Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 9, 2015
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Philippians 2:6-7
My mother-in-law Jean is my inspiration for downward mobility. Even after her stroke—she is all about others. Unable to talk, she smiles at me and motions toward the water cooler to refresh her son-in-law. She can’t release the liquid into the cup, but she still makes sure my needs (over her own) are met. Her life is not about how she can be lifted up to her advantage, but how she can lift up the disadvantaged. She steps down to offer the best seat. She steps away from credit and confers it on others. She becomes nothing for the sake of someone else. Jean—like Jesus—is a servant.
The most powerful man to ever walk the planet made Himself nothing. The one who could have demanded to be served—served. A teacher who radically taught truth—embodied the truth. A religious leader who was respected by the masses and envied by a few—gave all glory to God. A friend who asked hard questions—stuck closer than a sibling. A healer who generously gave life—chose death for Himself. Christ became human—so humans would become lovers of God.
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8)!
Our culture clamors for, even craves, upward mobility. Conventional wisdom says make sure you “marry up” to improve your social status. Elite families perpetuate elite families. Seek out the best universities money can buy so you can be in the best position to enjoy a high income career. But what if the Lord is calling you to marry someone whom, by the world’s standards, does not have the right last name? Better two hearts aligned around Christ’s greater mission than serving societal status. A life that longs for the Lord’s will may avoid upward advancement.
Christian leaders face a similar choice. Will we gain power or give it away? Will we store our stuff or have an aggressive giving plan? Will we demand to be served or joyfully serve? The Lord’s leadership model is: The way up is down. Be a humble human who points people to God—not a proud human who acts like a god. Leaders like Jesus sacrifice their rights, so others can enjoy their right to know their heavenly Father. Downward mobility is not enamored by earthly accolades, only the sweet affirmation of Almighty God. Loving obedience takes up its cross.
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to You and away from self motivated advancement.
Related Readings: Isaiah 52:13; Romans 5:19; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Hebrews 2:17, 5:8
Post/Tweet this today: Leaders like Jesus sacrifice their rights, so others can enjoy their right to know their heavenly Father. #downwardmobility #wisdomhunters
Additional Resource: 4 minute music video- Gaither’s: The Old Country Church
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