Russell, VanceThis post for our month of “Professor High-fives” features Vance Russell. These blog posts are to encourage, inspire, and give insight to the hearts of our professors.  Enjoy!

Sometimes a high five is not enough. Sometimes the celebration, the occasion, and the elation require more elaborate choreography in order to capture the jubilation of the moment. On Saturdays and Sundays, we witness these celebrations every time a wide receiver breaks free of his opponents to plunge into the end zone for a touchdown.

As a college student, my buddy and I had our own choreographed celebration – the High Thirty Five. We were Bible College students, so we figured that while a high five is nice, how much better would our IMG_3002celebrative expression be if we were to multiply it by the number of divine perfection – 7? Executing a High Thirty Five requires practice and passion. It is achieved when two friends cooperate in three raucous High Tens with both hands, followed by a fervent High Five with the right hands. You should probably stop reading this now, find a friend, and give it a try because it is an entirely satisfying experience.

You, however, do not want do be flippant with your High Thirty Fives. This celebration should be reserved for truly monumental accomplishments. Did you dominate your final exam? High Thirty Five! Did you ace your exegetical paper? High Thirty Five! Did you make it through preaching your first sermon at a Church without wetting your pants? High Thirty Five! Did she say, “Yes,” to going to a movie with you on Friday? High Thirty Five!

Why all this talk about satisfying celebration methodology? …Because our God is also a God who recognizes the need to embrace moments worthy of celebration. At several points in Scripture, God sees something so impressive that He must stop and give props to His deserving followers. God recognizes the moment by pronouncing someone as “blessed.” Being “blessed” may not sound all that momentous, but in God’s eyes a blessed person has gotten His attention. The New Testament word for “blessed” (makarios) carries the idea of “celebration” and “congratulations.” A blessed person would get a High Thirty Five from God!

IMG_2913What kind of endeavor does God recognized as blessed? Well, are you spiritually bankrupt and totally reliant on God? Congratulations, you’re blessed! Are you starving to see God’s justice lived out in this world? Way to go! You’re blessed! Do you weep with guilt because you’re repenting over your sins? High Thirty Five, you’re blessed! God’s Beatitude People are not who this world would think to congratulate, but this world does not see what God sees.

When God sees a heart that looks like remarkably like His Son’s heart, He pays attention, and He celebrates! And God wants to give you a High Thirty Five! Be Blessed!

About Vance Russell:

IMG_3453Vance Russel is the Greek and a New Testament professor at Boise Bible College. He holds a M. Div. from Lincoln Christian Seminary, and a B.Th., B.B.L. from Ozark Christian College. He spent 5 years preaching ministry; 6 vance and familyyears discipleship and college ministry; 3 years youth ministry, and 2 years hospital chaplaincy before coming to BBC.

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