Sunday, March 20, 2011

March 20, 2011 … No Pride of Position

Passage of the Day: Philippians 2: 5 – 6 ... 5 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, …

My Journal for Today: Well, the Apostle Paul lays it on the line here for the Christian, inspired by the Holy Spirit, to charge Christians in Philippi – and really Christians anywhere/everywhere – to develop and maintain attitudes that are “the same” as that of Jesus, The Christ. Now, I know, in my head, that God, The Holy Spirit, would never have breathed those words into Paul to write these truths if a believer, aspiring to Christlikeness, couldn’t attain that kind of an attitude of humility and meekness (pointed to by Christ, Himself, in Matt. 11: 29). However, my heart balks at this daunting challenge. I reflect on what Christ did for all mankind, being our model of surrender to the Father … totally and completely humbled; and I’m overwhelmed with the nature of Paul’s exhortation >>> to be humble … as was Christ.

Christ set aside His majesty in becoming a babe in a manger. He grew and matured and learned to be a humble carpenter as an apprentice to His dad, Joseph. He chose to be baptized by John, the Baptist, when John was overwhelmed to perform this act of surrender to the Father. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples; and Peter was blown away that He’d do that. Our Lord sweat blood in pain in the garden, just hours before He exhibited the ultimate in humility, … dying on that tree at Golgotha for the sins of all mankind.

Now, that’s humility personified; and I’m charged to be just like that! … Wow!

But then I read and internalize another of Paul’s writings (see Eph 1: 3 – 6, 13 – 14) …

SCRIPTURE: Eph. 1: 3-6 ... 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For He [the Son] chose us in Him [the Spirit] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His [the Father’s] sight. In love 5 He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.Eph. 1: 13-1413 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of His glory.

That passage both convicts me and lifts me up. And also knowing the truth of 1st Cor. 10: 13 … that no challenge set before me, especially any challenge God places there or allows into our lives, cannot be overcome or undertaken with success in His Name; because He is always faithful to provide me with the strength I need in my weakness (see also 2nd Cor. 12: 9). Hence, what Paul writes in today’s passage, that I’m to be humble, like Christ, I know that God, the Holy Spirit is sealed within me to give me the grace/power to be humble – even to humble like Christ.

And so, even though I have a sin nature, falling short of God’s glory (see Rom. 3: 23); and even though I have a wretchedly deceitful heart (see Jer. 17: 9), I know that my God, living in me, is greater than all of the spiritual forces which will come against me 1st John 4: 4); … and I can become humble like Christ … more today than yesterday … more tomorrow than today.

To that end, I move forward (see Phil. 3: 13 – 14).

My Prayer Today: Help me to be like You, Lord. Amen

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