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7 But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. 8 And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross! Philippians 2: 7-8 AMPC
Jesus was born surrounded by scandal, filth and animals. He was wrapped in rags. At the time, His parents were on the run to get away from Herod who wanted Him dead. He left all the beauty of heaven, the splendor of it all, to come and live a blameless life and die on a cross – an awful, gruesome death, so that we might be free and reconciled to God. Jesus lowered Himself to lift us out of sin. He didn’t just lower Himself a little, like taking one step down on a ladder. He stripped off His royal rights to give us righteousness and a heavenly inheritance.
From the moment Jesus arrived, humility marked His existence as a human here on earth. The most precious gift to the world came in lowly, dirty packaging. God, being the ultimate designer that He is, chose these humble beginnings for Jesus for a reason. What can we learn from that? How can we allow that to reshape our thinking and therefore, the way we live?
If nothing else, I think it should affect the way we treat people who appear to have less material wealth than we do. We often avoid people like that, assuming two things: that they have nothing of value to give and that they want something from us. Neither of which is necessarily true. What an arrogant way to think! But so many of us have this mindset. I believe it is important to view and deal with people on the spirit level first. To see them as a spirit being having a physical experience. Someone that God chose to be here for a reason. Someone that is not only valuable to God, but treasured by Him, and is therefore worthy of our regard. Recognizing that their outward appearance may have nothing to do with their spiritual wealth.
If Jesus was willing to not only humble Himself but to abase Himself – to degrade and belittle Himself – just to reach you and me, shouldn’t that change the lengths to which we’re willing to go to reach the lost? Isn’t that a picture of God’s heart for us and therefore the heart we should have towards those who don’t know Christ? Followers of Jesus must be willing to be uncomfortable, stripped of dignity and privilege even, to reach the people that God so dearly loves, who may be outside of our safe little circles. May our hearts become broken for our neighborhoods and cities. May we be on mission in the places where God has put us, for however long we may be there. May we not miss the burning bushes in every day life because we’re too busy rushing to the next thing on our to-do list.
God is often where we least expect, operating in unprecedented ways, through people we would normally overlook and underestimate. Today let’s pray and ask God to open the eyes of our hearts to see where He is working around us, and to give us the courage to join Him.
Love & Blessings,