Welcome to Lent meditation and worship with Westside Church. During this Lenten season, meet us here each day as we read scripture, worship and rest in the presence of God together. Know that as you listen today, you are doing so with others whether in the same space as you or not, and we pray that the Holy Spirit permeates the places we each find ourselves in right now.
Let us start today by clearing our minds and opening our hearts and minds to what the Lord wants to speak to us through His word today. Take a deep breath in and out. And another in and out.
1-4 If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
5-8 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
9-11 Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.
Paul, the author of Philippians, gives us here a great example of what it means to live like Christ. It is our aim in this life to follow in His ways and become more like him. Paul’s outline shows us what Jesus not only did but his attitude. He was humble. He took on flesh and came to earth to live with us. Jesus didn’t have to do that, he is God. But he lowered himself to be among us in a tangible and personal way.
Being humble doesn’t require us to think poorly of ourselves. As Andrew Murray said, “It’s simply not thinking of yourself at all“. Jesus was thinking of us when he chose to come to earth and to be born to a virgin in a lowly place. His love for us is that great.
Inside of this humility that Jesus lives, was not only thinking of others, but also serving and sacrifice. He put words to action, healing and teaching, meeting with the outcast and forgotten, and then paying the ultimate price by sacrificing His own life for ours. Jesus lived a selfless life here and all the while brought glory to God throughout everything he did. Jesus was constantly pointing back to the Father and praising him.
We are to do the same we follow in Jesus example. We are to be humble and think of others not ourselves, serve and sacrifice and every step of the way glorify God. Point others to the Father and invite them into a relationship with him. Your service and sacrifice to others will speak volumes to them of the love of this great Father.
Caught between joy and despair, we yearn for the fulfillment of God’s desire beyond the brokenness and neediness of this life. We offer thanksgiving for God’s presence with us and petitions for the transformation of the church and the world.
Life-giver, Pain-taker, Love-maker, day by day you sustain the weary with your word and gently encourage us to place our trust in you, awaken us to the suffering of those around us; save us from hiding in denials or taunts that deepen the hurt; give us grace to share one another’s burdens in humble service. Amen.
WRITE and DISCUSS