Humility Like Christ's
Sunday, June 8, 2014
If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit.
Regard one another as more important than yourself.
Do not merely look out for your personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
“A Few Good Men”
Has anybody seen the movie “A Few Good Men”?
What is your favorite line in that movie? Probably the most memorable and most quoted line is the one one where the lawyer portrayed by Tom Cruise says to the Colonel “I want the truth!” and the Colonel replies, very heatedly “You can't handle the truth.” And eventually he confesses to ordering the Code Red and is arrested.
But my favorite part is where the corporal answers the private who has asked what they did wrong when the court finds them guilty. The corporal basically says we should have been watching out for the little guy, for the marine that was accidentally killed by the actions of these two who were illegally following the orders of their superiors.
Later, Cruise’s character tells the corporal that there is honor that goes beyond the Marine Corps. You have to hope that the dishonorably discharged corporal accepted that as true as he began to live outside the Corps. Hopefully he found an identity apart from his beloved Corps.
Here I am treating fiction as fact. How easy it is to do so. But the truth is the truth whether it is found in life or in fiction.
My point in this is what Paul was trying to get across. As Christians we are called to live with different attitudes from the world. We are called to climb down off the throne of our lives and allow God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to take over and begin calling the shots for us.
My point is that we are to stop living as if our own happiness and desires are most important to us, to God and to other people. We who have accepted the free gift of salvation can no longer call our lives our own. We owe everything we have and are to God. It is time to begin living for Him and for His purposes.
We are called to Love God. We are called to love one another. Here Paul gives a small portion of what that means. We are to love people as God has loved us. We are to stop living out of selfishness and empty conceit.
Fathers, think about what this means for your relationship with your children and your wife. I know you are tired and have had a rough day out there on the job providing for your family. You deserve to have a few minutes of peace and quiet before you are bombarded by the questions and problems your wife throws at you the moment you walk in the door. You are the head of this house and you deserve some respect. Right?
Yes, that is true. You do deserve respect. You could have given up and walked away from your responsibilities for wife and family. Why can't they see that? Many have walked away and left their wives and children.
I do not deny that this is true. If you are a man or woman who has stayed in a difficult relationship you are to be applauded.
However, God calls us to a life where we do not get what we deserve. We get so much more. He loves us. He loved us when we were unlovely. He loved us when we deserved death.
He calls us to model that kind of love even as Jesus modeled it for us.
He calls us to do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, to regard others as more important than we are. He calls us to not just look out for our interests but for the interests of others. He calls us to love others as He has loved us.
There is a difference between leadership and lordship. What some call lordship today is nothing but being a bully and insisting on our own selfish way. We have one Lord. Men, we are called to lead our families. Leading means we go before and do what is right, allowing others to follow.
When we model putting others needs ahead of our own, they will follow and begin looking out for your interests and for the interests of others. But even if they don't, keep leading this way. It is what Jesus did.
What characteristics do you want your family to develop? These are the things you should be modeling before them. If you want them to be considerate of others, it will start with you being considerate of others.
If you want them to spend their lives in front of a TV or Computer screen, be sure to let them know that is what is important to you. Put those screens at the center of your life and chances are they will be at the center of your family's life.
If going to church is important to you, that just may rub off on your children. If God is not first in your life, it will take a miracle to get your family to put God first in their lives.
There are some miracles here. God has led some of you to put God first in spite of the environment you lived through at home.
If you want your children to be generous, you need to model that attitude with your own generosity to them and to others. This is not the same as spoiling them by giving them everything they want in order to keep them quiet and out of your hair.
Have the attitude that was in Christ. He gave up His throne in glory to come and live among us. He humbled himself to become a man. He humbled Himself to become a victim of the selfishness of those who were supposed to be leading people in His day. He gave up his Lordship so that He could lead us to the truth about how we should live. He was looking out for our welfare, for our interests as well as His own as He obeyed the Father even unto death on the Cross.
The result of His obedience and humility was that God exalted Him to a place above all things.
Men do you want to be exalted in God's eyes? Then lay down your Lordship to take up Leadership in your home.
Jesus was obedient to God to the point of death, not claiming what was his right. He did not demand what He deserved.
God raised Him to the exalted place of being Lord of lords and King of kings. His name is above every name. One day, and perhaps very soon, every knee will bow and all will acknowledge His Lordship.
5 “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,”
Clutched, held on to with all His might. It carries the idea of robbery.
“He did not demand and cling to His rights as God” Todays Living Bible
“He did not consider equality with God as something to be used to his own advantage.” Today's New International Version
5 “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” NASB
Now here is a Lord we can follow. Here is a God who loves us. He chose to consider us as something of so great a value that He was willing to give up heaven and all it meant to Him and be humiliated by the very people he was trying to save; humiliated even to the point of death on a cross, naked before those he loved, before those who loved Him and before those who despised Him.
How ready are we to lay down our conceited ideas of our own worth and value so that those we love can follow us to the glory that God has prepared for us in eternity?
How ready are we to be of the same mind as Christ and quit putting our needs and wants ahead of those under our care? Put off selfishness and put on Humility Like Christ's.
Men, if you want to be the head of your household that God intended you to be, be the leader He is leading you to be.
Women, this will work for you as well.
God loves me, even though I do not deserve it. God loves me.
He is my Lord. I will follow His leading wherever He leads. “I'll go with Him through the Garden.” I'll go with Him and die to self. I will put off the old man and put on the new man. Selfish conceit has no place in the life of a Christian.
First, God loves me.
A very close second, He is my Lord.
When we obey the Lord and take the lower seat of humility like Christ's, God will lift us up in His time and His way. If we want to be first in God's kingdom, we must learn to be the servant of all. This is humility like Christ's.