Many times I have heard it preached that we need to try and be more Christ like. When I was baptised, my father gave me a copy of “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas a Kempis (which I have often thought of as the ultimate Thought-Word-Goal.) The minister of my own church ran a study series earlier in the year entitled “The Like Jesus Life”. As much as I agree that to be like Jesus is the aim, I most often find myself discouraged by just how far short of that ideal I fall. Today’s passage begins, at first glance with exactly the same thought. However, crucially, it doesn’t say we must achieve like Jesus, only that we must have the same attitude as Jesus. And that attitude is essentially one of humility. Jesus was and remains God. He was with God during the creation, he sits with God in heaven now and will be there in majesty until he returns, bringing the new heaven and the new earth. But he became a man and humbled himself in the face of death, even one a terrible as crucifixion. And then God raised him up to glory, and every knee bows at his name, angels, men and demons alike confess that he is Lord.
Philippians 2:5-11 NLT
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honour and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
So I find that I must embrace humility as my goal today. I have come to realise, over and over again on this daily journey through the Bible, that it is not possible to do the work God asks us to by our own strength. I have learned that God’s glory only has space to shine through when he uses the poorest, most humble people to demonstrate his great strength. It is only when we are truly humble in the service of our Lord that he can lift us up and his true glory can be revealed. When powerful people win through the world despises them, but when the humble underdog wins through, the whole world stands on its feet and cheers. I pray for the humility of Jesus, that God might want to lift me up high enough and win through far enough, to grab the attention of some of those in the world who don’t yet know of his great power and boundless love.
Isaiah 60:1-62:5, Philippians 1:27-2:18, Psalms 72:1-20, Proverbs 24:11-12