By Brooke Holt
Therefore God has 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.” Philippians 2:9-11
Since my daughter left for college five years ago, I lost my female companionship in the home and in the vote for what to watch on TV. With my daughter, I could vie against the boys’ demands for action movies. In her absence, I have watched many action-filled shows and movies. Human nature’s desperate longing to see the good guys win never ceases to amaze me. As wimpy as I am about violence and extreme adventure, I often persevere through the show just to experience the final victory.
Paul leads us exactly to this ending today – the final victory of Jesus Christ. Throughout the first eight verses of this chapter, Paul encouraged his readers to see all the spiritual benefits they had through Christ, to receive the fullness he offers, and then to embrace the mindset of Christ. His mindset was one of humility, a willingness to surrender all the glory and splendor of the heavenly realm where he reigned with the Father and the Spirit and became a man. As a man, Jesus continued to demonstrate a life of humility all the way to the cross. There, a perfect man died a sinner’s death. Jesus was and is the perfect example of humility.
From an earthly perspective, the cross looked like the ultimate loss for Jesus and his followers. However, the ways of God are not the ways of man! On the third day, Jesus rose from the grave and overcame the enemies of sin, death, and all the forces of evil. Here, Paul describes the outcome of Jesus’ humility: “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every other name” (2:9). One day, every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, and every knee will bow before him. (v. 11) That is victory!
As a follower of Jesus Christ, you are to embrace the mind of Christ and live a life of humility. In the world’s eyes, you may often appear to be losing; yet, you know the ultimate victory Jesus has won for you. His victory will become your victory as you stand before him. It may not happen in this world, but your victory is assured in the world to come.
Humility is the way to exaltation. Jesus modelled that humility, invites you to become like him, then promises that you will share in all his glory, honor, and full victory for eternity.
Are you willing to receive the call to humility knowing it ultimately leads to victory? Spend some time in prayer about your hesitations or feelings today. The Lord understands the challenges and is ready to help you on this path. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Christmas is the festival of rejoicing at Christ’s first coming—the beautiful, unlikely start of our salvation! As the season ends each year, we pack up the decorations. Advent, on the other hand, is a bigger celebration—one we can’t box up and store in the attic. It celebrates the grace of Christ’s first coming, and then it reaches with restless anticipation for the fuller grace of his second appearing and the completion of our salvation! For 28 days, celebrate Advent. In Prepare the Way, join with St. Paul, King David the Psalmist, Zechariah, Gabriel, Mary, Elizabeth, and John the Baptist, along with the crowds as they rejoiced in the good news of Christmas, and then look beyond it for the holiday that never ends!
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