June 13, 2015

Philippians 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.

This is the ultimate “What would Jesus do” statement, because it speaks not just of actions but of attitude. It is also the ultimate check on conceit, because Jesus never thought better of Himself than He was. At the same time, He also never thought less of Himself than He was, but it was always from the standpoint of loving and serving His Father and also the people around Him. We tend to have real problems with our self-image, inflating ourselves in some ways and completely overlooking or denying ourselves in others. As God, Jesus had and could do everything, but He set aside all that in order to be born as a human baby, so that He could grow up to be our Savior. As a human being Jesus faced all our limitations, but that included knowing that the Father could still accomplish anything at all through Him. Our problem is that the moment we accomplish something we think we have done it, rather than that God has done it through us. If we can get that through our heads and hearts, maybe we can believe a bit better that God can do far more through us as well. We limit by our unbelief what God does through us far more than we realize. We are indeed involved, because it almost always requires our willing participation, but the power and the wisdom are from Him, not us. If we grasp that, then our lives can be adventures in looking forward to what God will do through us next.

Conceit has been a trap for me much of my life, but then so has a feeling of inferiority. I have felt socially inept to the point of being incapable, and I have compensated by nursing feelings of superiority in other areas. None of that has been good for me or for the people around me. I have grown far past where I was at one point, but I can’t say I’ve “arrived” in terms of any of it. Jesus’ example is perfect, and I’m certainly not there yet! I need to keep moving, keeping my eyes on Jesus and expecting Him to use me. That’s not so likely to happen if I’m just sitting still! I’m not to be running off on my own, thinking up things to do, but I am certainly not to be a “bump on a log.” With His attitude I am to do what He did, and even greater things, (John 14:12) for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the meeting we were able to attend last night and for Your faithfulness to speak through me, both on the stage and privately. I pray that I would recognize Your guidance at all times and delight to be useful to You, so that all of Your plans for me may be fulfilled on Your schedule, for the salvation and blessing of many, and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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