Closing the Gap 3.12.18

The Humility of Christ:
“Adam ate the fruit of his own pride and died, we eat the fruit of Christ’s humility and live.”

Week 10 Day 1

Pray:

Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.

Read:

Phil. 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5   Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became 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 confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Reflect:

Are we really this far off?  The challenge is that nothing be done out of selfish ambition.  The reality is that virtually everything is done out of it. There is no room here for “some” or even very “little.”  This is an absolute demand, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition.” This is as unrealistic a goal as has ever been stated.  First, who even wants such a goal? Should I not reserve some of my life, my wishes for myself? Second, who could possibly accomplish such a goal even if they wanted to?  Who wants such a goal? We all would if we really knew our own hearts. Why do we do put ourselves first anyway? We do so in order to experience happiness; we do so because we think it is the “good life.”  Does this ever work well or for long? Has selfishness ever taken anyone into a life that is “good”? Certainly not and it never will. Jesus, for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame.  God incarnate showed the path to real human happiness, it was in giving his life away for others. Who would want to live a life for others first? Jesus did. We also would, if we saw as clearly as he does. But then who can live such a life, apart from Jesus?  “Nothing” done from selfish ambition is unrealistic. No, “nothing” is the only reasonable goal. If we were told to do just a little, or half of what we do from selfish ambition, we would remain on the path away from God. The challenge to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit is the way of Jesus.  Never mind whether you will pull that off perfectly, that is the direction to head with your life. Do not settle for anything less. When you fail, do not turn back or stay down long. Get up and close the gap. Nothing less will do.

Pray:

(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)

Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.

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