Daily Devotional – Wednesday, January 5, 2022
“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:17-18, NLT)
This year, as we examine what it means to ‘do life with Jesus’ we will be exploring how Jesus lived His life…after all, we cannot become like Jesus if we do not know Him. Paul understood his need to become like His Master and he encouraged the church in Philippi to have the same attitude as Jesus…the attitude of utter humility. Paul points the believers to Jesus’ example at the incarnation—God became man. Jesus did not count the cost to Himself, He just knew what was needed and gave up His divine rights for our restoration to Himself (Philippians 2) without hesitation.
But, how exactly are we to demonstrate that level of humility? None of us has that much to give up! James puts Paul’s ‘have the same attitude as Christ’ a different way: be ‘willing to yield to others.’ In our world, and even in today’s Church, the idea of giving way to another is foreign. Take for example our need to be ‘first.’ School children naturally jostle to be first…first in line, first outside at recess, first to get the ball in gym. As adults we’re no better. On any given commuter day, how often have you experienced someone slowing down to pull in behind you…rather than speeding up and cutting in front? And before we become too critical of others, we would do well to do a mirror check. How many of us are guilty of leaving our Christlike-humility at home once we step into our vehicles…or go through the door at work…or during grocery shopping?
Or how about our need to be ‘right.’ Too many of us have chosen too many hills that we are willing to battle to the death on…in order to prove that we are in the right. Jesus chose to get confrontational at times, too, but He was very selective. He most often went toe-to-toe with those who in their own smug self-assuredness misrepresented God—in other words the religious. He took on the Pharisees and Sadducees, not because He wanted to prove His point, but so that others would not be dragged into a type of slavery to religious observances that had little to do with the truth or worship of God. Is our need to be right based on demonstrating new levels of love through relationship with God or is it just our own pride manifesting itself once again?
The Bible has an amazing amount to say about our need to adopt an attitude of humility, such as, ‘consider others’ needs before your own.’ ‘Don’t demand your own way.’ ‘Submit to one another.’ ‘Bear with each other’…I think you get the point! We need to become humble disciples of our humble Rabbi. We need to learn to have the same attitude as Christ…we need to learn to give way to others, even though it may cost us.
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!