“The ground is level at the foot of the cross.”
The first time I heard that from my pastor’s wife, I’d been struggling with feeling insignificant.
Then the book of Philippians secured a long-needed liberation from “fear of man” for me, as the Lord brought to light my need to shift my focus off of people, and keep my eyes on Him.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though He was in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing . . .” (Philippians 2:5-6)
Paul tells us to have this mind in us, referring to the mind of Jesus, which is actually already ours. We have the mind of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 2:16).
The word “have” means “to hold, maintain, or acquire.”
This is a further encouragement for us to “fit” ourselves with Jesus’ attitude, to take the same position as Jesus, and to go the same direction as He did.
So, what was on Jesus’ mind? What was His attitude? What position did He assume? Where was He going?
“. . . but He made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 5:7-8)
Jesus — as God in a man’s body — chose to relinquish His Divine status, to empty Himself of His heavenly riches, and live instead as a bondservant.
He had power to call fire down from heaven at any given moment, but instead of leveraging His dominion for His own benefit, He chose to endure suffering and “learn obedience,” even to the lowest level of human shame–– the humiliating, brutal death of a criminal.
“Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty may be made rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
Charles Spurgeon once wrote:
“Jesus had within Him the sternness of Elijah, when he called for the execution of the prophets of Baal, but He kept it in check, ‘like sleeping thunder’.”
Mercy triumphs over judgment in the heart of our King.
Dear Jesus, when you bring me into circumstances that necessitate it,
make me willing to empty myself and humbly serve in Your Spirit of love.
Today: Read Philippians 2:5-8