"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Humble Mindset of Christ

Today we celebrate the coming, or Advent, of Jesus. Much of our celebration typically focuses on the physical details; the census, the inn, the manger, the Shepherds, the Star …... However, one aspect of Christ’s birth that we often overlook at Christmas is that of the humility demonstrated through His coming. In fact, it is the humility of Christ that we see throughout His earthly ministry, from the manger to the cross. It is also the humility of Christ for which Paul reminds us to act of like-mind and example. Humility is central to the love of God and of others.

In Zechariah 9:9, we find the foretelling of how the “King of Zion” will arrive, “lowly (humble) and riding on a donkey.” We point to the New Testament Christmas text to confirm this prophetic verse. But humility is not only found in the physical manner of this worldly entrance, but in the fact that when the Son came to earth, he gave up His privileges of God to become one of us. He made himself “nothing” as a servant, and even “to the point of death” He humbled himself. Humility. 

So what is the application to us? It’s huge! When we look at Paul’s letter to the Philippians, we pick up the call to be humble; chapter 2, verses 1-5 follows: 

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus

In other words, if you find any encouragement or comfort from your relationship with Christ, then you / I should desire to be of the same mindset of Christ when we deal with others. In our humility, the same humility shown by Christ from birth to death, we are to love others even more than we love ourselves. This might require we set aside certain privileges that we otherwise might have. It might also require that we make ourselves a servant in order to serve others. 

As we move into this new year, may we be more humble and may we forever see the humility of Christ when we look to that lowly Bethlehem stable. 

Merry Christmas. 

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