As we begin to wrap up our week on living poor in Spirit, today we’ll examine the life of Jesus as our example and how he always put others first. As we seek to understand how to live a lowly life of love, may you be envisioned and encouraged today to love God and others well. God wants to use you as a vessel of his grace and love in this world. Will you let him?
“The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.” Proverbs 22:4
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All throughout Scripture God paints a clear picture of what it looks like to live poor in spirit—to live low. As we dive into the depths of God’s word, I pray our lives will begin to be molded and shaped by the capable, loving hands of our Potter. I pray that we will look to the grace of God as our source and strength to pursue a lifestyle of humility. And I pray our lives will be enriched and blessed by the loving, powerful presence of a God who dwells with those who live low.
Philippians 2:3-7 says,
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Living low always begins by looking at the life of Jesus. He is the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). He is the example of what it looks like to live perfectly by the grace of the Father in a lifestyle of humble surrender. And Scripture makes it clear that he is our standard. A life like his is the goal.
Jesus, although King of kings and Lord of lords, did everything out of total love for God and man. The only man to ever live a perfect life looked to the interests of others above his own. One of the most powerful depictions of his commitment to loving those in need at all costs is found in Mark 2:13-17, where Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners. Jesus loved others at the continual sacrifice of his reputation. He lived without a care of how he was perceived by man because his life was continually laid down to the will of his heavenly Father alone. To live in the will of God will always cost us our pride. Pride and God’s will are in direct opposition.
God is calling us to a lifestyle of love. To be poor in spirit is to “count others more significant than yourselves.” A common misconception in living low is that we must try and find ways that we are worse than others. God is not about comparison. His ways are not like ours. Rather, he is calling us to stop looking to ourselves at all and solely look to the significance of others. Jesus knew he was sinless. He knew he was God. Still, he counted others more significant because of his love and grace. We don’t have to pursue false humility to love others well. Rather, by the grace of God we must stop looking to our own needs, our own sense of pride and reputation, lay down our lives at the cross of Christ, and love as he has called us to love.
To live low is to look at the life of Jesus, look at our own lives, and acknowledge the differences, as well as obeying the command of Scripture to live like him. And in our inability we must come before our heavenly Father in full knowledge that we’ll never be like Jesus on our own. We must seek to abide in him and receive his wealth of affection, love, and grace that we might bear fruit. If we seek to live low by ceasing to look to ourselves and instead look to God and others, we will always, unfailingly be empowered by God.
Take time in guided prayer to look at the life of Jesus, look at your own life, and receive the power of the Holy Spirit that comes from abiding in the love of your heavenly Father.
1. Meditate on Jesus’ commitment to humility and living low. Allow his life to be the example by which you live yours.
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:3-7
2. In what ways are you living in pride? In what ways are you looking to your own interests above the interests of others? Where do you need to count others as more significant than yourself?
3. Take time to abide in God’s love. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you yield your life to him that you might bear the fruit of his dwelling within you. Look to God as your source and supply rather than your own strength. And live today in a constant pursuit of living low.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” John 15:9
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Colossians 3:12-13
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Romans 12:3