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Archive for August 21st, 2016

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“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” (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV).

Selfish ambition can be anything from grabbing the best seat at a table in a restaurant for the best view, to striving to be CEO of a large corporation. The natural man creeps into our daily living. Almost without notice we find ourselves in tune with that old song from the musical, “Annie Get Your Gun”. And when we’re “Doing What Comes Naturally” we’ve granted the old nature permission to take over. Most of the time we’ve opened that door without thinking.

Day after day we find ourselves bombarded by advertisements directing us as to what we should be, what we should eat, what we should wear, and what we should tell our doctor to prescribe for us. Whatever it is, it will be something to make you happier or better your life. It’s no wonder we’ve forgotten that we are a royal priesthood: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).

Media advertisements tout products to make you happier, prettier, and smarter. It seems this world is all about you and how you look to those around you. How is it that we never hear advice on how to live with humility? It doesn’t seem normal in this corrupt world to put others before yourself. But Jesus showed us how to do it over and over again throughout the Scriptures.

As a royal priesthood, we look to our high priest, Jesus Christ, for guidance. He came to show us how to live. He said we ought to love our neighbor, and to treat others as well as we would treat ourselves. Jesus showed us how to put others first. He put us first. He lived a sinless life and gave His life on the cross for our sins, so that we could spend eternity with Him. It was, “For the joy set before him that he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

Jesus willingly laid down His life, without it being a grandiose gesture. Instead He humbly submitted to God, for the sake of the people God created all over the world. Humility is not a gift of the Spirit. It is an attitude to be cultivated. For the joy set before us we can scorn the shame of being taken advantage of or trampled by those we humbly serve. Nothing is more winsome than a humble attitude. When others say, “my needs are more important than yours,” and you agree, they love you.

Most Gracious Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus to teach us how to live. Give me the desire to be more like Him every day and to know that He is better than anything the world can offer. In His precious name, Amen.

This is an excerpt from the forty-day devotional, “Attitude Matters”. Click here to order.

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