Monday, December 12, 2016

"Let This Mind..."

"Let This Mind..."   

       "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.  And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:5-11).

    Taking "the likeness of men" upon Himself did not mean that the Lord Jesus Christ relinquished His Divinity.  "Unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, o God, is forever and ever" (Hebrews 1:8).  Our Savior rather humbled Himself to forego the prerogatives of His Deity as He served us in order to save us.  "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).  Thus, when His Spirit inhabits us at the time of our new birth, we become the living temples graced with the same calling to view ourselves in terms of humility and service to God and humanity.  "Let this mind be in you…"

   This means that our Heavenly Father will often grant us the privilege of foregoing our rights in order to walk in Christ's righteousness.  This is what humility does in its devotion to pleasing God and serving people.  The path will be different for all of us, but we can expect the Holy Spirit to lead us in countless ways to take upon ourselves "the form of a servant" when we might justifiably act in a manner more conducive to our own benefit.  As did our Savior, we voluntarily "take up the cross" as God's Spirit provides opportunity to serve (Mark 10:21).  It might not be "robbery" to journey upon a different path, but we will miss much of our Lord's righteous devotion to others if we do not "Let this mind be in you…"

    Much sacrifice awaits those who "walk, even as He walked" (I John 2:6).  However, the joy of Christ Himself awaits even more.  The writer of Hebrews declares the Lord Jesus to be "anointed with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows" (Hebrews 1:9).  Why?  Humility and its accompanying service to God and humanity provide the answer.  We can avoid the path of servant sacrifice if we choose to do so.  However, we will also avoid the filled and fulfilled heart of the Savior's "oil of gladness".  The choices are ours, and we can be sure that this day will offer many opportunities to "Let this mind be in you…"

"Whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as He that serveth."
(Luke 22:27)

Weekly Memory Verse
   And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men.
(I Thessalonians 3:12)

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