Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Becoming a Servant

Philippians 2:5-11
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
    taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    and became 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,
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.

I read that passage often because it contains the one thing I need to remember, more than anything else. I can easily grasp the idea Paul begins with and I know I should always strive to have a Christ-like attitude.  It's the next part I wrestle with.

Paul tells us Jesus is God but he didn't grab onto equality with God as something to flaunt.  Instead, he made himself nothing.  That's the heart of the matter I struggle with all the time. Jesus made himself nothing. 

Think with me about all the important things Jesus taught, like the Sermon on the Mount, the parables, the individual instructions to those he met, and even his discourses with the Pharisees. Then I think of his suffering and ultimately his death on the cross. I want him to be my everything yet Paul reminds me  that he made himself nothing. 

Paul continues to tell us that he took the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  While on the earth in human form, Jesus demonstrated for us the concept of emptying ourselves of self, and becoming nothing so we can adequately take on the nature of a servant.  Remember what he said in Mark 10:43, "Whoever wants to be great must become a servant." (from The Message.)

So here is the part I need to remember. As a Christian servant of God, I am to strive to be like Jesus in every way, even to the point of taking on the nature of a servant for all mankind. It is only because Jesus became nothing that he can be our everything.  May "every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."


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