Putting God's Word into Practice…

Philippians 2:1-11 Make Yourself Nothing

on December 18, 2012

These are probably some of my favorite verses in the whole Bible.  In fact I like to think of verse 3 as one of my “life verses.”  Unfortunately to be a life verse, it needs to be lived out.  This morning was a good reminder of the kind of person I want to be in contrast to the kind of person I really am.  “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit (selfish ambition), but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”  What does it really look like to consider others as more important than me?  How can I do that in my daily life and interaction?  How can I look out for other’s interests first instead of always my own?  The answer to those questions is coming…

Paul told the people of Philippi that their comfort, encouragement, love, partnership, affection and sympathy are great and appreciated; but his greatest desire is to see them united in humility.  He used phrases like: same mind, same love, full accord, and one mind.  Then, dropping down to verse five, he told them exactly what their unified minds should look like.  “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”  What is the mind of Christ?  It is centered on humility, servanthood, sacrifice, and obedience to God.  In fact, in verse 7 it says of Jesus, “He made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant.”

MADE HIMSELF NOTHING! That goes against the very fiber of our culture and being!  If I had back hair (thankfully I don’t) it would be bristling at that phrase.  We all want to be “something.”  That is why blogging and facebook are so huge (guilty).  That is why everyone thinks they are a musician, a photographer, a writer.  We want to be anything but…nothing!  Jesus was the only human who deserved to be something, and He made himself nothing.  He put others first–ALWAYS!  When he was tired, when he wanted to be alone, when he needed to grieve, when he needed personal space–His humility and compassion took over His actions.  He laid down all His rights out of love for us.  

The outcome of that lifestyle is eternal exultation from God the Father and every human who has and will ever live.  Every name will come and go, but Jesus is the name that is lifted high and remembered for all time!  It is the name that evokes worship and adoration and praise.  Every knee will bow to Him and every tongue will confess He is Lord!  It may be here on earth–it may be in judgment.  But He will be recognized and glorified!

Jesus who made Himself nothing is EVERYTHING!  And if He is really everything to me, I can choose to be NOTHING so other’s can see He is everything!

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