Topic: Emptying oneself
Text: Philippians 2:6-8
Key verse: but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. – Philippians 2:7
In Christian theology, kenosis, a Greek word refers to the act of emptying. Paul in our text explains the process Jesus took to get to the exalted place of authority and glory. This is the self-emptying of Jesus’ own will to take up the will of the Father. In the garden of Gethsemane, we are given a glimpse of the struggle in his mind as he made a final decision to go with God\’s will.
“Father, if you will, please don’t make me suffer by having me drink from this cup. But do what you want, and not what I want.” – Luke 22:42
Jesus had to empty himself of divinity to think and feel like a man. He was scared of the contents of the cup, which represented suffering and he was also aware of what God’s will might be. He finally gave up his will and embraced God’s will.
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup of agony away from me. But no matter what, your will must be mine.” – Luke 22:42
If Jesus did not reject suffering, why do we believe that every form of suffering is from the devil?
Jesus magnified the will of God and made it his. What he wanted was different from what God wanted, but he on his own without pressure from anyone, but God’s will first, he preferred God’s method to achieve the goal even at his expense.
What other examples do we have of this practice? Is this what God requires of us today? Can anyone meet this standard? Is being subservient godly?
He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. – John 3:30
John the Baptist did not just identify and announce Jesus, but he gladly chooses to take the back seat so that Jesus would become the center of attraction. How was he able to do this?
Paul writes to the Corinthians about the rights of ministers which he was entitled to, but he rather forfeited them for the benefit of others.
If you support others who preach to you, shouldn’t we have an even greater right to be supported? *But we have never used this right. We would rather put up with anything than be an obstacle to the Good News about Christ. *Yet I have never used any of these rights*. And I am not writing this to suggest that I want to start now. I would rather die than lose my right to boast about preaching without charge. – 1 Corinthians 9:12,15
What rights do you have that God is calling you to forfeit for the good of others or the benefit of the kingdom? It might be a career choice, it could be a sacrifice in your marriage, maybe it is a call into the ministry.
To empty yourself or even your right to life for the good of others is what we saw recently as youths continued to chant END SARS in the face of military aggression.
Those who promote abortion magnify the rights of the woman over the rights of the unborn child, even when they know the child has not been given any choice.
As long as you are full of yourself, marriage will be a struggle, it takes submission to stay married. You cannot be full of self and be full of God.
*It takes a mindset shift to make Jesus Lord of all, or he is not Lord at all.*
I am learning to empty myself so l can have better relationships with people in my life. How is the Holy Spirit speaking to you?
May the Lord give you an understanding of these truths in Jesus’ name, amen.