5k Every Day in the Month of May 2017 (Day 16)

I overslept. Bummer.

My alarm went off at 4:05am and I could NOT figure out what it was!

In my dream, my phone was malfunctioning and I was struggling to get it to work correctly. In reality, I was turning off my alarm. I was supposed to be meeting up with a group of guys for a 10 mile run in Wooster… but that didn’t happen.

I woke up just in time to realize that I was too late to make it to the run.

Fail.

Instead I was able to wake up a little after 6am and run 3.1 miles with Jodi before heading out on my own for a remaining 6.9 (for a total of 10 miles). If I am going to get 70 miles in this week and next, I need to average 10 miles per day.

One thing that is becoming crystal clear to me is that I am going to have to be smarter about what I eat and drink in order to pull off this 26.2 mile run on May 31 (and not pay for it!) I am staying away from junk food and carbonated beverages.

It would probably be a good idea to get more than 4 hours of sleep per night, too. This whole going to bed after midnight and waking up at 4am is not really going to cut it. Even those two extra hours this morning made a big difference…

It really was a beautiful morning for a run. The weather was just right. I was just a touch too hot with shorts and a long sleeve shirt. I’ll try to remember that for tomorrow.

I managed to finish my morning run with a total of 10 miles at an average pace of 8:37 per mile for a total run time of 1 hour, 26 minutes, and 18 seconds.

For those of you who are faithfully making your way through “5k Every Day in the Month of May”, CONGRATULATIONS on making it past the halfway point! You are doing great! Well done!

As for the daily Bible reading challenge, we are more than halfway through that, as well! We have read 3 chapters per day for 16 days, and we have 15 days to go. I hope it has been as enjoyable and as insightful for you as it has been for me.

Today, while reading Luke 2-4, I was reminded of how frightening it must be to be in the presence of an angel! I noticed this yesterday in Luke 1:

And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. – Luke 1:11-12

…the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin … the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. – Luke 1:26-30

That same angel-showing-up-based-fear happens again early in Luke 2:

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. – Luke 2:9

Why is this interesting to me? To be honest, this is most interesting to me because of the contrast between what we tend to think and what the Bible actually portrays.

We tend to think of angels as peaceful, kind, friendly, shimmering-smiled, perfect-haired beings that would instantly put us in a state of utter tranquility if we were to actually see one in person. The Biblical account seems to be vastly different from this pop-culture idea!

If we were to encounter an angel of the LORD in all of it’s glory, Biblically speaking, I believe we would be instantly brought to our knees with our hands covering our faces in fear. Thankfully, it is highly likely that the angel would then tell us not to fear, but the very fact that they have to say, “Do not fear” proves that they are, by their very nature, fear-evoking beings.

Why have we watered this (and so many other Biblical truths) down?

By the way, for the record, Satan is not a red-skinned, pitchfork wielding being, either…

Speaking of misconceptions, I love the humanness of Jesus as reported by Luke. How often we fail to remember that Jesus was fully man (fully God, yes, but also fully man)! Amazing! The King of the universe, Creator of all that we can see (and all that we cannot see), humbled himself by being born as a human baby. He was truly helpless. He needed the care and nurture of his mother in order to simply survive. He was circumcised on the eighth day, just like every other Jewish baby boy.

And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord – Luke 2:22

This is just so incredibly human.

And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. – Luke 2:40

Jesus, the Son of God, who IS God in the flesh, actually had to grow up and become strong.

When he was twelve years old, his parents brought him to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of the Passover, and somehow he was left behind in Jerusalem while they began their traveling home to Nazareth.

He was lost for three days!

Have you ever been lost? Jesus knows that feeling.

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. – Luke 2:46

I think we tend to have the misconception that Jesus received some sort of Matrix-type download when he came to earth. He just instantly knew everything because… well… he’s God.

He certainly could have had that type of information download, but he didn’t.

…though [Jesus] was in the form of God, [he] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, – Philippians 2:6

As my friend, Doug Holliday likes to say, Jesus never pulled the “God card”. He learned things the very same way that we do. He made very real choices every day just like we do. He was just like us. Look at what Luke tells us about the boy Jesus growing into the man Jesus:

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. – Luke 2:52

Just like us. In fact, one of us!

Why? And why is this important?

This is important for at least two reasons.

First, it is important regarding salvation.

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. – Hebrews 2:14-18

There was a lot of meat in that passage, but essentially the writer of Hebrews is making the point that Jesus had to be just like us so that his sacrifice on the cross could count on our behalf! If Jesus used his divine nature on the cross, that would have been cheating, and the sacrifice would not have been sufficient.

Much more could be said here, but I’ll just move along…

Second, it is important regarding sanctification.

Jesus being fully man gives me hope! It means that being victorious over sin and temptation and greed and hatred is attainable for me. It’s not just something that Jesus was capable of because he was God -it is something that we are also capable of because he was human!

Yay!

These are his own words:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. – John 14:12

Jesus did some pretty AMAZING things, but he said that we who believe in him could do even GREATER things.

Wow!

How is this even possible?

It is possible because Jesus was fully man and showed us the way. It is possible because God the Father is for us, not against us, and He is glorified when we aim to honor Him with our lives. It is possible because Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to live inside of us and guide us as He guided the man, Jesus, while he walked the earth as a human.

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