Saturday, March 12, 2011

March 12, 2011 … Understanding Who Christ Is

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: Back again to Paul’s exhortation to believers above toward a humble and worthy walk as a Christian, doing all we can as Christ’s followers to be like our Savior, Who walked in His short ministry on earth as the Model of humility and meekness. And it is a daunting charge from the Apostle Paul, who is not just asking Christians to walk in partial humility. No, we are to “be completely humble,” or what can be translated as “perfectly humble,” again with Christ as our mark of attitude and Paul (in Phil. 2: 5) indicating that we should aspire to the attitude of Christ in our Christian sojourn here on earth.

And John MacArthur slants us toward this difficult task in his devotional treatment in Strength for Today, emphasizing by his repetitious exposition of this passage, how important it is for Christians to strive toward humility. It truly is a daunting proposition; because who really can be like Jesus? But an awareness of Christlike humility is the first step in the right direction. To really KNOW Christ is to appreciate the depth of His relational humility as He walked in perfect harmony with His Father, attempting to minister to His inner group of disciples as well as other close followers. And it was difficult for those who chose to follow Christ to identify with His incredible degree of humility. In fact Christ’s inner disciples would have rather He be more pompous and aggressive as they began to recognize Him as THE Messiah.

We see that in John 13 as He washed the feet of His disciples; and they just couldn’t get it. Peter even balked at this display of humility in rejecting Jesus’ attempt to wash his feet. But Peter finally relented when Jesus rebuked his false humility. Peter had come to realize what an honor it was to be served by the humility of the Messiah. But later, after Christ’s resurrection we read in the writings of the Apostles how these formerly self-driven men, who had walked with Jesus, had become Savior-driven in their humility to serve Christ and His gospel.

They had known the God-Man intimately and had walked with Him; and after He rose from the dead, they came to realize that their lives would be marked to live as Christ had lived and to walk as closely they could the path that Jesus walked. Jesus came to serve the Father (see Mark 10: 45); and so His disciples learned that they were to serve others as He had served them. And we can have this same intimate relationship and walk with Christ as we get to know Him through His word and in our walk in His “footsteps” as His disciples.

Yes, when we truly know Christ, it is true that our self perception will be frustrating. The more accurate our picture of Christ’s holiness, the more painful it is to see our own lack of holiness. But that is the ministry of the Holy Spirit, helping to do what Paul wrote about in Phil. 1: 6 … to bring us into our predestined completeness, molded into Christlikeness. And the more complete this process becomes, the more we will find ourselves being humbled in relation to others as well as our Savior.

Hopefully you will join me in striving to live out, in the living sacrifice Paul wrote about in Rom. 12: 1, the humble and meek walk of our Lord. Because when we grow into His likeness, we will shine His light more brightly (Matt. 5: 16) and radiate Christ for others to see Him for Whom He is and whom they (we) need to become.

My Prayer Today: Help me, Lord, to keep my eyes on You. Amen

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