Going Deeper 4-10-2019

The second reading for Palm Sunday...
Philippians 2:5-11   Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross.  Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Perhaps I say this too often, but I believe this is one of the most important texts in all of the Bible!

In my prayers, I ask that God would "help me to be more like Jesus this day, and every day... in all I think and do and say."  At the heart of our transformation as children of God by grace is the desire to more and more fully reflect the heart and the mind of Jesus.  And this text reveals those qualities.

To have the mind of Christ Jesus is to be filled with two core qualities: humility and love.  And these are not merely emotions we strive to experience as much as they are decisions we strive to make.  Moved by love, Jesus decided to let go of His "equality with God" and in taking on "human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross."  In the same way, inspired and empowered by the Spirit of Jesus, we decide to humble ourselves and lay down our lives.

The two verses that precede this text provide us with a description of what this looks like for us: Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.  Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.  The profound and beautiful truth is that this is how we were created to live... loving and serving God and others.  The more we follow the example of the foot-washing, self-sacrificing Jesus, the more meaningful and beautiful our lives become.

With You in His Service,
Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."