Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Imitating Christ's Humility

Serving should be a characteristic of every believer. However, teenagers especially need to be encouraged to use their time wisely, and serving is one way of doing that. Here is a definition that I think is appropriate—

Humility: Recognizing that God and others are actually responsible for the achievements in my life.

“Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of selfless humility.” –quoted from The MacArthur Bible Commentary.

Philippians 2:5-8 says this, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!

These verses give a beautiful picture of Christ’s selflessness. But wait; there’s even more to those verses! It continues in verses 9-11, “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 confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” You can see here the blessings Christ received for humbling obeying the Father. The Scripture also says in Matthew 20:28 that The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Wow! So if Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, demonstrated humility, shouldn’t we? “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' ” 1 Peter 5:5

Serving could be connected to numerous other virtues. In order to serve, you must love, first God and then others. Also, you must be humble and meek. You must be joyful in the tasks you are given and choose to do. These and others are all, in someway, connected to serving. Of course, the only example we need is Christ, as displayed in these verses: “When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. "You call me ‘Teacher’ and 'Lord’, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” John 13:12-17 (emphasis added)

So here’s what I think teenagers need to do: 1) conduct themselves in godly manner, imitating Christ’s example so that younger ones may find nothing bad to imitate in them; and 2) live lives of humble servant hood. Serve one another in love” Galatians 5:13

Here is a poem taken from Through Gates of Splendor, by Elisabeth Elliot,that rightly fits in with the subject of serving.

Do all the good you can,
By all means you can,

In all ways you can,
In all the places you can,
To all the people you can,

As long as ever you can.

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