by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Philippians is Paul's love letter. The epistle is also a good instrument for learning the secret of this great man. Paul considered living Christ and dying gain. And, although he wrote from a prison cell, his refrain was "Rejoice in the Lord always."
Though he was in the form of God ... he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave (Phil. 2:6–7, NRSV).
Our first parents disobeyed God and believed the devil when he told them that they would be equal to the Almighty One. Our Savior's behavior was exactly the opposite of Adam's and Eve's. The Son of God was equal with God. But he did not cling to his privileged position. He "emptied himself" or "made himself nothing." He laid off his royal robe. He was among us "in the form" or "in the very nature" of a slave, a servant.
He saved us, and he showed us the way to live. The attitude of Christ is the "mind" we must have. Unless we humble ourselves, we destroy ourselves and each other.
Christ's humility is the first great characteristic that we must imitate. He took on the lowest position in humanity, "the form of a slave." He washed our feet. He helped and healed us. Now it is our joy to help others. We aren't here, as the world says, to look out for numero uno. Rather Christ has reversed the natural direction of our ambition. And the church is in the world to serve others, just as Christ did.
The second characteristic we must adopt as our own is Christ's obedience: "He became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Jesus did not want to die. "If possible, Father, let it pass," he prayed in Gethsemane. But he gave up his will to do his Father's will.
Our humility and obedience prove that we know Jesus.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version