Philippiansby David Sanford
Even though I've read the book of Philippians hundreds of times, my voice shook as I re-read today's Scripture passage aloud.
″Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus,″ Paul writes (Philippians 2:5). He then goes on to quote an early Christian poem or hymn of praise to Jesus Christ.
Paul's aim is to encourage his readers to be united by having a heart of humility, like Christ himself. That's why he points out the humility of Jesus Christ: to ask the Philippians to relate to each other in a similar fashion.
As you read this passage, ask God to move your heart, as He moved mine.
First, be deeply moved by Jesus Christ's standing within the Trinity. He is God the Son and therefore ″in very nature God″ (v. 6). There has never been a gap between Jesus' full deity and the full deity of God the Father. There has never been anything for Jesus to prove, seek, or attain. From eternity past to eternity future, He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. All He had to do to create the heavens and earth was merely speak the word.
What's more, the Lord Jesus came to earth, often. As the second Person in the Trinity, He walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8). He appeared and spoke to Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, Joseph, and many others (John 8:56-58). The prophet Isaiah saw Him (John 12:41), trembled, and rejoiced. Throughout ancient history, He prophesied the first and second Advents (Luke 24:25-48).
Second, be deeply moved by Jesus Christ's identification with humanity. He didn't come just to meet some of the great heroes of the faith. Instead, he ″made himself nothing″ (Philippians 2:7). This was no short, holiday visit. Instead, he was born in a borrowed Bethlehem manger (Luke 2:7). He knew what it was like to be a refugee, a child whisked across political borders (Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23). He grew up in a God-fearing household with many siblings. He served as a carpenter until age 30 (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; Luke 3:23). He maintained a pure and holy life, without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
Ultimately, ″he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death-even death on a cross!″ (Philippians 2:8). Let us pause here and meditate: in our dealings, decisions, mindset, and behaviour, are we imitators of Jesus Christ? In our relationships with one another, are we humble like Christ?
What about Jesus Christ moves you the most? How can you best praise the Lord for who He is and what He has done?
Read Matthew 16:24. How does Jesus' example of humility-and making himself nothing-inspire you to conduct yourself differently in your relationships with others?