though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Emptying the Self
This is one of the hardest things to humanly do–to empty oneself and consider others and esteem others better than ourselves (Phil 2:3), but that is the benchmark for the life of a Christian. Only if we do this will people see Christ in us, and that is sometimes the only way we can draw people to Christ. When those outside of the faith see us, we might be the only Bible they will ever read. If they see us being devoted to others, emptying ourselves for the sake of others, and living in such a way that is totally and radically different from the world, they might want the same thing. Jesus, being God, took the form of a servant so that we might be likewise.
Not Grasping for Equality
Everyone is born in the image of God (Gen 1:27), and everyone deserves to be treated as such. Those of us who have repented and trusted in Christ are in no way better than those who are still outside of the household of faith. We have no reason to boast or brag at all (Eph 2:9). If Jesus could humble Himself to the point of death, why shouldn’t we do the same thing? God has called each of us to be salt and light in a dying, dark, and decaying world (Matt 5:13-16). Salt is a preservative and enhances the flavor of food. Light shines into the darkness, and even the darkness cannot overcome it (John 1:5), so God has placed each one of us in our own place in the world to be this salt and light and to make the way of God be seen as their only hope.
Who do People See in Us?
Does the way we dress reflect the glory of God? Does the way we talk reveal the way God speaks? Does the way we love show the love of God? If not, then people see you and me as no different than they see others in the world. We have a powerful opportunity to have the love of God be shed abroad in our hearts (Rom 5:5). This love is a powerful magnet to a world that really doesn’t know what true love is. They see love as feelings and emotions, but real, godly love is self-sacrificing and serving (John 3:16). It means that we must humble ourselves in the sight of others. When we do, we are seen as so different from the world that those who are not saved see a difference, and that just might be what it takes to draw them to Christ.
A Closing Prayer
Great God in heaven, You loved us first before we ever loved You (1 John 4:9). Help me to love others in this way: that even though they don’t deserve it, neither did I (Rom 5:8, 10). Help me to empty myself for the sake of others, to consider others better than myself, to not grasp for equality but for humility, and to shine the glorious love of God outwardly in my life. I ask this in the name above all names, Jesus Christ.
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