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Make Yourself Nothing (Phil. 2:6–11)

Devotional





The affirmation of Paul, in this hymn to Christ as God incarnate, is thought to be one of the church’s earliest confessional statements, used in first-century worship. It is surely one of Scripture’s most profound statements of Jesus’ full deity. It portrays Christ as “in very nature God,” but emptying Himself to take on human nature and suffer a shameful death. It affirms not only Jesus’ resurrection but His ultimate exaltation over all.

Yet Paul applied this most profound of the mysteries of our faith in such a simple, practical way! We are to look at the attitude of humility Jesus displayed, and adopt it in our relationships with others.

It’s no wonder, with talk like this, that Christianity has been accused of being the religion of wimps. Ted Turner, for one, has publicly described Christians as people who can’t make it in this world, and so turn to the next. Christians are weak, dull, too scrupulous or too cowardly, to make it big in this world.


The stereotype has been around a long time, and the accusation is nothing new. The arrogant of this world understandably look down on people who talk more about love than success, and who seem to prize humility more than headlines.

What the world doesn’t understand is that Christians choose humility not out of weakness, but out of strength. We choose humility, because our vision of Jesus deals a death blow to all man’s pride. Whatever basis we might have for believing ourselves better than others—intelligence, looks, wealth, education, breeding—all pale to utter insignificance when we see Jesus, willing to abandon His rightful claim of full equality with God, to not only become a human being, but even to die on a cross. 

Seeing Jesus, we realize that all those claims we might make to superiority must also be nailed to Jesus’ cross. We must give them up; put them to death once and for all. For only when our pride has been put to death will we begin to care for others as Christ has cared for us. And to the true Christian, as to Christ, the interests of others are more important than his own.


Personal Application

We climb to glory on the down escalator!!!

Quotable

“Humility is the garment of the Deity. The incarnate Word was clothed in it, and through it, conversed with us in our bodies, covering the radiance of His greatness and His glory by this humility lest the creature be scorched by the sight of Him. The creature could not have looked at Him, had He not taken on some part of it and thus conversed with it. Therefore every man who clothes himself in garments of humility becomes clothed in Christ Himself.”—Isaak of Syria[1]

 

By God Grace,

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The 365 Day Devotional Commentary


 

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