Bible Verse: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 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! Philippians 2:3–8
Scripture Reading: John 14:6; Acts 11:19-24; James 4:6-7; Proverbs 3:34; John 8:29; Matthew 7:24-27
The fake or counterfeit can often be mistaken for the real and genuine. For instance, bank tellers are often trained to spot counterfeit bills by studying what legit bills look like. Your Christian faith is meant to be incredibly real, honest, and eternally durable. That’s what Jesus modelled Himself as “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6).
When Barnabas visited the church at Antioch, he “saw” the grace of God at work in God’s people (Acts 11:19-24). When the inner working of God’s grace truly impacts our lives, it should show up on the outside, make our faith more authentic, and pass the counterfeit test, under closer examination. There are a couple of major traits of authentic Christianity you need to be aware of.
Authenticity in the Christian looks like this:
Jesus, though He was God, humbled Himself by becoming a servant among humanity. His humility kept Him from ever basing His identity on what others thought of Him. Likewise, humility helps us keep a godly perspective about what matters most in life. Humility will free you up to serve, to be gracious and generous – and not make everything about you. Sometimes, you need to take a backseat to others, your own pride, and your own status to do what God says needs to be done.
Jesus never got distracted by people-pleasing because He lived in obedience (submission) to His Father. Obedience to God and His Word will keep you focused as well. Jesus taught His followers that those who heard His teachings and put them into practice were like a man who built his house on a rock, which made it durable enough to withstand the storms that came later (Matthew 7:24-27). Storms will come your way too, as they do for all of us, but when you are careful to do what Jesus says and not simply hear His words, you will still be standing strong in the end, too. Too many Christians are educated in Scripture way beyond their level of obedience. Don’t be one of them. When you learn something from God’s Word, go and obey it.
Prayer: Father, help me to be humble and obedient like Jesus was. I pray that Your grace will show up more and more in my life so others are blessed and helped. Thank You for developing godly humility and obedience in my life so I am more like Jesus. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Reflection: Sometimes, we start out letting God work in and through our lives, but then we get complacent and let these two traits of humility and obedience slip away. Are there areas where pride and disobedience have snuck into your heart as replacements? If so, what will you do about it?
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