Blogger’s Note: New month. Last month of the year 2011; and my devotional emphasis, again with the help of John MacArthur’s devotional book, Strength for Today this month will be “Christology” with an emphasis on the Incarnation since this is the Advent Season of the year. So, perhaps you’ll be led to follow along with me this month as I try to get to know my Savior AND LORD more intimately by studying the how and why behind God’s humble choice to become a man, to die, and to be exalted by God, The Father, in glory. So, let’s dig in an get to know Jesus this Christmas season.
Passage of the Day: Philippians 2: 6 - 8 [see highlight passage in bold/underlined] … 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, 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.
My Journal for Today: As we come into the Advent season, a time where cultural consumerism and/or political activism often attempt to cancel “CHRIST” from Christmas, Paul’s teaching from today’s passage from Philippians 2 is one of my favorite CHRISTmas scriptural passages. In fact, in the mind of this humble Christian, Phil. 2: 5 – 11 is the most powerful Christmas story told in the Bible, with today’s focus from John MacArthur in Strength for Today being on Phil. 2: 6 – 8.
In the Spirit of this season, we, as Christians, are admonished by Paul in Phil. 2: 5 to be [or maybe better stated “become”] like Christ in attitude; and Jesus’ half-brother James (in James 4: 6, 10) and the Apostle Peter (in 1st Pet. 5: 6) both indicated that our attitudes as Christians would require Christlike humility before God would lift us up as Christ was lifted up by His Father [see Phil. 2: 9 above]. And when it comes to our following behind Christ’s attitude of humility, there is no better place to see our Model of humility than in the overall passage quoted above in Phil. 2: 5 – 11.
May I assume that any reader following along in this devotional entry shares my desire to be uplifted by God in our relationship with Christ? If that is NOT your desire, you need read no further; because I’m writing this with an intense desire to let this study in the month of December enhance my attitude of humility, which, I believe, will help me to have more of God’s grace poured out in abundance into my life. If that is your desire as well, I charge you to read on and to follow these entries on a day-by-day basis in December.
This month John MacArthur, if you’re also using Strength for Today as a devotional book or following along with my journal entries, is going to help me (us) take a closer look at our Savior so that I (we) can see Whom I (we) should model my life [our lives] in His image. And first, we focus on Christ’s incredible humility, personified in His incarnation, where we see Him setting aside His majesty and glory in the God-Head to become a bond servant to His Father’s will, even unto death on a cross as a human.
And so we begin our focus on Jesus this month (a study in “Christology”), continually doing a self inventory, framed in the exhortation of Phil. 2: 5 … questioning our attitudes to see whether our minds run parallel with that of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. And right off the top, I come up short; because humility is one area where I already fall far short of THE MARK (Who, of course, is Christ); and we’ll explore that shortcoming more in days to come.
My Prayer Today: Lord, I know this can be a risky prayer as to my life, but I sincerely pray that You would help me to be humble, … like You. Amen