Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 Minutes)
Scripture Reading & Devotional:
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, –Philippians 2:8-9
Most of us have wanted to make a name for ourselves at one time or another. We want to be liked. We like to be noticed. We notice when others get glory and we don’t. We often secretly want to make a name for ourselves even though we say things to the contrary. Our post-Fall anti-humility problem is pervasive, and there is only one remedy. His name is Jesus.
In last week’s post, Tim Cain reminded us to keep our eyes on Jesus so that we might gain a mind and a life like His. That’s good counsel. After all, there is no greater humility to be found than the Lord of the universe found in human form. When the Son of God put on the humility of humanity, the Creator stooped to the creaturely. The Supernatural took on the natural so he could feel our weaknesses and walk through the world’s temptations, and yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
Only God himself could complete this perfect obedience. But Spirit could not shed the blood necessary to forgive our sins (Hebrews 9:22). So the Son of God became God-man to meet the need. His obedience went all the way to death. This was not some random death. No, God chose the most painful and, more than that, shameful form of execution. It was a criminal’s stake. That’s why verse 18 says it was even death on a cross. Yes, Jesus stooped that low, and even lower, as he bore all our sins and suffered the wrath we deserved.
Because of Jesus’ perfect humble obedience (obedience that Adam and no man since could complete) God the Father highly exalted him. This is not just a step or two higher than the next exalted guy. To get the meaning across some scholars use the term “super-exalted.” In other words, there is no higher position in all of heaven and earth. Jesus was restored to his rightful place at the right hand of God, but this time including his glorified humanity. Jesus, the God-man, went low, low, low to be exalted high, high, high above all.
Why did God the Father choose to send his own Son on such an excruciating exploit? One reason is because he received glory through the redemption (buying back) of his people. Another is because our greatest joy is in being the ones he bought back. When we surrender to Jesus as our Redeemer we enter into his humility. We enter into his death, resurrection, and ascension. We die to sin and receive new life. And one day we will be joined with him in his exaltation. What better name could we possibly hope for than to be called a child of God? What higher position could we possibly hope for than to join Jesus at in his super-exalted state? There, and only there, will our joy and pleasure be full and forevermore (Psalm 16:11). “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you” (1 Peter 5:6).
Question to consider: Which word or phrase stands out to you. What might God be saying to you?)
Prayer: Conclude with Silence (5 Minutes)
The smile of the Father shines on me – I am approved of; [i]
I have the mind of Christ – I have important things to say; [ii]
Upon me is the anointing of the Holy Spirit – I am empowered. [iii]
Jesus is my Lord and Savior and I dwell in his Kingdom of the Heavens; [iv]
He is my Teacher and I am his beloved apprentice, – [v]
I urge people to join me and be with Jesus to become like him. [vi]
The Word of God is alive and active and it dwells richly in me; [vii]
And the Holy Spirit reminds me of Jesus’ words of truth and grace, – [viii]
So I can minister the Word of life to others and it will not return void. [ix]
The Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives in me; [x]
So I do not speak with human wisdom or worldly excitement, [xi]
Or rely on my own strength – I count on the power of Almighty God.[xii]
As I teach I listen to the voice of God and invite others to listen too; [xiii]
As I serve I join the intercessions of the Holy Spirit, [xiv]
Praying that we all cry out with the Spirit, “Abba Father! Jesus is Lord!” [xv]
The Lord is glorious in all things and captivates me continually;
So I do not draw attention to myself, but to Jesus Christ alone;
Nor do I base my identity on what people say about me.
My citizenship is in heaven’s kingdom; [xvii]
My message is simply: “Follow me as I follow Christ!” [xviii]
The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.