For personal devotion + study:
Monday: Philippians 2:5-11
This week we are going to meditate upon one of the oldest hymns of the Christian church as recorded for us by Paul in the book of Philippians, Phil 2:5-11. Take a moment to read the words, reread it and invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you through them.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Tuesday: have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…
v 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.
I was reading an author this week who talked about that we often as christians want thecapacities of Christ i.e the gifts of the spirit but are not so concerned with having the character of Christ. We want to be able to perform miracles, signs and wonders but we are not as concerned with developing patience, kindness, servant-heartedness, gentleness and self-control. The author made the interesting point that the gifts of the spirit exist to bless other people but the development of christ-like character is for our benefit. Sadly we often reverse this order. I wonder what would it mean for you to have the mindset of Christ Jesus this week in your relationships?
Wednesday: though He was God he did not use it to His own advantage….
v 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
This is such a humbling and counter-intuitive attitude. Reflect for a moment on the reality that Jesus was God but that he did not use that fact to his own advantage. For instance he could have saved himself the pain and suffering of the cross in the blink of an eye, he could have smited down all who mocked him with one word, he could have established himself in a palace while on earth…but he didn’t. He didn’t use his power to his own advantage instead he used it for others. Each of us have power. We might not be aware of it but nevertheless we do, and we can either use it to our own advantage or use it to bless others. How might you use your power to bless others today?
Thursday: instead he took the very nature of a servant.
v 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
How would you define servant-hood? It is interesting language used in this hymn; notice how it says not by “being a servant or by serving others”, rather by “taking the very nature of a servant.” It relates back to how Jesus related to His Father here on earth and is a role model for how we are to relate to God. The nature of a servant is to serve their Master. They do not belong to themselves but to their Master. They listen for the Master’s voice and are quick to respond. What might the Father be asking you to do today?
Friday: And he obeyed His Father to the point of death.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
What are the limits of your obedience to God? How far would we go to obey Him? It is a sobering question for us in the West to ask ourselves. All over the world we have Christians brother’s and sister’s who are experiencing obedience to death as their reality. Let us pray for them to have the courage to remain faithful and let us pray for ourselves to be truly committed to Christ above all else.
Saturday: But now He has the highest place of honour.
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
1that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
It was the Father’s delight to exalt Jesus to the highest place of honour. Jesus’ humility leads not to greater humiliation but rather to honour. A principle and promise that we see all throughout scripture is that God exalts the humble. He lifts up the lowly. The first in this life come last in the next. Those reduced to the least in this life because of their commitment to Christ are promoted to the greatest in God’s kingdom. Humility is an attribute that God delights in, in His people and though they may suffer for a time they will reap the benefits in eternity. You might find yourself being humbled or experiencing humble circumstances, know that God is with the humble.