Christ, Our Example
August 20, 2020 | by: Stephen Sprague | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
This touchpoint article is the third in a series of articles drawn from some of our devotions at SummerLink. I encourage you to consider reading these with someone else – whether a spouse, family member, or friend.
Christ, Our Example
In Philippians 1:21, Paul wrote “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” This idea of living as Christ is crucial to understanding what it looks like to live this life as a believer. Life under the sun this side of heaven can at times be more than difficult, and people outside and inside the church can disagree and even hurt one another. People all over the world are certainly experiencing this during the pandemic and I know that we are no exception. Now is a great opportunity for us to push ourselves to look to Christ as an example of humility and love.
Read: Today we are going to see exactly what Paul means when he talks about this idea of “to live is Christ” by reading Philippians 2:1-11. In this passage we see Christ set forward as the prime example of humility, selflessness, and servitude. Not only that, but we are reminded that he is not just our example in Godly living, but our savior from sin and the one true God. Before you read, pray and ask God to help you to understand what he is saying to you from this passage.
Read Philippians 2:1-11.
Think: This passage confronts us in a good way. By our very nature we are selfish people who tend to focus more on our own needs, wants, and desires than those of others. And yet we are people who need other people. We need community. We need unity. But our sin, and in particular our selfishness, disrupts any hope of true unity apart from Christ. How can this be remedied? By looking to Jesus.
Does anything stand out to you from this passage? Why? In what ways do verses 3 and 4 challenge you specifically? Can you think of times recently (perhaps even in this past week) where you were selfish and did not care about the interests of others?
I love that Paul doesn’t leave us here, feeling convicted and without direction. Instead, he fixes our eyes on Jesus in verse 5. In what ways does the life of Jesus show us the greatest example of selflessness and humility? What about who Jesus is makes this even more impressive? Why would Christ be willing to humble himself “to the point of death, even death on a cross?”
Remember, we will never be as humble or as selfless as Christ. It’s impossible. But in our selfishness, in your selfishness, Christ died for you. Why? Because he loves you. Because he wants you to know him, not just as an example of goodness and humility, but even more as our Savior, Lord and God!
Pray: Let these thoughts lead you to pray and as you pray, first confess to God the ways in which you have been selfish or conceited and then ask God for forgiveness. Remember, Jesus died for the forgiveness of your sins. Praise God! Next, ask God to help you to look for opportunities to be more selfless and less selfish in the days and weeks to come. Ask him to give you eyes to see the needs of others, both physical and emotional. Ask him to help you get out of your comfort zone in order to serve and love others. End by praising God for the fact that when you fail, you know that he will continue to love you because Jesus left heaven to live and die for you.