REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on October 29, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“The Mind of Someone Who Will Sue You for $3”
Philippians 2:5-8 (NIV)
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, didn’t consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross.”
The forerunner of the reality television probably was programs showing real court cases involving all sorts of bizarre issues. In one particular episode of “The People’s Court” (1981), a pizza parlor owner was sued for $3.00 for not giving the thick pizza ordered by the plaintiff. At the center of his mindset was a sense of entitlement with a bloated sense of rights.
Certainly, some rights are legitimate as when Thomas Jefferson exulted over the inalienable rights of men consisting of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” If the problem then was that these rights didn’t extend to Black Americans, then the problem today is the hyperextension of the concept of rights to mean that individuals can do or should get whatever they want—anything that hinders it is infringing upon their rights.
This attitude has spilled into the church, where people come with a consumer mentality, expecting to be pampered like high-end clients. If the church does not cater to their every whim, they don’t come back since there are plenty of other churches to choose from. One minister confessed that two families left for another church because his parking attendants didn’t direct cars out of the lot fast enough.
If the believers truly appreciate the mind of Christ, they wouldn’t behave like that, at least, not all the time. The key Greek concept in Philippians 2:5-8 is kenosis, meaning “emptying of self,” which is what Jesus did to take on “the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” He did that to bear the human sin and then to pay for it with his own death. The kenosis of Christ involves two aspects: (1) condescension seen in his incarnation or leaving heaven’s glory to take a human form, and (2) humiliation seen in his life of suffering leading to, and including the cross.
The best antidote for an entitled self is serving others. So look around to see if there is anyone whom you can serve today. Remember, Christ “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mk. 10:45).
Prayer: Magnificent Lord, how I worship You this morning for what it took for You to save me from going to hell! I cannot quite fathom how Christ, who created the world, could lower Himself to be a man as if he were part of the creation. To think that You did that just to die for me, I am speechless. Thank you. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Thessalonians 3
Lunch Break Study
Read John 5:27, 12:47, 17:5 (NIV): “And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man . . . If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world . . . For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead . . . [Jesus prayed], “Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”
Questions to Consider
1. What were the rights that Jesus lawfully had as the Creator of the universe (Jn. 1:3) looking down on humans living in rebellion against God?
2. What did Jesus choose to do instead?
3. Based on Jn. 17:5, what did it cost Jesus to become a man? What do you need to give up in order to become more of an authentic servant?
1. As the Creator of the universe, Christ was given full authority to judge his creation.
2. In his 1st coming, instead of judging the world, he died to save it. This is to say, the Father had given the Son authority to judge the world but he renounced that right in his 1st coming in order to save it. In other words, he had the right to rule and judge but gave that up to serve; in his 2nd coming, he will judge.
3. It cost him his glory, which he left behind with the Father in order to become a man. It is safe to assume that we have little or no idea what that means, but suffice it to say that it was much more costlier than what we think.
As you review today, did you run into situations in which you acted more like an entitled king than a servant? Perhaps, you came through and served others as Christ would have. Reflect and pray.