Wednesday, April 8, 2015

“No Greater Challenge, No Greater Joy”

     "Jesus called them to Him and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be among you.  But whosoever will be great among you shall be your minister, and whosoever of you will be the chiefest shall be servant of all.  For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:42-45).
    The disciples found the lesson of humility, both in themselves and in their Master, to be the most difficult path He paved for them by His teaching and His example.  Rather than the crown, the Lord Jesus Christ embraced the cross in His first coming, and in His coming to us by the Holy Spirit when we believe.

    "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus… He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:5; 8).

    Our own path of humility will be no less difficult than the challenge faced by the Lord's first followers.  Great joy awaits us whenever we "walk, even as He walked" (I John 2:6).  However, great hesitation frequently initiates the journey as our flesh "lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17).   The natural inclinations of even the most devout believer tempt us to self promotion and preservation rather than humility, thus requiring the supernatural inclinations of the indwelling Spirit of the Lord Jesus to motivate and empower our walk in the beauty of His character, nature, and way.  He still embraces the cross rather than the crown, in us, and we do well to daily expect many opportunities to humble ourselves before both God and people.  No greater challenge awaits us in the life of God's grace revealed through faith, and despite initial fleshly disinclination, no greater joy will bless our hearts with the presence and quality of His heart.

    Today will provide opportunity to humble ourselves in thought, attitude, word, deed, and relationship.  Even more, today will provide the moving of the Holy Spirit within us to empower this life of Christ as revealed in us.  Let us not, however, kid ourselves.  The way will be hard as the world, the devil, and the flesh seek to hinder our honoring the Lord by humbling ourselves. Crosses hurt, especially as we forego the crown of our natural inclination.  Remembrance of our blessed Lord, accompanied by affirmation of His living presence within us, will enable our journey along the path He so beautifully paved, and upon which He walks again - in us.

"Before honor is humility."
(Proverbs 15:33)

Weekly Memory Verse
    If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
(Galatians 5:25)

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