Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 28, 2020
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8, RSV
I have watched my brother Mitch for 57 years. Remarkably, I have observed that most days of his life he wakes up thinking about how he can help others. Even more so during COVID 19 when most of us are backing away from people—Mitch is moving toward them. Weekly, with joy and a mask covered smile, he delivers food to elderly shut ins, careful not to get too close and compromise their tenuous health. Tutoring his teenage stepson seems effortless. From the very beginning of the pandemic Mitch weekly makes the one hour drive to check on and love our widower step-father who lost his sweet wife and our precious mom two years ago. He doesn’t say that he serves for God but I know He does. Mitch empties himself for others.
To be born was Jesus’ supreme act of emptying Himself. He emptied Himself from heaven’s perfection to earth’s imperfections. He emptied Himself from reigning with the Trinity through all eternity to serving for 33 years in a temporal world so all could see God in the flesh. He emptied Himself of life so through His death and resurrection all who believed could find life on earth and for eternity. Jesus modeled “less of me” so He could humble Himself in obedience to His heavenly Father’s will for His life. Perfect love led Him to assume the body of a perfect life.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
As we approach the new year, how can the next 12 months be “less of us” and more for God? Not by declaring to friends, family and strangers we are doing more for God, but allowing the Spirit to help them discover this delightful change in us. Perhaps we live a life that underpromises and over delivers—so an apathetic world might wake up, take notice and ask why. And of course, in the course of conversation with the curious, we can humbly refer to our Savior’s love as the motivation for our love. We empty ourselves of self, so the Spirit can fill us and reveal Jesus.
Less of me and more of the Lord. Less of my agenda, and more of God’s will for my life. Less of my demands, and more humble requests of Christ to fill me with His love, so I can support my spouse in her dreams and desires. Less of my needs being met and more attentiveness to my neighbor’s needs: a walk to hear her hurting heart or enjoy a meal together to celebrate her new opportunity at work. Less of me so I can be more available and attentive to my children and grandchildren to know who they are and who they want to become, so they know how special and loved they are by me and their heavenly Father. For Love’s sake, give up my life to give life!
“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28).
Precious Lord, lead me to empty myself and fill me with your Spirit, in Jesus’ name, amen.
How can I spend the next 12 months thinking less of myself and more of others?
Start the new year with Boyd’s newest 365 day devotional book: Seeking God’s Heart
We empty ourselves of self, so the Spirit can fill us and reveal Jesus. #WisdomHunters #empty #truth #Jesus
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