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Omar Miranda

Isaiah 53 gives us a thumbnail sketch of what Jesus’ life was like and what He did for us. Grab your Bible and read the chapter carefully and thank Jesus not only for coming up with the plan but also for carrying it out for us.

Having done what He did for us, Jesus now asks us to follow in His footsteps and continue the program that He began by ministering to others, showing them Jesus’ love and sharing salvation with them (Matthew 28:18-20).  

Will you take Jesus up on His challenge? Don’t think you have the skills or the talents to do much? The only ability Jesus needs from you is availability. When you begin to doubt whether you have something to give to others, remember all that Jesus gave for you on His Ultimate Workout.



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The Ultimate Mission Trip




by Omar Miranda

What Jesus gave up to save us!

This week we’re talking about mission trips, specifically Ultimate Workout 20, which took place this past July. Reading about Ultimate Workout at the Insight Web site got me thinking about the whole idea of a mission trip. Frankly, I don’t think Insight or Maranatha Volunteers International has the right to call their trip the Ultimate Workout; I think that title should be reserved for Jesus. Don’t understand? Keep reading. As we always do, let’s see what the Bible has to say about Jesus:

Philippians 2:6-8 says: “Christ was truly God. But he did not try to remain equal with God. Instead he gave up everything and became a slave, when he became like one of us. Christ was humble. He obeyed God and even died on a cross.”* 

John wrote in John 1:1-5: “In the beginning was the one who is called the Word. The Word was with God and was truly God.  From the very beginning the Word was with God. And with this Word, God created all things. Nothing was made without the Word. Everything that was created received its life from him, and his life gave light to everyone. The light keeps shining in the dark, and darkness has never put it out.”

John further stated in John 1:9-14: “The true light that shines on everyone was coming into the world. The Word was in the world, but no one knew him, though God had made the world with his Word.

“He came into his own world, but his own nation did not welcome him. Yet some people accepted him and put their faith in him. So he gave them the right to be the children of God. They were not God’s children by nature or because of any human desires. God himself was the one who made them his children. The Word became a human being and lived here with us. We saw his true glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father. From him all the kindness and all the truth of God have come down to us.”

Differences and similarities

The teens who went on Ultimate Workout 20 went to Mexico for two challenging weeks of ministry to people in need. That’s awesome, but Jesus’ God-sponsored mission trip lasted 33 years! Can you imagine what it must have been like for Jesus to give up His powerful position in heaven to come down to our evil world? I don’t know about you, but I’m sure glad He did. Jesus not only offered salvation to the people He met while on earth—He also died to ensure that everyone before and after Him (that’s you and I) could share in that salvation.

Sometimes we lament having to sacrifice  such comforts as running water or electricity to help people in need. Can you imagine how Jesus felt not just making sacrifices but being the sacrifice for the sins of this world? People sometimes complain when they have to “work like dogs” and carry heavy things while they work as missionaries, but the Bible tells us that Jesus carried the sins of the entire world for you and for me!

*Scripture quotations in this article are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years of experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.
 





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