Saturday, May 23, 2009

Have This Attitude in Yourselves

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:4-8

In a quick perusal of the New Testament I found eight men who call themselves or are described as bond-servants of Jesus Christ. Both of Jesus’ brothers James and Jude describe themselves in this way. The Apostle Peter and Paul called themselves bond-servants. Bottom line a servant is someone whose will is caught up in the will of another. They live a life of servitude. Usually some life altering misfortune brought them to that state. But a bond-servant was in a totally different class. In Deuteronomy 15:12, 16&17 we read the description, “If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free. And it shall come about if he says to you, 'I will not go out from you,' because he loves you and your household, since he fares well with you; then you shall take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your servant forever.” A bond-servant was a love slave. They knew that they fared far better with a master and with his house than when they were free to do as they pleased. Wherever the bond-servant went, the mark in the ear showed he had a wonderful master and had chosen to serve him forever.

Of all the forms Jesus could have taken upon himself, He took the form of a bond-servant. Paul asks us to have this same attitude in ourselves. Listen to Paul’s plea. “When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others”. NCV One of the most devastating descriptions I’ve ever heard given of a person was this, “If it isn’t happening to her family, then it isn’t happening.” People who are genuinely concerned for the welfare of others and put it into shoe leather are rare even in the body of Christ. The old nature resident within us just has that tendency to seek after our own interests and not those of Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:21

How can we obtain to this kind of attitude living in a “me first” society? I believe in part it is to remember that we are serving Christ when we serve others. Anything we do for Him is small repayment and should reflect that we have a wonderful master. Motivated by our love for him we will do whatever He bids us to do. Nothing is a greater reproach to His goodness than to see a child of God going about in joyless servitude merely doing “their Christian” duty. It is the Lord Christ that you serve.

I am throwing this in to give you something to think about. Several years ago I had a very intense dream. In the dream I was battling a very strong demonic force. I took action; I came against them even though I felt somewhat intimidated. I moved toward them singing a song of victory declaring my God the Victor. When I left their presence, I left by backing out. The reason I had to back out of the room? My only attire was an apron that covered my front but left my back exposed. When I awoke from the dream, my first thought was, “God gives us no armor for our backside because we are never to retreat and never turn our back on the enemy.” But after pondering that my armor was an apron I asked God why I was wearing an apron in my dream. Into my spirit came this thought, “A servant’s heart IS your greatest protection.” Bill Gothard made a profound statement that should hang in every home and in every church, “The true test of a servant is if I act like one when I am treated like one.” Remember, it is the Lord Jesus Christ that you serve.

MY PRAYER: Lord, you define greatness as those that serve. It is the form you chose for yourself and your disciples. Develop in me a heart that is fixed on serving you and thereby demonstrating to others I have a wonderful Master. In the Name Above All Names, amen.

MY CONFESSION: I will have this attitude in myself that was in Christ Jesus. I have the mind of Christ. I stand on your word. 1 Corinthians 2:16

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