Closing the Gap 3.13.18

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 2

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:

It is assumed you will look out for your own interests.  This is not wrong; it’s normal and it’s wise. You should care for your body and your soul.  You should care for your family and possessions. All of this falls under the category of stewardship.  It is being faithful with what has been given to you, but the challenge here is to make the interests of others your interest as well.  You are to have the attitude of Jesus in regards to others. Attitude describes our essential orientation to others. The attitude of Jesus was humility; he put the interests of others ahead of his own. So, if it is normal to look out for our own interests and we are to look to the interests of others as well, what happens when those interests come into conflict?  What happens when it seems you are in a situation where it seems to be “either” their interests “or” yours? What happens when the “also” doesn’t appear to be possible? Throughout history many heroic people have given their lives for someone else. They have, in an ultimate sense, chosen to put the interests of others ahead of their own. Although this scenario is possible for you, it is not probable.  What is most likely is that the conflict of interests will happen in many, mundane, normal sorts of ways. Will you maneuver, moan or manipulate to get your way? Or will you put others first by refusing to act this way, even if it means you do not get your way? Will you stay seated while others serve? Or will you get up and go? Will you listen to another’s words and heart when you just want to detach and be left alone?  Will you rejoice with others when you are feeling down? There are so many ways where you might experience a conflict of interests, yours or theirs. In those situations it is ultimately in your own best interests to put the interests of others first. How can this be? Because when you do so, you will be following the lead of Jesus. You will maximize your joy by closing the gap between what is true about your life and what can be true about it.

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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