Preview: Humble King | The Mystery Of God Entering Humanity
The 2019 Vineyard Christmas Devotional is being used by churches across the country. Uniquely designed as a Christmas gift booklet for congregations and as an outreach tool for neighbors and co-workers, HUMBLE KING will take every reader on a powerful devotional experience through Christmas.
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HUMBLE KING: The Mystery Of God Entering Humanity
The song Humble King, in the second line, says “… Show me how much You love humility….” Diving deep into Philippians 2, we see the image of the Humble King.
In Phil. 2:1-11, we read these powerful words:
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage, rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Why Humility Matters
Role models are hard to come by. Sometimes we stumble upon our role models – like the day we realize that a parent, or a grandparent, or a co-worker is far more remarkable than we had previously realized.
And one of the character traits that most often strikes us about that person? It is usually that they approach what we perceive to be their greatness with some astounding level of humility.
And by humility, we mean that they seem to be keenly aware that they didn’t become who they are without failure. They seem to have an awareness they weren’t the only ones responsible for their successes, or they understate their own talents in order to make us more aware of our own. Our heroes are often humble.
Why Humility Leads
Why did the God of the Heavens and the Earth decide it would be best to present Himself to humanity as humble?
The word humility comes from the root word, “humus,” or earth. It literally speaks of being “on the ground,” or even “of the ground.” Words like lowly, modest, small, meek all enhance the meaning of the word.
God could have led – like the types of leaders who really get ahead on social, online, or business platforms of our time –with power and largeness of presence. But instead, He led with humility. A baby, rather than an angry mob, is the beginning of a revolution. A hard-working carpenter, rather than an upper-class CEO, is the founder of a dynasty of love.
In fact, today if there is any elevation of the character trait of humility in public leadership – a trait which transforms the celebrated leadership virtues of courage, wisdom, and truthfulness – the ideal comes to
us from a man who chose the most powerful leadership stance of all when He washed his disciples’ feet.
It seems that God wanted to communicate something very clearly about the kind of role model He intended for the human race to find. And for those who make Jesus their role model, humility is a prerequisite to greatness.
Why Humility Transforms
What happens inside of us when humility comes into our lives?
Actor George Clooney once said, “I watch Batman And Robin from time to time. It’s the worst movie I ever made, so it’s a good lesson in humility.” For most of us, lessons in humility usually come at a cost. We are embarrassed when how impressed we are with ourselves makes us look silly in front of others. Or when we suffer a great failure though we had absolutely convinced ourselves – and others – we had only sunshine and rainbows ahead of us. Or when we find ourselves confronted by a revelation that the success or freedom we are currently experiencing was built on the backs of others’ blood, sweat, tears, and unspeakable sacrifice.
However humility comes to us, it always seems to transform the way we see the world. Arrogance gives way to a humble confidence, and pride gives way to a quiet trust in Grace, rather than in our own abilities and talents, to carry us forward. Humility is a correct understanding of ourselves – neither too high nor too low – and we are lifted by humility. Humility has a way of telling the poor they are accepted and loved. Humility has a way of keeping us as aware of our great frailty as we are of our great strength.
And through all of our transforming lessons, we somehow learn to elevate others above ourselves, to serve others with our gifts, and to truly see others as the immeasurably magnificent treasures they really are.
Our Journey With The Humble King
Humble King will focus us in reflection on the God who comes to us in weakness every Christmas, through the passage of Philippians 2.
Humility is the only soil in which the graces root.
The lack of humility is the sufficient explanation of every defect and failure.
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