This is the season of Advent, when we look forward to Christ’s return as we prepare to celebrate His birth. Though Christ is God, He became a man in order to fulfill God’s plan of salvation for all people who would believe. Jesus Christ was humble, willing to give up His rights in order to obey God and serve people. “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 used to His own advantage; 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 the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:5-11)
Christ died on the cross for our sins so we wouldn’t have to face eternal death. Crucifixion was an excruciatingly painful and humiliating death. How amazing that the perfect man should die this most shameful death so that we would not have to face eternal punishment. And God glorified Christ because of His obedience. And we are told, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:” (Phil 2:5) Often people excuse selfishness or pride by claiming their rights, “I deserve this” or “I have the right to control my own body”. But as believers (reaching to have the same mindset as Christ Jesus), we should have a different attitude – one that enables us to lay aside our rights in order to serve others.
“on the day He comes to be glorified in His holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you. With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess. 1:10-12)
In developing humility and taking up our own cross, we make ourselves available to the Lord — to allow Him to mold us in Christ’s likeness – to make us worthy of His calling, not by anything we can do to earn our salvation, but only because of God’s mercy and grace. As we think about our undeserved salvation, let us pray that the Lord will cause us to desire goodness out of our love for Him and thankfulness for His sacrifice, and walk in faith the path He has for us.
As we gather together with friends and family this Christmas season, let us remember, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:” (Phil 2:5) Many of us have difficult people in our lives. When you may not have the ability to show love and patience, ask Him to shine His light through us, “and that by His power He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.”