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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Never Forget

“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, becamehuman! 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 (Philippians 2:5-8, MSG)

Jesus Christ came to serve. He regarded himself as being no greater than anyone else, and He gave His life for you and me. With all the power of the universe at His disposal He had a servant's heart. We are called to have a servant’s heart, and to serve with His humility of heart. He surrendered to the will of His Father in all things. Our inability to surrender control to God chokes out our relationship with Him. Never forget that we have no life in Christ without surrender. Never forget that any ministry we have does not belong to us. Our life belongs to Him. Our allegiance to Him was paid for with the greatest price. He lived the greatest humility.

If a person feels the need to declare his humility, then humility is not really a part of his life. True humility is a powerful tool. It is revealed in attitude and action from a yielded heart. Humility reveals that surrender has taken place. There is no “me”. There is only His love. “If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ,” Paul wrote, “if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. 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” (Philippians 2:1-4, MSG).

Put self aside. Give up our own way. We are called to humble ourselves under the His hand, and He will exalt us in His time. Humility is revealed in self-control. “Let your forbearance be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand,” Paul wrote in Philippians 4:5 (ASV). Forbearance is self-control. Self-control as a fruit of the Spirit is when we surrender and allow God to have control. We exercise that self-control when we surrender to Him. He controls us with His power because we have yielded our will to His. The NLT version of Philippians 4:5 reads, “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”  Forbearance. Self-control. Gentleness. The Lord is near—ready to move in our life when He desires. Gentleness is Holy Spirit power in control. His power is available when needed. Held in check when He says wait. Unleashed when He calls it forth.

Never forget that we belong to Him, and it is only by His mercy and grace that we have found new life. Never forget to always become less so that He can be more. Never forget His power in life is His gift, and it is only at its greatest when all of self is surrendered to Him. Never forget.

(copyright 2017 Lynn Hampton Lacher)

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