Jesus, help us clear our minds and hearts as we reflect on your life and mission.
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. In your relationships with one another, 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. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:3-11 (NIV)
In the ultimate show of humility and sacrifice, Jesus stepped out of the presence of God and gave himself up for us. He lowered himself out of a position of power in order to lift creation back to its place in the presence of the Creator.
He didn’t have to do that. He could have turned his face from us. He could have walked away the first (or hundredth) time a teacher or disciple questioned his ways. He could have decided that the burden was just too much, but he didn’t care how much we didn’t deserve his sacrifice. He loved us so much that he wanted to be with us, in the presence of God, for eternity. He put himself between us and death when we least deserved it and nothing we do can change that.
As we look to Jesus’ life, we see an example of sacrificial love that conquers all. We see the example of how we are to lay down our pride and ambition on behalf of others…how we are supposed to value others above our own interests, and the mindset we should have in our relationships with others.
How do you see these things reflected in the way that you pursue relationships with others in your daily life?
Jesus, help us see the ways that we value ourselves above others and give us the courage to take the steps to correct course. Remind us of the way you sacrificed and what it means to lay down our lives for our friends.