Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of 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! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(The Message) Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of Himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of Himself that He had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, He set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, He stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, He lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death – and the worst kind of death at that – a crucifixion. Because of that obedience, God lifted Him high and honored Him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth –even those long ago dead and buried – will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that He is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the father.
Eugene Peterson (author of the Message) writes, “The Greek word kenosis means ‘pouring out’ or ‘self-emptying.’ I’ve translated it here as ‘set-aside’ (vs 7) referring to Christ’s setting aside of the privileges that were rightfully His. He is our motivation for emptying ourselves, for setting aside our own rights and privileges. Jesus Christ was the complete man in whom God completely dwelled.
If any man has ever been tempted to be self-sufficient, it was Jesus.
If any man has ever been tempted to be proud, it was Jesus.
If any man has ever been tempted to use His power or his own self-interest it was Jesus.
How did He safeguard Himself against these temptations?
He poured himself out
He emptied Himself.
Even though He could have held on to His high position of equality with ‘God, which meant superiority over all of humankind, He didn’t do it. Instead, He gave it all up. He could have ruled over all, but instead, He became a servant of all.
And we are to pour ourselves out, too. How?
The same way Jesus did – setting aside the privileges of his own life and living a life that was dedicated to humbly serving others.”
Which circles us back around to the beginning of Philippians 2:
Don’t push your way to the front; Don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
If I try to apply all this in a real way to my real life -- I think I hear God gently saying to me... "Dawn, in your home - and at work - around your family - around your friends - when you are around strangers - when you are at the park or the store or the mall - and as you go about your daily life in the world - I need you to shine - I need you to look and act like Jesus - I am asking you to pour yourself out - to empty yourself out - to become a servant - like Jesus. I need you to put yourself aside and stop being obsessed with yourself. Will you pour yourself out for Me?" -God
How about you - is God asking you to pour yourself out at work today? Is He asking you to empty yourself out when you are at home?
What did today's Scripture say to you?