Summary: "I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding."
"I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God." -Philippians 1:9-11
I hope that today, during this Lenten season and beyond that your goal is to glorify God and bring him much praise. God has made us perfect forever through Jesus Christ. The sum of his righteous life, his righteous character, and all his righteous living, including his selfless, righteous death on the cross has been imputed to you. We receive this imputed righteousness through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
You wear daily the perfect robe of righteousness which is the gift of Jesus. Essentially Jesus made a trade with us. He took my filthy torn robe, covered in the sins I’ve committed over my life, the addiction, the depravity, the immorality, the evil works, the thefts, all the lies, and all the evil and put that on for me. Someone had to deal with it. And in exchange he gave me the perfect, spotless white robe that he had rightfully earned through his perfect life.
Romans chapter 13 verse 14 says “clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”
Every morning for the past few months I’ve been praying a simple prayer: Lord Jesus, I put you on as my perfect coat of righteousness.” And if I’m having a tough day or facing spiritual warfare, I also include; “And I put on the armor of God, that I may stand against every attack of the enemy.”
The truth is we have an enemy in this world. And we have to be prepared to fight him every day. Thankfully as the word says, greater is Him (Jesus) who lives in me, than he who is in the world.
I remember when I first got saved. I was amazed, stupefied really. I had gone from the blackest darkness, a sorrowful rebellious life and I’d been moved into the kingdom of God. The presence of God was with me. My thinking had been so permanently dark. And suddenly I was in the light. The joy of that was astonishing. I was so grateful to God for giving himself to me in Jesus. My life was truly fundamentally transformed.
Many things in my life changed instantly, as a necessary response to the spiritual rebirth. But there were many issues in my life at that time. I was a mess. I knew I had begun a lifelong journey of walking with Jesus, week in and week out, and I had also begun a lifelong journey of repentance.
Which is what we’re talking about today: Humility which leads us to repentance. In fact lent is all about repentance as we approach the celebration of the resurrection.
As the scriptures say, “ You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God,[a]
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b];
he took the humble position of a slave[c]
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,[d]
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
Humility is so vital in our lives, more and more so I think as we get older and achieve accomplishments. As I begin this journey of lifelong ministry I see more and more that the single greatest danger that faces me is pride. Pride, ego. Slowly but surely over the years the danger seems to be that it could slowly start to become not about Jesus, but about the person. Slowly but surely it could become about the organization, and not the glory of God. What a terrible, dangerous thing pride is! It’s insidious in that it can take anything that is fundamentally good and pervert it to serve evil.
Time and again in the scriptures we see how pride destroys great leaders. Think of King Solomon and all he accomplished, yet all of it was undermined by pride and sexual immorality. King David, same thing, great leader, wise, humble man, yet sexuality immorality and pride damaged his ministry, and caused him to murder. The Pharisees allowed pride to blind them to the coming of their own glorious savior.
We must remain humble, no matter what we’ve accomplished, no matter how much we’ve done to serve the Lord. Because ultimately it all rests on what Jesus Christ has done to die in our place. Our works are filthy rags when compared to the eternal glory of Christ. So we rest upon Jesus, humbly, looking to his ultimate example of humility, and so we ought become increasingly willing to repent.