“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9–11).
“To want to be in the presence of God, taking as many people with you as you can, is the highest of motivations.”
That “therefore” at the beginning of Philippians 2:9 is based on how Jesus was “obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). He knew that. He knew that was coming. Rising triumphant over death, gathering millions and millions of people from every tongue and tribe and nation, surrounded by them praising him forever, triumphant over all of his enemies — he knew that was coming. And that hope stayed his hand and kept him on the cross.
He despised shame for the joy that was set before him. He looked at shame, and he said, “I despise you! Make my day, shame. I put no stock in you. You don’t govern me, shame. I embrace you. I own you. Strip me. Kill me. Bloody me. Curse me. You mean nothing to me. I have a reward coming beyond Sunday.”
“For the joy that was set before him [Jesus] endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated . . . ” (Hebrews 12:2). If Jesus was motivated to be and stay on the cross for the joy that was set before him, you should be too. It is not a low motivation. It is the highest motivation. To want to be in the presence of God, in fullness of joy, taking as many with you as you can, is the highest of motivations.
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