Feb10MonFebruary 10, 2020
We begin the Book of Philippians in the second chapter because it speaks of Christ and His humility – the foundation upon which all the rest is built on.
Read: Philippians 2:1-11
Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
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.
We are going to engage with the bolded line of this portion of scripture. Read each of these translations out loud and pick which one you resonate with the most.
ESV: did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped
NASB: did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped
NIV: did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage
NLT: he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to
Here we have Jesus, who IS God, but does not cling to being God. This is hard to wrap our minds around. But we do know that Christ is showing us the way of joy within his humanity.
We look back at Genesis – to the first two humans. What was their temptation? To grasp at being as God. And in their grasping, they experienced – not joy – but great loss and suffering. Right away we see the upside down kingdom of Jesus.
We were never meant to be gods. We were created to be humans connected to God. And yet, to this day, we grasp in so many ways. Christ came to redeem the results of the grasping and He came to show us the opposite of grasping – humility before God and each other. “Copy Christ,” Paul says. It is the real path of joy.
I don’t imagine you will have sand in your home so I’ll suggest using salt in it’s place. If you can have another person to do this with, it will be easier. Pour some salt into your open cupped hands.
Consider what it is these days that you are grasping at. Here are some suggestions:
Reputation, being right, fairness, praise, vengeance, importance, being chosen, money, position, love, other.
Now close your hands tightly and try and keep the sand/salt which represents what you are grasping at. Feel it slipping through your fingers the tighter you try to hold on.
Open your hands and let whatever remains of the salt to lay there in your hands open before God. This is an expression of saying to God, “Only what you choose to give me, Lord. I will hold it loosely and embrace humility in letting it be what You choose.”
Now take your chosen line and say it of yourself. I.e. I will not count equality with God a thing to be grasped.