The word of God, in Philippians 2:5, encourages us to “Have this attitude (mind) in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.” NASB. This week, we will explore the attitude/mind of Christ which we are to imitate. Our first reflection on the attitude of Christ which should characterize the Christian life is humility. Christ demonstrated the ultimate act of humility as seen in Philippians 2:6-7. First He did not think being God was something to be grasped at (vs.6) But emptied Himself taking the form of a servant (vs.7).
Jesus also taught and modeled humility during his earthly ministry “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). On the night before death he washed the feet of his disciples; not only modeling humility but teaching them that this was the required attitude they needed to have, ‘but whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant (vs.26).
The world demands a different standard from people: where there is much hype, pride and boasting in self because of personal achievements, earthly possessions and positions. To borrow a line of a popular song which exemplifies this “oh Lord it’s hard to be humble when you are perfect in every way”. Once we have achieved, we sometimes consider it beneath us to perform certain tasks and we rather to be served instead of serving. Consequently, ministers become mini-stars. The apostle Paul boasted about one thing only: that of knowing Christ (Phil. 3: 8). He could have boasted about his Hebrew heritage, his religious status, his obedience to the law, his extensive learning, but for him all those things were rubbish so that he might become like Christ. What was important was to know Christ, the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering. Which do we relate to? Do we have the attitude/mind of Christ demonstrating humility.
Prayer: Father, as we reflect today on the attitude/mind of Christ, help us to be obedient to Your word and move beyond all that is causing us to be puffed up with pride and to adopt an attitude of humility, being mindful that all our earthly resources and status are short-lived and only what we do in service for You will have eternal value.
Philippians tells us that He (Jesus )was obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (2:8b). Christ lived a life of complete obedience When he was 12 years old, He told His mother; ‘I must be about my Father’s business’ (Luke 2:41.) In John 5:30 Jesus responded to the Jewish leaders “I seek not to please myself but him who sent me”. In John 4:34, He said, “My meat is to do the will of him who sent me”. The call to us as Christians is no different. In the book of Luke, Jesus outlined the requirement for discipleship: “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple (14:27).” We must be prepared to be obedient to the will and purpose of God even to the point of suffering and death. Daily, do we declare I must be about my Fathers business; or I seek not to please myself but my Heavenly Father?
Prayer: Father we thank You for entrusting us with Your ministry of reconciliation. Help us to be totally obedient in running the race that is set before us in Jesus name we pray.
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing” Luke 23:34. Those were the words of Jesus Christ as he hung on the cross to face death to pay the penalty for our sins. Forgiveness is not always an easy task; especially when we are hurting and we want to hold to unforgiveness. “Of course I was offended!” But forgiveness is a command and we do so out of obedience, not counting the number of times we exercise forgiveness, even if it is towards a repeat offender.
Jesus’s response to Peter’s question was “…seventy times seven”. Matt 18: 21-22. This means always, and not seven times as Peter alluded to in the same discourse. Colossians 3:13 instructs us to “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you have a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you”. Is there anyone you need to forgive? Choosing to forgive sets us free from anger and bitterness to enjoy peace, love and joy in/of the Lord. Let us choose today to be obedient to the word of God and be of the same mind/attitude as Christ and exercise forgiveness.
Prayer: Father, You have been merciful and have forgiven us unconditionally. Help us not to hold on to resentment and bitterness but to forgive as we have been forgiven; in Jesus name we pray. Amen.