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December 30, 2014, 10:46 AM

A Penny's Worth of Thought: Let Each of Us Think This Way

It’s my right!  I have a right to that!  I will fight for my rights!

Sound familiar?  In a day when people are so adamant about THEIR rights and what is FAIR, I think we should find this verse of scripture especially compelling.

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus"  Philippians 2:5

When the world that does not know Jesus Christ seems to fight and argue more than ever for their own way, their own perceived rights or for what they view as fair, it is disappointing but not surprising.  

What is a shame is when the Church, God’s own people and professing believers in Jesus Christ and followers of God’s word fight for the same things it is worse.  And make now mistake, the church is as bad if not worse when it comes to fighting with each other over each person’s perceived “rights.”  Fighting over things that most of the time just aren’t worth it.  Paul in this passage encourages us to change our attitude to be like that of Jesus Christ.  

Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  His place was on the throne at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven and ruling the universe.  No position in all the universe could be more glorious or more honorable than being at God’s right hand.  Jesus relationship to God the Father gave him the RIGHT to this honor.  

Yet Jesus did not chose to hold on to this right.  Nothing, not even His position in the perfection that is Heaven was so precious that He would not GIVE UP HIS RIGHT if the Father asked Him.  His love for His father compelled Him to sacrifice His rights so that He could become the spotless sinless sacrifice that God required to pay sin’s debt owed by you, me and all mankind.  Jesus did not hold tightly to what was rightfully His.  He did not scream or fuss or fight about how it was not fair that He, being sinless should have to pay a debt that was not His own.  Instead, in obedience and out of love, he relinquished His right and humbled Himself to be born as a man.  He did not hesitate even when he was laid in a manger because their was no room for him in the world of men.  He did stubbornly hold on to His right even though he would have to live in a sin filled world, be whipped and crucified in a cruel fashion and pay the ultimate price to pay our debt in full.  

Jesus adjusted His life to obey God the Father willingly despite the putting aside of His rights and the suffering he would have to endure in doing so.  

We are tempted to hold on so tightly to the things that God may have given us.  Our attitudes, our ways, our possessions, our position, our rights.  We say, “I would give up anything that God wants me to give up” but we also say, “I just don’t think He would ask me to give anything up that is rightfully mine.”  

The Father asked His Son to make radical adjustments to His life.  Should we not expect God to ask us to make adjustments to our lives and give up our rights as well?  Jesus put the well being and eternal destiny above that of his own rights, well being and comfort.  Shouldn’t we give be willing to give up our rights for others as well?

When you feel resistant to God asking you to give something up that is rightfully yours, or to put someone else and their “rights” first before yourself, ask God to help you have a Christlike mind and attitude.


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