Hi ladies, I am so glad to be with you today. Welcome to week two of our Made for Community study. I am so encouraged to see women from around the world coming together to study God’s Word together. I am here in Uganda and many are joining us from other places in the world. That is what is truly beautiful about God’s family, unity in community in the family of God.
Today’s verses are some of my very favorites because they are stunning and intense at the same time.
The Ugly Truth
I have this need in myself, a selfish need to be known. To be praised. To be somebody. To be a star. To be seen as someone special. It’s ugly to admit, but there it is. My self craves fame and personal fulfillment. Tim Keller says this is ego. He says, “It is always drawing attention to itself-it does so every single day. It is always making us think about how we look and how we are treated.”
I want to feel better than others, to be prettier, skinnier, more well-read, more well-known, and with better behaved children.
And on the flip side, I compare myself to others on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, find myself lacking, and feel bad. I feel inferior. Not enough. Unseen.
Feeling both feeling superior and inferior are two sides of the same coin… they “are the result of [ego] being overinflated,” says Tim Keller.
Turning Ego On Its Head
Here is the story behind the quest for satisfying my ego. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t fill me. It doesn’t satisfy. It doesn’t bring joy. It never has. It brings discontentment and the desire for more: more fame, more self-promotion, more ME.
And then…. Jesus. Jesus comes and unifies us with Himself and turns everything we ever thought completely and utterly on its head. He is stunning in these verses and I can’t look away. He shows us a picture of the beauty of humility, of servanthood.
First, Philippians 2:1 reminds us of the why.
-Because we have been encouraged in Christ and what He has done for us.
-We have been comforted by His love, we have been ministered to by His Spirit.
-Because of these things, we can choose a different way, and the only way that leads to joy.
Jesus gently takes that thing we call ego and flips it around and makes something beautiful.
He emptied Himself, the One who had everything, could demand respect, honor, praise and glory, emptied himself, took the form of a servant and humbled Himself.
And because of this, and only because of this, we can look at verse 3-4 to see how we can respond. “Do nothing from selfish ambition of conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
We can joyfully take the position of servant, giving up our need to be recognized, to be somebody, to be seen and known, and instead become a servant of all. It goes against what our flesh craves, and shows us an upside down way. That is freedom! That is true joy!
CS Lewis says this, “The thing we would remember from meeting a truly gospel-humble person is how much they seemed to be totally interested in us. Because the essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less.”
That is the kind of woman I want to be. How about you?
Setting His Glory Before Us
But it is a battle against our flesh. One that has to be re-won again and again. Day by day. Minute by minute.
But how? How do we engage and fight for gospel-humility? For the ability to serve and humble ourselves? The answer is found in verses 9-10.
“Therefore God highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
We, as Matt Papa says, “…with war-like aggression, place the glory of God in front of my face, or I will not change….I will not worship Him.” We take God’s glory, Jesus Christ’s beauty and set it continually before ourselves.
Psalm 16:8, “I have set the Lord continually before me.”
As Tim Keller says, “Because he is somebody, I am free to be nobody.”
I can love and serve and give freely as I set my gaze at the example given to me in Jesus Christ.
We don’t have to strive to be somebody, we can find true and lasting joy in serving, loving, and humility.
All for Jesus,
Week 2 Memory Verse:
Week 2 Challenge:
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