Follow the Leader?? – Joy in Serving – PHILIPPIANS (Chapter 2c) [6]

At the end of my post, My Attitude!! My Rights!!  –  Joy in Serving  –  PHILIPPIANS  (Chapter 2b)  [5]   http://wp.me/p5nZpi-o2, I mentioned that when we humble ourselves, and choose to follow God, as Jesus humbly choose to come to earth in human form, we still retain ourselves.  Jesus, although in human form was still God, and people who profess they are Christians are still sinners. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard  –  Romans 3:23

You may hear people call themselves Christians, “the tree”, yet when you observe their  actions/interactions, “their fruit”, the two don’t seem to match up.  For example, when I see an apple tree, I expect to see apples growing on it.

                              Apples_2

I don’t expect to see socks growing on an apple tree!

        tree socks

 

Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.  –  Romans 6:16

It’s because of our tendency to sin, regardless if we’ve asked God into our hearts, see The Cornerstone… in menu tab for more info, that we so desperately need a leader.  We need to follow someone who has faced all of the same testings we do, yet did not sin – Hebrews 4:15.  Someone who knows the way to JOY, and wants to help us experience it in our lives.

WHO SHOULD WE FOLLOW?

JESUS!!!

HOW DO WE FOLLOW JESUS?

To follow someone or something means that we conform to, imitate, copy, and give our allegiance.

Whether it is in the childhood game of follow the leader,

dressing like our favorite celebrity personality,

or giving our support, financially and/or emotionally, to a particular cause

If we say we follow ______, we’re saying that we want to live like that particular person or imitate their particular life-style.

If you read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, in the New Testament of the Bible, you will get a first-hand account of the life of Jesus.  You’ll see how He interacted with all sorts of people.

                  Jesus Loves Me

                                           Jesus_heals_many_people

And you’ll also see how He depended on God for strength to endure the trials He faced as a human.  Jesus often withdrew Himself to quiet places and prayed – Luke 5:16.    

                                               jesus-praying-in-the-garden

When we put our trust and lives into God’s hands, we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear – Hebrews 13:6  For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.Phil. 2:13

God wants everyone to experience the Joy that comes in serving 🙂

In the next post, we’ll look at Philippians 2:14-16, where Paul gives us some practical ways to serve God and others in our everyday lives.

 

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My Attitude!! My Rights!! – Joy in Serving – PHILIPPIANS (Chapter 2b) [5]

We had talked about God’s counter-intuitive ways for people to experience joy in the posts, “I Just Wanna Be Happy!!”, http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kK.  In Phil. 2:5, we see Paul is revealing to the Philippians another tip to experiencing joy in serving.  He says, You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 

WHAT WAS JESUS’ ATTITUDE TOWARD SERVING?

He humbled Himself, not clinging to His rights as God, and taking the form of a servant. – v.6-7  Mark, in Mark 10:44-45, puts it this way – whoever wants to be first among you must be the servant of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others.

                       Helping-Others

 

IS GOD’S ATTITUDE DIFFERENT FROM THE “WORLD’S” ATTITUDE?

I think the answer would be a definite YES!!

As I think about the way schools, businesses, and various organizations measure success and HAPPINESS, it seems that the world connects success and HAPPINESS with personal achievement.

                 report-card2

       

                EmployeePerformanceJPG

 

Whereas, when we look at the counter-intuitive teaching of Jesus, He encourages people to look for ways to be a blessing to others, connecting service with success and JOY.

           feed starving children vol

          Feeding_Programs

 

YEAH, BUT WHAT ABOUT MY RIGHTS?  WHAT I DESERVE?

Remember from v.6, Jesus did not cling to His rights as God. 

Here are a couple of examples of our “rights” —

  • “I can have an abortion.  It’s my body, and I have a “right” to decide what I want to do.”
  • “I worked hard to earn my money.  I have the “right” to keep it all for myself.”
  • “I work hard for my grades in school.  I have the “right” to be recognized and rewarded for my efforts.”

WHAT DO OUR RIGHTS HAVE TO DO WITH SERVICE?

Because of our sinful natures, our natural tendency is to choose what we want, our will, verses God’s will. Our first reaction is self-preservation – me, me, me.

In Philippians 2:6-7, Paul is bringing to our attention that the world’s road to glory, fulfillment, success, happiness, etc., is nothing more than an illusion.  Nothing more than a carrot dangling ahead of us, tempting us, and leading us to believe that if we catch it, then we’ll finally be HAPPY.

               chasing a carrot-iStockphoto-retrorocket(edited)

Paul describes Jesus’ preparation for service in Phil. 2:7, He made himself nothing, He emptied Himself, He took the humble position of a bond servant, and appeared in human form.

Jesus was now subject to “human” experiences.  To pain, to temptation, to rules, to His parents, and most importantly, He was dependent on God.

I take a moment to note that Jesus, in choosing to humble Himself, to voluntarily take on the form of a human, in no way changed the fact that He continued to be God.

The fact that Jesus continued to be God, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin, Hebrews 4:15, is encouraging to me.  It demonstrates I am not being forced to serve, or forced to depend on God.  I choose to empty myself.  I choose to serve.  I choose to depend on God.  Also, in making those choices I will not lose who I am, my personality, the characteristics that make me, me.  No, instead I am accepting an opportunity to experience JOY.

Keep in mind that Jesus did not lose who He was, God.  In the same way, as I mentioned above, we don’t lose who we are either.  And who are we?  Sinners!!  –  For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard  –  Romans 3:23

It’s because we’re sinners that we so desperately need a leader.  We need to follow someone who has faced all of the same testings we do, yet did not sin – Hebrews 4:15.  Someone who knows the way to JOY, and wants to help us experience JOY in our lives.

WHO SHOULD WE FOLLOW?

 

  • Would you like to have a personal/intimate relationship with GOD, the Creator of the Universe??  Take a look at the tab, The Cornerstone…, in the menu for more info.
  • If you would like to receive notifications when new posts are published, click on the FOLLOW button in the sidebar.  Or if you are viewing from your mobile device, scroll down the page and you’ll see the FOLLOW blog via email button 🙂
  • It you are viewing with the mobile version, scroll down to the bottom of this page for additional info and pics 🙂
  • Take a look at the other tabs in the menu for encouragement and inspiration as you continue to BUILD A FOUNDATION!!