From the depths of prison, the Apostle Paul was able to pen one of the most encouraging epistles known to man. It was a letter to Christians and their need to always rejoice in the salvation they had in Christ. In Philippians 2 specifically, we are given the picture of the joy that comes from humble service. It should come as no surprise that Paul would turn to the captain of our salvation as the ultimate example of humble service. Consider Jesus and how He displays for us the attitude we must possess as we strive to serve God acceptably.
Christ Jesus gave up the privileges of heaven (Philippians 2:6).
Friend, when your life on this earth is over, where is it that you desire to spend eternity? A person with any knowledge of what the Bible has to say about heaven would quickly express their desire to be there. Jesus was there – and the Creator left to be like His creation. Jesus is God, but God had to take on flesh to die, and He was willing to empty Himself of His preexistent glory to accomplish the will of God on earth. He gave up the environment of heaven. As you study the life of Jesus while on earth, where did He long to be? John 17:5, “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” Jesus longed to be in heaven, but was willing to leave to accomplish God’s will on earth.
Christ Jesus came to earth as a bondservant (Philippians 2:7).
As God in the flesh, He certainly could have come with all the pomp and circumstance of a king – but He came not to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). He did this not with a grudge, but willingly. Many times, if we don’t get the attention we feel we deserve, our feeling is not that of joy, but of hurt, jealousy, and even anger. The Son of Man came to be a servant and even though rejected by His own, He never stopped serving His Father – “…I always do those things that please Him” (John 8:29). Do you?
Christ Jesus obediently died on His cross (Philippians 2:8).
Literally, Jesus gave ear to His Father – He listened to God and did what He said. The Hebrews writer reminds us that we must lay aside sin that weighs us down and look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the JOY that was set before Him endured the cross (Hebrews 12:1-2). We see in Jesus the ultimate example of joy that is found in humble service. Jesus died on His cross for you, friend, will you give ear to God and obey the commands of Jesus to be saved (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:16)?
Christ Jesus was rewarded for His humble service (Philippians 2:9).
He was received back up to glory where He was reunited with the Father and now reigns over His Kingdom (His church) with all authority (Matthew 28:18; Colossians 3:17). Isn’t it your desire to go to heaven? Serving isn’t always enjoyable, but when it comes to serving God – may we follow His example and humbly serve our Father with the joy that comes from being right with Him and this only being possible because of our Savior who was willing to humbly obey!
– A. Orr