True Greatness

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in the very nature of 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 2:5-8

Wow.

I’ve read this passage various times in my life and every time I read it, it wows me all over again.

This principle of servant leadership looks strange to most of the world. The Kingdom of God permits that the lowest will ultimately be exalted. The humble will reap great rewards. Those who put themselves last and serve to not be seen are the ones who God looks upon and delights in. He is attracted to humility. He is drawn to a heart of meekness.

There is much to be said about the example that Jesus set for us. We could study His words, parables, stories and teachings our entire lives (and many have) and probably never grasp the fullness of it all. However, He set the ultimate example simply in the way that he lived His life on this earth. To study His life and works is to learn of His humble ways and of His full submission to His father’s will.

Jesus exemplified servant leadership. He knew the key to greatness was to become the lowest of the low. He bowed so low that he was nearly unrecognized as the one who was the fullness of God. He lived a life of humility and traded his garments of holiness to take on garments of flesh.

He never walked around “parading” himself. Rather, He said, “I do not honor myself”. He never coerced people to follow Him. He never manipulated. He only served. His posture of servant leadership was inherent within Him. He led by His quality of life and out of the depth of His genuine compassion and love for others. He made the ultimate sacrifice and with immense strength and dignity, He looked death square in the face and walked serenely towards it.

Jesus understood the blessing that accompanies meekness and he lived His life in that manner. He knew that to be exalted to the highest place, you must first take the lowest place. This is the mind which must be in us. Like Christ, we must seek to become the servant of all and make ourselves of no reputation. We must serve from a place of meekness, a place of true humility. Humility that requires no honor.

I once heard someone say, “The branches that bear the most fruit hang the lowest” and I never forgot those words or the mental picture that it gave me.

A life of true humility will be that of lowliness and will truly bear fruit.

This will forever be the only way to true greatness.

-ar

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The Value of Love

I listened to a challenging message on “The Value of Love” yesterday that tugged at my heartstrings and shed light into a deep part of me. Not in just the “wow, that revelation gave me nice chills for a minute” but in the “wow, I desperately desire to put this into practice in my life” sort of way.

I love. It’s easy to love those who love me in return. But what about those who pay no attention or give no recognition to my care and concern for them? What about those who don’t know how to love me back the way that I want or even expect them to? I tend to have quite a sensitive little heart (I know. You’re shocked, aren’t you?) and while this can be a beautiful blessing at times, it can also be quite a heavy burden to bear.

The beautiful promise of God’s love for His creation gives an astounding analogy to my little human heart and the capacity that it holds to feel and to hurt. He loved us SO much and gave everything to give us LIFE and to show us LOVE. What more does He ever have to do? Nothing. He has done more for me than I can ever fathom or grasp. My human mind can’t comprehend the loyalty and faithfulness of His love, grace and mercy. Why do I ever doubt His love and concern for me? My doubt and inability to accept His fullness must break His heart. Yet, He never stops loving. He never stops giving. He never stop extending His ever loving grace and tender mercy to my heart because He is who He says He is and He is faithful to my heart. His love never ends. It never runs out. It never gives up.

To truly resemble that pure love is humanly impossible. His heart is so forgiving and true. He truly is patient and kind. He is not rude or self-seeking. He loves with no intention of receiving love in return. He loves us so wholly and yet, sometimes, we break His heart.

This is why we need the Spirit of God to pour into our hearts the revelation of God’s love for us. I can’t believe the beauty of this truth on my own. In my broken, fallen human state I need all of the power of God working INSIDE of me to fully convince me. However, I can and must do my part by OPENING my heart to believe and to wrestle against the lies and accusation of Satan that I am inadequate of this love or that I’ve gone too far. God is love, and it is this truth of the love of the Father, and the love of the Son that will set my heart free and give me life.

His love strengthens our hearts. It sheds light into our love for others. It encompasses us and meets us where we are.

I want to love like Jesus loves. Only I can’t do it without first accepting His love and acceptance of me in every area of my life.

“Love for God and others is the fruit of the miracle of regeneration and the Holy Spirit’s work within us. The Holy spirit begins empowering us to WANT to love, giving us the ability TO love and causing us to KNOW the love of God”

Sometimes it’s the simplest of revelations that can have the deepest of meanings.

We cannot possibly love fully and wholly until we KNOW and fully accept the love of God.

May I abide His love. May I walk in His love.

-ar

Here we go…

I’m back on the blogosphere! I blogged for years only to abruptly stop near the end of last year. Life got crazy busy with planning a wedding to being married and then moving to a new place, so blogging kind of fell to the wayside for me.

So, I am starting fresh and new. I’m going to try this whole wordpress thing out and see how I like it.

I hope you enjoy my thoughts and often, senseless rambling ❤