May 24th, 2023 – Very Early Wednesday Morning
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” ~Philippians 2:5-11
Think about it for a minute: The ultimate display of love (Christ in our place on Calvary) required the ultimate display of obedience (Christ perfectly submitted to the Father) which required the ultimate display of humility (Christ the eternally existent God coming embodied as a finite, mortal man). Jesus Christ is not just our Redeemer, our Lord, our Judge, our Friend, and our Intercessor; rather, He is also our Example, our Standard, and our Strength.
There are a lot of really amazing things in this passage, but let us not miss the whole point: If you have put your trust in Christ and you now belong to the Father, the whole point of this passage is that you and I are to adopt Jesus’ attitude as our own. Now before we make any excuses or side-stepping comments, remember the rest of the passage: Jesus deserved all glory, laud, and honor since He is God; yet, He surrendered every last ounce of that awesome position in order to become a slave destined to die on behalf of the entire human race. On the other hand, we don’t deserve any glory and we do deserve wrath, but because of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice we have received life, joy, and honor. Whereas Jesus’ humility was truly a “lowering of oneself” to the greatest degree possible, the humility we are called to operate in is a meager shadow.
So how do we “have this attitude”? First off, we have to come face-to-face with God Himself on a consistent basis; His nature and character must be at the forefront of our hearts and minds as we journey through each moment of life. Secondly, remember our Example, our Standard, and our Strength; Jesus executed the Father’s will perfectly and He has given us His Spirit to empower us to obey in like manner. Finally, we must choose now to be intentional in adopting the attitude of humility that Christ embodied; it begins with filtering and redirecting our thoughts, dreams, and meditations, but it must also affect our words and actions.
Are you ready to follow Christ? Are you ready to become nothing in your own estimation and to be clay in the hands of the Potter? Are you ready to value all others as better than yourself? Then choose today to “have this attitude” and live by the power of the Holy Spirit a life that emulates our precious Redeemer!