Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Humility - Day 106

Philippians 2
1If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
2Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Paul starts out here by explaining to us that for the Philippians to be likeminded they should be of one accord and one mind. And one of the ways that happens is by letting nothing be driven by pride and esteeming others higher than himself.

Proverbs 27:2
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.

Most conflicts in our families and churches are going to be driven by pride. This doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be debates and edifying conversation where we are sharpening one another. Proverbs 27:17 "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."

This is an important thing to remember. Humility will be trying to sharpen the countenance of our friend while pride will try to take our friend’s sword and plunge it into him. One large part of humility is humbling yourself and exalting others.

Then in verse 4 of Philippians he tells people to stop looking at all things they’ve done and instead look at what others are doing and honoring them for what they're doing.

Matthew 23:12
For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

The tendency is to become proud when we’re doing a lot. We make the most money, we have the biggest library, we’ve gone to seminary, or anything that will give us that edge over others. But if we humble ourselves and instead are always looking to push others up and admire their accomplishments, then the tendency is not to get proud but be encouraging and pushing others. When we’re in a group of people that are constantly pushing others to do better and encouraging them in their works we’ll grow together and hopefully up.

Then Paul in verse 5-7 continues with saying that this was Christ’s mind. Christ is God and yet came to this earth in the form of one of his creations. And he didn’t come as a ruling king who cam with horses and chariots. He came into the world in a stable. He showed himself to be a servant. Christ was the one who got down and washed the feet of his disciples. Here’s the God of the universe washing the feet of his disciples. What are we doing?

Matthew 18:3-4
And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Mark 9:35
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."

Verses 8 – 9. He showed the ultimate humility and came down as a man and even died for our sakes. And then he was raised up and exalted. This is also promised to us in Scripture when we humble ourselves. When we are humble, God exalts us.

Proverbs 11:2
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Proverbs 3:34
He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.

Psalms 138:6
Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar.

Psalms 147:6
The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.

Proverbs 22:4
Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life.

Psalms 37:11
But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace

We see here that God will bless the humble man and curse the proud man. We hear a constant message from the world about how we need to be proud. Be proud of your school. Be proud of your accomplishments. We should be proud of our country. But here God shows the exact opposite. God will disgrace and cast the proud to the ground. But he will sustain the humble. He’ll bless him with wisdom. He will give him the land and give him peace. And most important, he’ll save the humble man.

Psalms 149:4
For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.

Finally, in verses 10-11 Paul touches on how every knee shall bow and how every tongue confess the name of Christ. Our God and Savior humbled himself to save us. We have no option but to humble ourselves and follow the example of Christ.

Picture of the Day #106