This next Sunday, our church choir will perform an arrangement written by Cindy Barry, At The Name Of Jesus. I have had this song in my head for days.
In yesterday's devotion, Love One Another, I shared that I felt God was trying to send me a message by any means possible. It does seem that way. Our church focus right now is on being imitators of Christ, loving one another and humbling ourselves. This focus, although not purposely planned to correlate together, has revealed itself through Sunday School lessons, Sunday sermons and within our chosen worship song arrangements. It's wonderful to see the hand of God at work in the body of Christ. Each member of the body is doing what they've been assigned to do and yet, without communicating with one another, it's amazing to see how God worked out each person's part in bringing everyone's focus back to the same points: Love One Another, Be Imitators of Christ and Humble Yourself.
The constant focus has been a blessing for me personally. I am listening, taking notes, searching the scriptures on my own and continually re-evaluating my own personal walk. How might I love others better? How might I humble myself to serve others better? What do I need to change in my life so that I can draw closer to God and become more Christ-like?
The chorus of this arrangement, At The Name Of Jesus, is inspired by Philippians 2:6-8, (NIV) “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!.”
Taking the form of a servant and becoming like man, He humbled himself becoming obedient unto death, even death on a cross. This was the worst way a person could imagine dying in that time period. Oh what grief and shame that should bring to us as Christians. For God loved us so much, ( John 3:16-17), that He was willing to do the worst and lowliest thing we could ever imagine, gave His one and only Son, Jesus, who shed His blood on the cross to pay the price for our sins! What Wondrous Love is this! That thought alone should humble each and every one of us.
In scriptures, Moses is referred to a the humblest man on the earth. “(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)” Numbers 12:3 (NIV). That says much about the character and reputation of Moses, doesn't it? Yet we know from the rest of the story, that just like us, Moses is human, and he makes several mistakes along the way, just as we do. However, we should learn from Moses. No matter what, he worked to keep his faith and his focus on God. We too, must continually strive to walk a life of faith in God, and we too should humbly acknowledge that we are God's children, his servants, who should be willing to serve for the glory of God. God spent 40 years in the desert testing and humbling the Israelites in order to know what was in their hearts. ( Deuteronomy 8:2). God is a patient loving God. How long will he wait for us to humble ourselves?
“The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. ” 1 Samuel 2:7 (NIV)
We see evidence of this in every day life, daily struggles and in times of despair and in times of joy. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ” James 1:2-4 (NIV)
Let God humble you. Humble yourself before God. Consider it a joy to face trials as your faith grows.
“For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory”. Psalm 149:4 (NIV)
God reveals himself through Christ in this verse, ” Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29 (NIV) God is humble. We too should be humble.
“For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Matthew 23:12 (NIV)
The Apostle Paul was quick to remind us to be humble in Romans 12:3
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Romans 12:3 (NIV) As believers in Christ, we are encouraged to be in the world but not like the world. We are encouraged to put others ahead of ourselves and love one another just as Christ loves us.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)
“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble” 1 Peter 3:8 (NIV)
As we near the Christmas season, I challenge you to ask yourself the questions I'm asking myself: How might I love others better? How might I humble myself to serve others better? What do I need to change in my life so that I can draw closer to God and become more Christ like?
At the name of Jesus, may our lives be changed.
Below is a clip from the June 19, 2007 presentation of Cindy Berry's At The Name of Jesus by the 2007 Mississippi Baptist All State Youth Choir & Orchestra. I hope you will be inspired by their imagery.