An attitude of humility and gratitude will take you further in the eyes of God and others than pride and self-promotion.
Today's Devotional Scripture
"Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ, who, though he was God, did not demand and cling to his rights as God, did not demand and cling to his rights as God, but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men. And he humbled himself even further, going so far as actually to die a criminal's death on a cross." (Philippians 2:5-8, The Living Bible)
Under a Microscope
Christians are under a microscope. We are being watched by others, so they can form an opinion of who we are and what we do.. If they perceive our attitude is not geared to fulfill Christ's two greatest commandments, then they may figure that Christianity is a religion of convenience and not faith.
I have used today's devotional scripture in communion meditations at my church, because Jesus was willing to take the role of slave and criminal to save us from sin and death. The broken body and spilled blood of Jesus take on a greater meaning, when we consider that He chose an attitude of humility and offered Himself willingly to save humanity.
Jesus had rights as God's Son, but He chose not to use them. He had great power as shown in His miracles, but He chose not to use it. He took on the image of those He was sent to save - a slave who had no rights and a criminal who forfeited his rights.
Like Jesus, we have rights that could cause us to have a great sense of pride. "I'm a Christian," you might think. "I am part of God's team."
Well, Christian, you have been called to be a humble servant of God and we are just as vulnerable to the sin of self-promotion as the ancient Pharisees in Jesus' time. The Pharisees were members of the church and religious leaders and yet Jesus leveled His heaviest criticisms against this group.
Here's an interesting challenge - read Matthew 25 sometime this week and see if the Lord's comments could just as easily be applied to 21st Century Christians with the wrong attitude and a false set of priorities. Here's a short list I put together from just the first 10 verses of Matthew 25:
- They don't practice what they preach
- They place unnecessary burdens on their members
- They refuse to help others
- They try to promote themselves by their appearance.
Then Jesus pauses and makes the following declaration in verses 11 and 12: "The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
Those simple, straightforward words from Jesus should cause us to stop occasionally and reevaluate our attitude and motivation for service. When we have doubts about our attitude, we should open The Bible and read chapters like Matthew 25 and Philippians 2 to regain our spiritual balance.
In preparation for Easter, I prefer to focus on our mission of sharing Good News and good deeds with the people around us. I like the attitude that King David offers in Psalm 62:7: "My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.”
We have four weeks left to prepare ourselves for Easter. Let us use this time and the days after Easter to express our gratitude for salvation to Jesus Christ by humbly serving others.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the amazing humility of Jesus, laying aside His mighty power and glory for my sake. Help me walk as He walked. Reveal to me the attitudes in me that are contrary to Your ways. Amen.
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