And most astonishingly, he learned obedience through what he suffered.

There was never a moment when the Son of God was disobedient. But once clothed in human flesh, the Son of Man had to learn obedience just like us. For the first time in Eternity, God the Son put on a physical human body that was prone to sin just like ours. God sent his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh (ROMANS 8:3).

Jesus, therefore, had to learn obedience in the same way that he learned arithmetic and the alphabet — by training and testing. He mastered it. He clothed himself with our frail and fallen humanity, prone to passion and pain, and subdued it in perfect obedience to the will of his Father.

Through suffering and obedience, therefore, Jesus became the first Perfect Human Being born of woman. The Firstborn of many siblings. He is the Prototype. The Source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.

And we pander to our flesh! It’s high time we learn obedience as Jesus did — through training and testing, practice and pain. But with this one incredible advantage: Because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted (2:18). Help is always available. If we want help.

Having been tempted like us in every way, Jesus knows all about the deceitfulness of sin (3:13). The sword of his Word cuts through soul and spirit, joints and marrow, secret thoughts and hidden motives (4:12). He knows all our excuses from the inside out (4:13). He knows every trick and trap of Satan. He stands with us in our weakest moments. He will never let us be tempted beyond our ability (1 CORINTHIANS 10:13).

Come on, says Jesus. I’ve been here. I have faced this same test. I can break the spell. Take my hand. I’ll take you to victory.

PERFECT SCORE

HEBREWS 5:7-9 | In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.

Jesus Christ is the Champion and Coach of our salvation. He fully entered the human condition. He is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters (HEBREWS 2:11). He became one of us (2:17). He was tempted like us in every way (4:15). He wept and wailed in the shadow of torture and death (5:7). And most astonishingly, he learned obedience through what he suffered.

There was never a moment when the Son of God was disobedient. But once clothed

 

JULY 5

in human flesh, the Son of Man had to learn obedience just like us. For the first time in Eternity, God the Son put on a physical human body that was prone to sin just like ours. God sent his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh (ROMANS 8:3).

Jesus, therefore, had to learn obedience in the same way that he learned arithmetic and the alphabet — by training and testing. He mastered it. He clothed himself with our frail and fallen humanity, prone to passion and pain, and subdued it in perfect obedience to the will of his Father.

Through suffering and obedience, therefore, Jesus became the first Perfect Human Being born of woman. The Firstborn of many siblings. He is the Prototype. The Source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.

And we pander to our flesh! It’s high time we learn obedience as Jesus did —

through training and testing, practice and pain. But with this one incredible advantage: Because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted (2:18). Help is always available. If we want help.

Having been tempted like us in every way, Jesus knows all about the deceitfulness of sin (3:13). The sword of his Word cuts through soul and spirit, joints and marrow, secret thoughts and hidden motives (4:12). He knows all our excuses from the inside out (4:13). He knows every trick and trap of Satan. He stands with us in our weakest moments. He will never let us be tempted beyond our ability (1 CORINTHIANS 10:13).

Come on, says Jesus. I’ve been here. I have faced this same test. I can break the spell. Take my hand. I’ll take you to victory.

Prayer Track

■ Jesus prayed. Do we? Jesus began and ended his public ministry in prayer (LUKE 3:21; 23:34). Throughout his career, he was often found praying. All night long (LUKE 6:12). Early in the morning (MARK 1:35). Imitate him. Determine to cultivate a rhythm of prayer. Be fervent. This is the Year of Personal Discipleship. This is also a year of topsy-turvy emergencies. Determine to pray like never before. Be vigilant. Be tenacious. Be audacious. To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world (KARL BARTH).

■ Jesus teared. Do we? Or do our fears outnumber our tears? Let us examine ourselves. When was the last time we actually wept in prayer? Are dry eyes a sign of hard hearts? There is a time to weep (ECCLESIASTES 3:4). The time is now. Singapore faces a triple crisis: Our worst ever health threat. Our worst ever recession. Our worst ever disruption of corporate worship. Ask God to soften the garden of your soul with tears: Tears of desperation for divine intervention. Tears of godly sorrow. Tears of repentance. Tears of surrender. Tears of longing for his manifest presence and power in the long fight against a stealthy foe. Tears of intercession for the lost, the lonely, the sick, the suffering, the suicidal. Be fully human like Jesus. Empathise. Lament. Weep with those who weep (ROMANS 12:15). Reject the lie that real men don’t cry. When the real you touches the real world, there will be real tears. Lord, you have stored my tears in your bottle and counted each of them (PSALM 56:8).

