Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 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, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
This past weekend, as we focused upon Christ Alone in our sermon series, the emphasis was upon the work of redemption and salvation accomplished for us through Jesus Christ. The resurrected and ascended Lord is the one who has fulfilled all things for us. His righteousness has become my own. There is nothing I must do to save myself, thanks be to God!
At the same time, in response to this grace we are called to action. We are called to lives of love in service to our neighbors. We are called to humbly go out with “the mind of Christ,” as Paul says in Philippians 2. But humility and service are not always easy.
There’s a story that comes to mind from the American Revolution. General George Washington was riding beside his army, observing his troops on the move. It was a cold day, so he rode along with his coat on, and the insignia of his rank was covered up. It happened that he came by a detail of soldiers trying, but failing, to lift a heavy log. As the soldiers “heaved” and “hoed,” a Corporal was barking commands at them, shouting at the inferior group of Privates to lift that log, but to no avail.
General Washington, seeing that they could not move it, dismounted from his horse. Quickly walking over to the soldiers, he joined in. With his extra strength, Washington gave a quick push and the log soon moved into its place. But the General didn’t stop there.
He turned to the Corporal and asked him why he had not helped his men. The man said, “Sir, do you not see that I am a Corporal?” Washington then pulled off his coat and said, “Yes, sir, I see you are a Corporal. But I wish for you to see that I am the General!”
Humility and service are not always easy, but that is the life we are called to. This is, again, not for the sake of earning our own salvation, but because salvation has already been earned for us! Our identity is in Christ, and that naturally has an effect on how we live. So we go out with “the mind of Christ,” looking to the needs of others and not our own interests.
I’ve shared this before, but I’ll share it again (because I, myself, continually need the reminder!) : A common “mantra” I say to myself is “There is nothing beneath me.” I don’t have to drive as fast as I want, I can slow down with no need to be frustrated with the slow driver in front of me. “There is nothing beneath me.” I have no reason to think “that job” at work my boss “volunteered” me for is below my paygrade. “There is nothing beneath me.” What I want and what is most beneficial and helpful for others is often not the same thing. “There is nothing beneath me.”
This is not to say that living with “the mind of Christ” is a simple thing. It’s not. And we will fail at it, again and again. That’s why I have to say that mantra to myself, again and again. But thanks be to God, Christ Alone humbled Himself to the point of death for us, and gives us new life. And each time we fail, He picks us back up, again and again, and sends us out to bear His identity in humility and service in a dark, hurting, selfishly sinful world.
May God grant us the mind of Christ as we go out in His mission of making disciples. May we humbly love God, love one another, and love our neighbor as ourselves, to the glory of Christ Alone.
Come soon, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Written By: Pastor Jonathan Meyer
Posted on Tue, October 3, 2017
by Stacy Yates