October 3 – Philippians – The Messiah Poem

Read Philippians 2:5-11

Keith and I recently had our 1800’s farmhouse vinyl sided. Being the ‘romantic’ that I am, I pushed to keep the wood ‘gingerbread’ in the peaks. A few weeks after the crew left, the gingerbread started coming down. Keith borrowed a bucket truck and up we went to secure, scrape, and paint it. It sounds simple, except that I’m afraid of heights. With knees knocking as we climbed high, I set my mind on looking up.

And that’s where our passage starts. Paul wrote these words with prison bars in view, but, by God’s grace, his mind was ‘set on things above.’ The Spirit carried him beyond the seen to the unseen. From dire circumstances to the truth of the gospel. From captivity to freedom. From being a messenger of despair to a deliverer of hope and encouragement. This wasn’t Paul’s natural bent. He learned it from Jesus, the Great Master of humility and surrender.

Jesus retained the fullness of His deity, yet stepped into the ‘captivity’ of human skin. Have you ever thought about how low He had to stoop? If you’re a follower of Jesus, I’m sure you’ve embraced all that He’s done for you. But have you considered how low you should also stoop?

If we keep our minds here, it’s humbling, isn’t it?

Jesus’ mind was set on things above, not on His privilege. It was set on His love and plan for you. He gave His life as a ransom for many, and He invites us to do the same.

 “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.”  Mark 8:34-35

The temptation is to think highly of ourselves and our positions. But His call for us is to take on the nature of a servant. To resist all privilege and pride and embrace the cost of following Him for the sake of others.

One day every stiff knee will bow to our Lord Jesus and proclaim that He is Lord!

He’s inviting us to bow now. To daily let go of all fear and pride and follow Him so that others may see Him in us. Are you accepting the cost of following Jesus for the sake of His kingdom? Are you “losing your life” so that others may find true life in Him?

Take some time now and ask Him to quiet your fears of being held captive by circumstances out of your control.  What can you let go of? Who can you serve?

Jesus is worthy!

Shelly Eberly

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