■ Jesus feared. Do we? His prayers were heard in heaven, not just because he teared, but also because he revered his Father. Reverence includes submission to the will of God, whatever it takes. Not my will but yours be done. Follow the example of Jesus. Go and pray likewise. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man (ECCLESIASTES 12:13).

■ Jesus obeyed. Do we? Jesus learned obedience through suffering. So must we. Disciples are not above their Master. Pray: Lord, forgive us our lousy track record of obedience. We preen the body. We pamper the flesh. We pander to mood swings. We think with our feelings. We make excuses. We give in to temptation without seeking your ever-present help (HEBREWS 2:18). We pick and choose what to obey. We are fickle, quick to doubt, and slow to act. We fail to appreciate the pandemic and its domino effect as part and parcel of our training in obedience — for our own good and growth. Forgive us, Lord. We repent. Help us to walk worthy of you, our Saviour and Master, Captain and Coach. We surrender our lives to you. We submit to your Lordship. We will hear and obey you.

■ Jesus is our Captain and Coach. This Election, ask him to anoint his chosen Team of most valuable players to lead this nation with integrity of heart and skillful hands for a perfect score (PSALM 78:72).

Prayer Track

■ Jesus prayed. Do we? Jesus began and ended his public ministry in prayer (LUKE 3:21; 23:34). Throughout his career, he was often found praying. All night long (LUKE 6:12). Early in the morning (MARK 1:35). Imitate him. Determine to cultivate a rhythm of prayer. Be fervent. This is the Year of Personal Discipleship. This is also a year of topsy-turvy emergencies. Determine to pray like never before. Be vigilant. Be tenacious. Be audacious. To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world (KARL BARTH).

■ Jesus teared. Do we? Or do our fears outnumber our tears? Let us examine ourselves. When was the last time we actually wept in prayer? Are dry eyes a sign of hard hearts? There is a time to weep (ECCLESIASTES 3:4). The time is now. Singapore faces a triple crisis: Our worst ever health threat. Our worst ever recession. Our worst ever disruption of corporate worship. Ask God to soften

the garden of your soul with tears: Tears of desperation for divine intervention. Tears of godly sorrow. Tears of repentance. Tears of surrender. Tears of longing for his manifest presence and power in the long fight against a stealthy foe. Tears of intercession for the lost, the lonely, the sick, the suffering, the suicidal. Be fully human like Jesus. Empathise. Lament. Weep with those who weep (ROMANS 12:15). Reject the lie that real men don’t cry. When the real you touches the real world, there will be real tears. Lord, you have stored my tears in your bottle and counted each of them (PSALM 56:8).

■ Jesus feared. Do we? His prayers were heard in heaven, not just because he teared, but also because he revered his Father. Reverence includes submission to the will of God, whatever it takes. Not my will but yours be done. Follow the example of Jesus. Go and pray likewise. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man (ECCLESIASTES 12:13).

■ Jesus obeyed. Do we? Jesus learned obedience through suffering. So must we. Disciples are not above their Master. Pray: Lord, forgive us our lousy track record of obedience. We preen the body. We pamper the flesh. We pander to mood swings. We think with our feelings. We make excuses. We give in to temptation without seeking your ever-present help (HEBREWS 2:18). We pick and choose what to obey. We are fickle, quick to doubt, and slow to act. We fail to appreciate the pandemic and its domino effect as part and parcel of our training in obedience — for our own good and growth. Forgive us, Lord. We repent. Help us to walk worthy of you, our Saviour and Master, Captain and Coach. We surrender our lives to you. We submit to your Lordship. We will hear and obey you.

■ Jesus is our Captain and Coach. This Election, ask him to anoint his chosen Team of most valuable players to lead this nation with integrity of heart and skillful hands for a perfect score (PSALM 78:72).