February 27 I Thursday
“…have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”
Rich in its summary of the person and work of Jesus Christ, Paul wrote the above verses not to give a heavy dose of theology, but to teach us that our attitudes should be the same as Jesus Christ, or as the NKJV says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…”
When God clothed Himself in humanity, He demonstrated the true nature of humanity. He “made Himself nothing,” not in terms of His value or dignity, but in terms of His ability. Jesus disclaimed being responsible for any miracle He performed or for any of His teaching. He said to His disciples, “The words I say to you I do not speak on My own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing His work”
(John 14:10). If this is true humanity as God intended, it is hugely encouraging to know that He expects nothing to derive from us, but solely from His presence and activity within us.
We have different abilities, of course, but if we exercise those in human strength and wisdom; as far as God is concerned, we will accomplish nothing. Jesus said, “By Myself I can do nothing…” (John 5:30). As a man on earth, He recognized His absolute dependency on His Father; not a passive dependency by any means, but one in which He took on the very nature of a servant and was obedient, even to death on a cross. Obedience to Christ may be costly at times, but it always yields the deep satisfaction our hearts look for.
To have the mindset of Christ is not to rely on any sense of self-sufficiency, but to come to a point where we realize Christ is our life. He died and rose again so that He might occupy that place in our lives as Lord to direct us. The will of Jesus Christ trumps our convenience and comfort on every level. Yet the marvellous thing is that when we live in obedience to Him and dependence on Him, like He did with His Father, we can rest in His sufficiency, not only in our everyday living, but for every task He calls us to.
In sending His Son, God has exemplified in Jesus Christ the mind, attitude and disposition that characterize the Christian life. If we are going to please God and find the fulfillment we are intended to have, then we must attain to the mind of Christ, and the rest becomes a case of God did… God did… God did.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for setting the perfect example on what characterizes a Christian life. I ask that I may have Your mindset to live every day in obedience to and dependence on You.