From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

September 30


Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 107:17-22 | Isaiah 60:1-62:5 | Philippians 1:27-2:18 | Proverbs 24:11-12

Today’s Scripture Focus: Philippians 2

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very natureGod, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very natureof a servant, being made in human likeness.And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8 NIV).

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!

Paul encourages the Philippians to imitate Christ’s example of humility. What an example it is! Being in very nature God, he refused to grasp– to hold onto–his divine rights and willingly took on human flesh. In humility, God became man– and was born a babe in a manger. Imagine that, God in human flesh in the form of a helpless baby. He was born humbly: in a manger. His first visitors were humble shepherds. The whole story of his birth is a story of humility.

We see his humility throughout his life and ministry. He lives his life loving and serving others, “taking the very nature of a servant.” He takes the time to listen, to care, to bless, to help others. He lived his life, not looking to his own interests, but looking to the interests of others.

Most impressively, we see his humility in his death–a death in its most humiliating form: death on a cross. In this act of humility he demonstrates love to the highest degree.

In light of his example, we are encouraged to “be like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” We should “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.” Instead, “in humility, we should consider others better than ourselves.” It is not an easy example to follow, but he has promised to help us. As Paul reminds us, “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.”

Father, help me to have the mindset of Jesus —to live out of humility. Pour out your love into my heart, strengthen me by your Spirit so that I can indeed follow the example of Jesus. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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