Monday, December 12, 2011

December 12, 2011 … Exaltation Follows Humility

Passage of the Day: Philippians 2: 9 - 11 [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:
In today’s entry of Strength for Today, John MacArthur helps those who pursue God through his devotional to see from God’s word (in the highlight passages from Phil. 2 above) that Christ’s humiliation in His incarnation, life, and death on the cross, as well as His exaltation (again, see today’s passage) are very powerful and practical examples of God’s economy of justice. It’s really a straightforward formula; but it’s also an infinitely challenging message for all mankind to accept and implement. THE FORUMULA is that when one humbles himself, he will be exalted. Jesus was our earthly model of humility [Phil. 2: 6 – 8]; and in today’s passage [Phil. 2: 9 – 11] we read of Christ becoming our heavenly and perfect example of God’s exaltation out of His earthly and perfect humility.

MacArthur reminds me [us] that the Apostle Peter [in 1st Peter 1: 10 – 12] had pointed to Christ fulfilling the prophesies of the ancient Prophets concerning the Messiah. And the Author of Hebrews wrote of Christ [in Heb. 12: 2], “… Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” So, the Apostle Paul’s purpose in our passage from Phil. 2 was to illustrate, not only Christ’s humble emptying of His majesty in His Incarnation; but also to document His re-entry into heavenly glory as a result of His humiliation on the cross. So it’s worthy of repeating, … Christ, therefore, is not only our human example of humility, He is also our heavenly example of God glorifying anyone who is willing to humble himself and receive God’s Son as Lord and Savior.

That economy and balance of justice is also documented in James 4: 10, where we read, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” And as I’ve documented before, that is the message that was also laid out by Solomon in Prov. 3: 34 and repeated by Peter in 1st Peter 5: 6 … that God gives His grace to the humble but resists the proud. So, Jesus was God’s model of His scale of justice; and His word repeats the lesson often. >>> BUT, do we get it?!

Unfortunately, all too often I’ve had to learn the lesson of God’s economy with regard to humility the hard way. I know the lesson in my head; but my deceitful heart [see Jer. 17: 9] brings me often to a place where God has to teach me humility in the face of my pridefulness. I have to be brought low because I’ve chosen to exalt myself rather than choose to humble self and surrender to my Savior [again see the truth of Jesus’ command in Luke 9: 23]. When will I see - from the heart - that it’s so, so, so much better for me to CHOOSE to be humble and let God exalt me for being like Christ?

Just like Christ, one day as a believing Christian, I (and all Christians) will be lifted up to be with my (our) Lord in Heaven, … not because of anything I will do in humility, … but because of what Christ has already done for me (us) in perfect humility. Oh how I (we) need to meditate on this at this time of year, especially letting this message encourage us in our trials. But as we do so in reading this, we can look forward this month to even more about our Lord; so, … yes, … stay tuned!

My Prayer Today:
Blessed am I by Your exaltation, Lord. Amen

No comments: