Tim’s Daily Bread Devotional 7.25.21

By July 25, 2021Daily Bread

Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.

Today’s Scripture:

Philippians 2:1-4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Imitating Christ’s Humility

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today

Just a few verses after today’s reading, Paul more or less sums up the reading for today with this challenge:  “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.”  Let that admonition sink in for a moment:  Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.

This has immense implications for the Christian spiritual life.  But, how can we know the mind of Christ Jesus?  Paul made it pretty clear what he meant.  He wrote to the Philippians that they would make his joy complete if they had unity of mind, heart, and soul, humbly counting others more important than themselves and putting the interest of others ahead of their own—in a word, if they thought and acted as Jesus Christ did.

Christians throughout the centuries have not assumed that having the mind or the attitude of Christ would happen automatically. To be sure, when we open our lives and invite God in, the living Christ, the Spirit, makes his dwelling in us, so that our lives become more Christ-centered or God-centered.  But, to have the mind of Christ, to have the attitude of Christ, takes some time studying and pondering the Jesus story.

Entering into the story of Jesus we find in the gospels, as well as the words about Jesus we find in the rest of the New Testament, helps to mold and shape our attitudes to be more Christ-like.

We currently live in a culture and in a time that has made bestsellers of the books Looking Out for Number One and Winning through Intimidation.  Even Christians seem to have a hard time with the idea of becoming a servant or humbling ourselves, even though those things typify the mind of Christ Jesus.

Here’s the prevailing message of our culture:  Not the meek, as Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, but the proud and aggressive inherit the earth. Not humble, but prideful and pushy people get ahead.  Not selfless servants, but self-centered bullies rule the day.  Is that who we are becoming?

It is over against this prevailing attitude that Paul’s words challenge us to be different and in being different to be instruments of peace and instruments of life-giving transformation.

I invite you to read again the Prayer of St. Francis and to make the prayer your own today:

 

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy.

 

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled as to console,

To be understood as to understand,

To be loved as to love;

For it is in giving that we receive;

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.  Amen.

There is a lot of theology woven into hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “O Jesus, I Have Promised”.

O Jesus, I have promised
To serve thee to the end;
Be thou forever near me,
My Master and my friend;
I shall not fear the battle
If thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If thou wilt be my guide.

O let me feel thee near me!
The world is ever near:
I see the sights that dazzle,
The tempting sounds I hear.
My foes are ever near me,
Around me and within;
But, Jesus, draw thou nearer,
And shield my soul from sin.

O let me hear thee speaking
In accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion,
The murmurs of self-will.
O speak to reassure me,
To hasten or control;
O speak, and make me listen,
Thou guardian of my soul.

O Jesus, thou hast promised
To all who follow thee
That where thou art in glory
There shall thy servant be.
And, Jesus, I have promised
To serve thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow,
My Master and my friend.

I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul. I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!

Grace and Peace,


Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWS

Subscribe to E-News

Subscribe to Newsletter Footer