CAST Voices Devotion: Jesus’ Way Part II
By Jean-Ray Knighton Fitt
9 February 2017
Scripture: Philippians 2:9-11
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father
This is the second part of the passage we read on Tuesday – all about Jesus giving up his privileged position and becoming like us. And that’s what He asks us to do too… not to look for recognition and reward for ourselves, but to be willing even to lay down our lives.
But when we are able to do this – really do this – let go of those things we love so much, the things that hold us back from loving others as Jesus does, and from being everything God calls us to be in this dying world… God so often flips it on its head and gives back everything we gave up and more, just like He did to Jesus. In fact Jesus promises to reward us, and give us back everything we have left behind for His kingdom sake.
The thing is that when we accept God’s blessings and we realise that they come from Him, and not from our own cleverness and hard work, we are able to enjoy them with freedom from self-centredness, and they become part of our worship to Him. As God lifts us up and honours us, He is glorified—not only by us, but by people around us. But if we lift ourselves up in our own strength we look for glory for ourselves.
If we, as followers of Jesus, become the kind of people who are willing—wholeheartedly—to lay down our pride, privilege, status, comforts and opinions for the sake of the people Jesus calls his brothers and sisters, “the least of these”… then we should not be surprised when God lifts up our programmes and our reputation and rewards us with the blessings we gave up. Then we’ll know it was always about Him and never about us, and He will be glorified in everything we do.
- Have you ever laid something down for the sake of God’s kingdom, and God gave it back to you?
- In what ways do we experience the blessings of God when we look to Him rather than ourselves?
- How can we be better at turning our successes into his glory rather than our own?