As we come closer to this Easter season we sometimes can get side tracked with all of the fun activities that we like to do: egg decorating and Easter egg hunting, Easter baskets and sugar rushes, potlucks and meeting with family and friends. Sometimes it is easy to forget about what this holiday is supposed to represent when we are surrounded by commercialism and discounted merchandise. The Easter holiday is more than just a celebration one time a year where most of us attend church services but it should be a lifestyle choice. All it took was one life to change history, a life that Jesus Christ chose to sacrifice for us. Is your mind set on Christ?
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!" Philippians 2:3-8
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humbled himself in human likeness, suffered and died on a cross and was resurrected so that we may have relationship with the Heavenly Father when we acknowledge what He has done for us. Jesus is our only pathway, our only way to salvation and yet sometimes we forget to honor Him except on special holidays. Honoring Him is remembering what He has done and living a life following Him. Christ chose to humble himself so that we can identify with Him and have an example to follow. How can we have the mindset of Christ? We need to be imitators of His character.
1. A Heart of Humility
Having a heart of humility is never easy and takes time. Humility is a condition of the heart that allows God to make us aware of our own pride and short-comings. In order to become humble we need to allow our pride to be pushed out and allow selflessness to take over. Being humble requires us to not just look to ourselves but look to the interests of others. Looking to Jesus as our example, we need to place value in others, not seeing ourselves as better but seeing people as our equals. We are all children of the Father and are all valuable in His eyes.
2. Acting in love
Jesus saw the lonely, the depressed, the forgotten, and the outcasts and sought after them in love. He didn't focus or worry about His reputation but served those who needed Him. In the same way, we need to serve one another in love. This can be a difficult because let’s just face it, many people can be insufferable but Jesus loved even those. He sacrificed Himself for us all, in love so that we may know what love looks like. Love requires action, the conscience choice to see others just as they are and care for them without seeking a reward but with a servant’s heart.
3. Obedient in the follow-through
To be imitators of Christ, we need to have the mindset of obedience to the Father. Jesus Himself was obedient, committing Himself to the will and plan of the Father. Obedience takes commitment and the willingness to follow through even when things get difficult. He asks us to be obedient and follow Him, wherever that may lead, even if it means going against the societal culture. Trusting in Him allows us to face anything that comes our way because He has already experienced it all and is walking with us through it all.
Be an imitation of Christ. Remember who He is and what He has done and allow Him to work in and through you. He sets a very real example for us to follow after Him. To be like Christ, we need to serve in humility, love one another and be obedient to His will and He will take care of the rest and we continue to grow closer to Him.