His Mind

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Philippians 2:5‭-‬8 ESV

Yesterday was Mother’s Day–the day set aside to honor those who are the moms in our lives.  If you’re on Facebook, I’m sure you read post after post thanking moms for all they have done and continue to do for their children. Moms all over the world received texts, cards, phone calls and visits from those grateful for their presence in their lives.

But what about those moms who received nothing yesterday—no notes, no visit, no ounce of appreciation? How should they feel? Is the role of mom diminished when appreciation ceases?

Not in the least!

Our value doesn’t rest in the opinion of man. The praises, or lack thereof, of man do not indicate the level of our success. God does. God determines our worth. God determines our value. God is the one we must live to please.

Therefore, whether you wake up today still smiling from the joys of yesterday or you wake up to the same old busy, thankless routine–or even as the accolades of yesterday begin to fade–you must remember this: God not only calls you to but also provides you with the mind of Christ.  Really! Read the first verse in the above passage: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus… This means regardless what man says or doesn’t say, you can go through life with confidence and assurance that you are God’s child, chosen “for such a time as this.” You can have a mind like His.

What was the mind of Jesus like? We see it in the above passage. He was humble and obedient to the point of death, but even in death He knew who He was.

When Jesus went to the Cross, no one made a day of it to cheer Him on. No one encouraged Him,”Hey Jesus, You’ve got this. Keep your eyes on the prize. I appreciate you.” Nope. Jesus was despised, rejected, and abandoned. Yet even though man didn’t recognize nor encourage Him, Jesus knew who He was and what He was supposed to do.  The opinions of the men and women at the time of His death did not dissuade Jesus from doing what He was on earth to do. He humbled Himself to the point of death because He knew who He was. He knew the success of His mission was not related to the opinions of the people present to witness it.

What was the result? 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 ESV).

By choosing God’s plan over the praises of man, Jesus allowed God to do the praising. In the same way, when we live our lives with the mind of Christ, we open the door for God to be glorified. When we walk in humility the way God leads, what man thinks will pale in comparison to knowing God sees everything and what God sees in secret, He will one day reward before all.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for days of celebration on this Earth. I thoroughly enjoyed the lunch and the ice cream cake and the time with the family yesterday. Nevertheless, even if that had not happened, and even if it never happens again, I can go forth each day in confidence and with joy knowing that I am where I am because God has called me to it. I can be at peace with where I am because I do it for the One who placed me there.

Therefore I encourage you today: take hold of the mind of Christ He’s given you. Walk through this day with the assurance that God sees it all. Know God has called you to walk this life in obedience to Him–even when obedience is mundane. Even when obedience comes without praise. Even when obedience comes with ridicule and rejection.

Christ may have lived on Earth but He lived for Heaven. Join me in having this same mind today. Let’s together commit to take hold of what is ours through Christ Jesus.  Let’s humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord so that He may lift us up. Let’s do all for the glory of God, not for the praises of man.  Let’s “have this mindwhich is yours in Christ Jesus.” Let’s have the mind of Christ.

 

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Be the One

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17 ESV

Life’s not fair. This is a principle we learn early and often. Someone will always do more work and get less credit. Someone will always do a poor job and get away with it. Yet regardless of the fairness of this life, God calls each of us to do our part for His glory. For God is not partial. Both the one who on earth seemed to get away with everything and the one who faithfully served without recognition will one day face the God who sees and knows all.

The key to living well is not found in the accolades of man. The key to success comes from the heart–it is birthed in our motives and in our attitude.

The above verses do not say we are to do things for man; rather, we are to do all for God. Nevertheless, when we do all things for the glory of God, we must remember, the glory of God does not equate with the recognition of man. I’ve come across people who do very little when the potential for greatness is well within their reach. They are placed in a position of influence and yet squander the opportunity with mediocrity and indifference. Now I confess, this often bothers me immensely.  I often find myself frustrated and even angry that they, in my opinion, are wasting a great opportunity and responsibility to do unto God’s glory.  And although many times I want to scream at the top of my lungs, “Do the right thing!” or “Stop being lazy!”–although I want to put on a judge’s robe and judge away–I am often confined by God to silence–to keeping my mouth shut for God’s glory–to trusting that God sees all and will hold all accountable. NOT an easy thing to do! And honestly, in recent weeks I have failed at keeping my mouth shut many times.

Yet each time I have caught myself complaining about the choices of others, God has reminded me of the advice I gave my fifth graders the other day after I heard complaints about certain kids not contributing in group work: You do the work. You be the one. If in a group and only one out of four is willing to work, be the one who works. If in a situation where people aren’t following the rules, be the one who does. In a job, when others appear to not put in an honest day’s work, be the one who does. In a world where many consider a commitment something negotiable and where work ethic is almost non-existent, be the one who works well even when no one else is looking. Let each of us do all to the glory of God. Let each of us work as unto God, not unto men. Whether we eat, drink, speak, or keep silent, let each of us be the one who is working for God’s glory and not for man’s. Let each of us glorify God, even when it doesn’t seem fair to do so

As I look back over my life there have been definite times when the opportunity for greatness was within my reach–when the opportunity to be the one to do for God’s glory was within my grasp–but I chose a different way. I chose my way. I chose the easy way. I didn’t do my best but wish I had. And I know I’m not alone. It is not very often you hear people declare that they wish they had not put forth their best effort. Most regrets acompany those who wish they had. Who wish they had put forth the effort that they knew they  were capable of. Who wish they had chosen the way that glorified God.

Therefore, I encourage you today to be the one. Commit to being the one in all situations. Aspire to do all things for the glory of God. For whether you are the highly favored one or the unknown in this world, you are seen and known by God. So work like it today. Walk like it today. Live like it today.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 KJV