“Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place
and gave Him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
These are the words at the end of hymn in Philippians 2 about Jesus. I read them in my quiet time this week and I realise how I tend to focus on the incarnation at the start of this. Of Jesus who came in humility, as a servant, in order to save us. Of Jesus on earth.
Of course it is the world you and I live in. How did Jesus live in our world and how might we somehow imitate Him, as we follow Him? These are important questions, and yet this second half is an eternal perspective of sorts.
This is the eternal perspective or response to Jesus’s choice in being incarnated, and being obedient to his Father, even his preparedness to go to the cross. It is a reminder that He is worthy of our praise. Not that He wasn’t before, but if there was ever a question about the heart of God and the lengths in which He would go for us, they have all been resolved in the incarnation. His character and His love are worthy of praise, just as much as His majesty and glory.
So what does this mean for us now? First of all, the proper response to Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is praise. This is an extraordinary thing Jesus has done for us. More than we could have hoped for, and certainly more than we deserve.
In this picture of the heavenly realms where Jesus is praised, there is also a reminder of just how important and significant a life of humility, serving and obedience to the Father is in the scheme of God. The choices here on earth matter in heaven. They matter to the father.
What sort of choices would you and I have made differently this week had I been more aware of this reality? Are we living now with an awareness of the future? Do we engage this world with an eternal perspective?
Maybe try a little experiment this week. Try to be as aware as you can of your Father in heaven and what is pleasing to Him. See if it changes some of the choices you make throughout the course of your week. Live life with this eternal perspective.