Christ's Great Example

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:3-8).

In a great display of eternal love, Jesus Christ left the glories of heaven to descend to a world of woe. In doing so, He forever left us an example of humble service. When we gaze too long inward, we focus on ourselves and miss the blessing.

The prophet Elijah took his eyes off God for a season, and began to pity himself and how he was treated. He felt abandoned by the so-called people of God, and concluded he was all alone in serving God. He must have thought about the long lonely hours in the wilderness, the meager rations, and the opposition of Ahab’s kingdom. But God, in His mercy, provided for Elijah, and gave him a new perspective on life and his calling as a prophet. While we value Elijah’s example of courage and commitment, our true example will always be Christ.

Christ left heaven with all its splendor and perfection, and arrived in a world drifting farther and farther from God. He did not shrink from this call, but instead embraced it in order to save many souls.

God asks us to follow in the footsteps of Christ, and to empty ourselves of life’s so-called treasures. Instead of carving out our “dream life,” Christ calls us to fulfill His will for us and to serve in humble submission to Him. Christ truly set an example and we should follow His steps (1 Peter 2:21). We need to walk as He walked (1 John 2:6), and learn from Him, for He is “gentle and lowly of heart” (Matthew 11:29).

We should not ponder the life we gave up for Him, but rather the new life He graciously gave us. But we need to be willing to forgo the rewards of this life in order to inherit true riches, that will not spoil or rust (Matthew 6:19-21).

Application

1. Keep your eyes on Jesus, and not on the prizes of this world.

2. Remember to “stoop” to help others who need lifting up, knowing that your help and labor is not in vain.

3. Pray for the grace and strength to lose those things that do not matter, in order to gain the things that do.


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