Blogger’s Note: I’m going to do and post two devotional journal entries today [3/9]; because on Ash Wednesday (God's timing), during my normal devotional quiet-time, I will be entering the hospital for a full-hip replacement surgical procedure. So, if you happen to be reading along here on 3/9, I would covet you lifting up a brief prayer for good surgery, no complications, and unfettered rehab; and I dearly thank you if you feel so disposed. If you come by to read this on 3/10, a prayer for the rehab with no infections or problems would be deeply appreciated. Bill Berry
Passage of the Day: Ephesians 4: 1 – 2 - 1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
My Journal for Today: Well, for those who’ve been following my devotionals this year, here we are back at Ephesians 4, versus 1 and 2; and one which also exhorts Christians to “Be completely humble …” as we “…live a life worthy of the calling you have received [which, of course is Christlikeness].” Like the ancient Romans and Greeks, our culture does not elevate the quality or attitude of humility. In fact in writing Eph. 4: 1-2 in the Greek language, Paul had to make up a compound word for “humility,” … the Greek term “tapienophronsune,” which is a compound concoction from two other Greek words having the meaning of thinking of one’s self as lowly. The Greek language simply didn’t have a word for the attitude of humility, showing how much that culture denigrated or looked down on this human quality. And today we Americans certainly don’t honor humility in our world as much as we do prideful self achievement. During this time of year, the Golden Globes and the Oscar Awards get much attention. And we also have a reality TV show called “The American Idol.” Certainly, all one has to do is look at these media events in our culture to see that humility is not a quality in great demand.
Jesus was/is the ultimate example of a chosen lifestyle of lowliness or humility. He CHOSE to be born a babe in a lowly manger; and it would be good to pause and meditate on my favorite passage about the spirit of Christ’s incarnation. So, from another of Paul’s prison epistles, let me exhort you to read Phil. 2: 5 – 11, which I’ll even post for you to read here …
SCRIPTURE: Phil. 2: 5-11 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the Name that is above every name, 10 that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Besides God’s choice to set aside His full glory to become a man in the flesh, Jesus owned almost nothing by worldly standards; and He was, by choice, almost totally dependent on others for His sustenance during his three year ministry walk on this earth. We read of Him washing the feet of the Disciples in the upper room (read John 13: 3 – 11), which was His way of teaching His followers about the importance of lowliness of attitude and action [i.e., HUMILITY}. And again I repeat (as I reflected in past devotionals) that the only two adjectives that Jesus was ever quoted as using to describe Himself were “humble” and “meek.” [see Matt. 11: 29]
Note the underlined verse above in Phil. 2: 5 above, where Paul exhorts us all to have the same attitude as that of Christ; and that’s what he’s saying (or rather God is saying) to you and me in today’s passage. So, I must ask myself: … “Just how much does my prevailing attitude mirror that of Christ?” In other words, I must ask these two pointed questions.
Just how humble am I? … AND … Just how meek am I?
And if you’re asking yourself into those same questions as you read this, maybe you’re like me and you have some ways to go to become Christlike in reflecting these two attitudes; and for me, the most difficult is that of HUMILITY.
My Prayer Today: Lord, again I know the risk of this prayer; but help me to be humble. Amen