Bible ref: Philippians 2:3-8
I would like to offer some challenges for you this week. They cover Monday through Friday only, but if you want to carry on through the weekend then that’s great. No matter how long you do this you will find yourselves blessed. So, without further ado, here are your challenges.
Challenge #1: Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit.
Challenge #2: With humility regard one another as more important than yourselves.
Challenge #3: Do not merely look out for your own personal interests but also for the interests of others.
Challenge #4: Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.
For some, these challenges might seem impossible but with the help of the Holy Spirit you can do this. The challenges presented here are to help us recognize that in today’s society it’s not all about “me”. If it is your hearts desire to be humble and serve like Jesus then complete the challenges listed above.
A side note: Challenges #2 and #3 could get in the way of your success in service to others but don’t let that happen. If you put others first, I guarantee you will be blessed in ways you never thought could happen. As Proverbs 3:5-6 say, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
You will be blessed and so will others.
Braggadocio. That’s quite a big word and not used very often. What does it mean? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as empty boasting; arrogant pretension; or cockiness. Do you know someone who exhibits that personality? We’ve all probably come across that individual in our lives at one time or another. If you examine God’s word, you’ll discover that what God is looking for is humility.
Humility is the opposite of braggadocio and viewed by some as weakness. Not so. Being humble in word or action is the cornerstone to witnessing for Jesus Christ. God loves humility. Could that be the reason he offers so many tips on cultivating it? May I (…ahem) humbly articulate a few? If you want to be humble:
Assess yourself honestly
Don’t take success too seriously.
Celebrate the significance of others.
Don’t demand your own parking space.
Never announce your success before it occurs.
One last thought to foster humility in your life– Live at the foot of the cross.
Paul said in Galatians 6:14, “The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is my only reason for bragging!” Do you feel a need for affirmation? Does your self esteem need attention? You don’t need to drop names or show off. You need only to pause at the base of the cross and be reminded of this: The Maker of the stars would rather die for you than live without you. And that’s a fact. So, if you need to brag… brag about that!
What’s the highest honor you’ve ever received? Good grades in school? A Blue Ribbon for the best pie at the county fair? Graduating at the top of your class? If you think about it, all these honors are about you and me. As believers in the Almighty God we know the top honor should always go to God and none other.
The Word of God describes believers, that’s us, as ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), soldiers (2 Tim. 2:3), and saints (Eph. 2:19) but, the highest honor we can receive is to be called servants of the Most High God. From the world’s perspective, those who die to self in order to follow the Lord may stand in last place—in reality, however, they are first in His kingdom. (See Matt. 20:16.)
Sadly, today service to God is often equated solely with what goes on at church. The preacher serves. The choir serves. The worker in the soup kitchen serves. But the guy pushing papers and the woman cleaning up others’ messes tend to be seen as simply doing their jobs. From the Father’s vantage point, though, work well done brings as much glory to His name as a song lifted in praise. (See Col. 3:23-24.) So take heart—if you’re doing quality work and striving to make an impact on those around you, then you are serving God.
Service to the Lord is not about what we do, but rather how well we do all that the Lord has given us to accomplish (1 Peter 4:10). A good servant shares both Jesus Christ’s attitude of humility and His motivation to reach people with the love of God.