Even Further

March 28, 2017

 

Scripture: 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. 9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

[Philippians 2:5-11 NLT]
 
When I was in college a friend of mine got me into running. I had been attempting to jog and get in better shape in order to try out for the baseball team. I was never a very good runner and was having a difficult time. This friend of mine offered to run with me. She was a much better runner than I was. She could run faster and a lot farther than I could. Despite her superior running skills and experience, she was willing to come down to the level I was at in order to help me. She humbled herself and ran slower in order to make me stronger. My friend didn’t stay there though. Every time we ran she would push me to go faster and farther than the time before. Eventually, I was able to continually beat my previous best time and distance. I was continually getting better because of my friend's willingness to humble herself on my behalf.
 
The best part of my friend's encouragement was that she helped me to go farther than I had ever gone before. Before she started working with me I had only ever run one mile, a very slow mile. After several months of us running together, I was running three to four miles a day at a pretty respectable pace. Then it happened! I had been running about four days a week with my friend, but her schedule changed. I ended up running most days by myself. One day I decided, rather than the three or four miles I normally ran, I would go until I got tired. That day it was up to me to push myself and go farther than I had ever gone. In the words of Forrest Gump, “I just kept running.” When I finally got tired I had run a little over six miles, which might as well have been a marathon as far as I’m concerned. I had never run that far ever. Because of my friend’s willingness to be humble and help me, I was able to go even further than I ever had.
 
Our Scripture today is a story of even greater humility. Jesus was willing to humble himself on our behalf to save us from sin and death. Jesus was willing to go even further. Jesus, in the greatest act of humility and love ever, was willing to die on the cross for you and me. He who knew no sin became sin for you and me. Jesus did this for one reason alone. Jesus died for you and me so that our sins would be forgiven and so that we would be restored to a right relationship with God. Before Jesus Christ’s life, ministry, suffering, death, and resurrection we could only go so far in our relationship with God. Sin always got in the way. But because of Jesus’ act of selfless, humble love we can now go even further. Because of our Savior’s willingness to be humble and save us, we are able to go even further in our relationship with God.
 
Today thank God for the gift of his Son Jesus Christ. Praise Jesus for being a humble servant who gave himself for you. Today look around you and see who you can humble yourself for and serve. Who can you help go further in their understanding of who God is and how much God loves them? Be the example of a humble servant for at least one person today. Encourage them to go that one step further in faith. Who knows, you may even be the one who helps them receive the amazing gift of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. How amazing would that be? That would truly be helping them go even further.
 
Prayer: Almighty God, thank you for Christ’s willingness to humble himself for me. Through the power and guidance of yourHoly Spirit, help me to humble myself and help others today. I desire to help others grow closer to you. Amen. 

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