This devotional is Day 18 of the 25-Day Advent Series “The Wonders of His Love.” Follow along with us as we grow in grace through the Christmas story by subscribing or bookmarking the home page above!
Scripture: Philippians 2:6-8
During the Christmas season, as we focus on the birth of Christ, it is easy to draw attention to the humility of that baby…to see all of heaven’s wonder “wrapped in swaddling clothes.”
To read the verses portraying a stable, a manger, barn animals, and straw.
To ponder Mary’s “illegitimate” condition; and to acknowledge the lack of clout in being visited by shepherds.
We sing songs about how He left His throne, His heavenly Father, and heaven’s glory to become an infant on this wretched, sin-cursed earth.
For some reason, at least for me, His humbled condition isn’t as pronounced when He is a grown man.
Oh sure, Jesus would go on to serve. But often it is difficult to see this past His moments of authority, the many times He teaches and instructs, or the instances He condemns the self-righteous rulers.
Many times I see so much of the man, that I lose sight of the God.
“[Jesus Christ], existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead He emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when He had come as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross.” Philippians 2:6-8, CSB
It is only when I deliberately contemplate on His Godhood, that I can see the extent of His humility. God, Creator of the universe, Lord of Heaven, is there – walking and talking and loving upon the earth. That is amazing.
Think of all He set aside to come for you, to be one of us.
Think of when He stood mutely before Pilate, refusing to acknowledge His own innocence and His divine rank of authority. Beyond that, think of all of the times He took no credit to Himself, but simply praised His Father.
So many times around Christmas, it’s easy to talk about loving and giving to others…but don’t we still have our expectations?
I want to watch my Hallmark movie marathon.
I have to make sure that Christmas dinner has all of the trimmings.
I want my kids to have the gifts they wanted.
I want the perfect family photo to go on our Christmas cards.
I want the Christmas lights and decorations up the day after Thanksgiving.
The list could go on…we each have our own ideas of what makes the holidays special. But this Christmas, couldn’t we let go of our expectations?
Here’s 3 ways to embrace humility in the holidays:
Remember who loves you.
Jesus didn’t have to stand up for Himself because He trusted His Father. When you are God’s, you don’t have to keep score. You know that you are valued – apart from the opinions of anyone else!
When you realize just how much God loves you, you care more about loving Him back than you care about loving yourself.
Remember where you are.
This isn’t heaven. Even at Christmastime, you are surrounded by sin, pain, and grief. Let that motivate you to forget yourself and be a blessing to others.
This isn’t hell. Just like the story of the infamous Scrooge, there is hope! We can reach out; and if we are the ones hurting, we can find comfort in the humility of our Savior coming down.
Remember why you are here.
Jesus came to this earth for a purpose – to give us a glorious gift. In the Philippians 2 passage, it says He humbled Himself to be obedient to the point of death on the cross.
We are all here to make a choice…will we choose God, like He chose us? Or will we reject His gift?
If we have already accepted that gift, then we are here to love God and others. (Matthew 22:37-40)
We all claim that Christmas is a time of love and giving. And yet, it’s still so easy to get caught up in what we want, instead of looking for ways to simply let go of ourselves and love.
Even as a full-grown man, Jesus still was the image of humility, love, servitude, and graciousness. It is thanks to His humility that we have access to all that salvation gives us.
What glorious gift will be made possible because of your Christlike humility this Christmas?
About the Author
Once a blogger, and maybe someday will be again, Liz Rigby continues to pursue writing while obtaining her Master’s degree online in Biblical Counseling.
She also enjoys art, music, reading, and gardening. Whether digging in God’s Word or digging in the ground, Liz simply wants to showcase the beauty of God’s love to the world.