December 17, 2014
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
I say: The Lord lifts up. . . . . and you say, “. . . . . . . . . . . .”
Advent is a grace filled annual opportunity to hit the RESET button on life. It’s a great time to RESET our Storyline and to RESET our vision on ultimate things which leads to a RESET of our priority. This makes Advent about repentance, which is not commonly associated with chestnuts roasting over an open fire. Repentance means whatever it takes to RESET our priority on seeking first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.
Back to our opener. The Lord lifts up those who bow down. So what does it mean to “bow down?” Thanks for asking. Take a look at today’s text. In a word, it looks like humility. The problem with humility, is the minute we think we are being humble, we can be sure we aren’t. The only way to be humble is to literally fix our eyes on Jesus and follow him every step of the way. Today’s text casts the vision. It is becoming self forgetful. It is to value others over ourselves, to look to others’ interests. It looks like love. Bowing down looks like the mindset of Jesus Christ.
If ever there were a text made for rememberizing it is this one. These words actually made up part of one of the first songs the church ever sang. If only we knew the tune. I think our lives are meant to be the tune.
Here’s the question for the day: Is my life singing this song? Where did I put others ahead of myself yesterday? Where might I do it today? Remember, you can’t be humble by yourself. Humility can only be realized in relationship with others. Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It is thinking less about yourself. The only way to think less about yourself is to think more about others. The great thing about humility, the practice of bowing down, is there are endless opportunities to try again.
PEOPLE GET READY! JESUS IS COMING.
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