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Monday, February 27, 2012

Quiet Time: Cliff Hanger (Grab my arm!)

Cliff Hanger (Grab my arm!)

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 3:12

Have you ever watched a movie where the hero yells down to someone he’s trying to save from falling? Invariably he screams, “Trust me; grab my hand!” That’s the picture I get in my mind when I read this passage of scripture.

I see Jesus screaming, “TRUST ME! GRAB MY HAND!” while grasping the sleeve of a falling man or woman who is slowly slipping out of their coat toward a bottomless pit. Now I know, theologically this isn’t exactly perfect, but stay with me for a minute.

Paul says:
“I press on” I keep moving forward, I don’t stop.
“I… take hold of” I grab, I lock arms.
“I was laid hold of” I was grabbed first.

See the picture? Christ reaches for us before we reach for Him. But, it’s in the reaching out for Him that we realize just how deep the ravine really is. And, like a drowning man we then frantically grope for Him to pull us up; to “save” us.

So, let me break it down “spiritually”.
1. God helps us see our sinfulness and then we agree with Him that we are indeed sinful (the ravine is deep and we are falling)
2. God reaches out and grabs our attention by offering salvation through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. He says, “Trust me; I can save you.”
3. At that moment we have a decision to make. Fall or Climb
4. Once we accept His rescue our job is to keep clinging to and climbing up His arm. Not because He may let go of us, but because the struggle gets us closer to His face-His presence-His peace (2 Corinthians 3:17) until we’re safely home.

So, that’s the perspective from someone who is falling, but what about the Christian who’s already walking with Jesus; how does this scripture encourage him?

To be continued…

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