Day 1: The Principle of Paradox
Taking the very nature of a servant…he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place” (Philippians 2:7-9).
A man is tallest when he kneels—so said G. K. Chesterton. And here is the paradox of what God is teaching us about servanthood.
Being a servant is a humble business. It is the sort of thing that is usually considered demeaning to one’s pride. And therein is the secret, isn’t it? Pride was Adam’s problem. It has been our problem right along. It is the core of the old nature.
Humility—it is a word that seems quite out of place in today’s world of superstars, top billing, power, and fame. Pride and a desire to be one step ahead of everyone else is part and parcel of living in our media-saturated western world.
But humility is basic to the servant. And in humility we rise to the highest expression of Christ’s nature. C.H. MacIntosh reminds us that in Christ’s sacrificial death there was nothing in it humanly but stench of death, dust, blood, perspiration, and the smell of the Romans’ horses. But in the midst of this terrible odor there went up to the Father’s nostrils the “sweet-smelling savor of obedience.”
INSIGHT: Christ’s power makes humility possible. Trust Him with your pride. Let Him make you tall as you kneel.