Bible Studies for Life Lesson for May 17: Stick with Humility
May 7 2015 by Wayne Proctor, pastor, Eure Baptist Church, Eure

Focal passage: Philippians 2:1-5, 13-15
 
Cloistered in the Nonnberg Abbey, Maria Kutschera told herself that her life centered upon communion with God.
 
Orphaned at a young age, she grew up among the mountains of Vienna, Austria, and found solitude and peace in the hills. Her world of solitude was interrupted when the Mother Abbess gave her the assignment of teaching and caring for the children of a widowed navy commander, Georg von Trapp.
 
In the movie version, Maria fell in love, but feared the passions stirring within her might somehow betray her commitment to God. Fleeing back to the abbey, she hid her sadness from her fellow nuns. The Mother Abbess, however, convinced her to face her fears. 
 
The Mother Abbess’ wisdom, and Maria’s willingness to risk, led Maria to a new life of putting others’ needs before her own.
 
Today’s texts include what’s known as the “kenosis passage.” Literally, “kenosis” refers to Christ’s emptying Himself of any personal, human ambitions so that He could give His life for others.
 
Philippians 2:1 begins with the word “if.” We often think of “if” as doubt. A better translation would be “since.” The encouragement in Christ, the consolation of love, the fellowship with the Spirit and the affection and mercy Christ has for His followers are not debatable. Therefore, “since” we who are Christians have received these amazing gifts from Jesus, we are commanded to consider others needs and interests above our own.
 
In other words, practice humility. Our attitudes are to match our actions. We are to serve with joy. Paul knew this quality of service was contrary to the world’s standards (vv. 13-15), yet our attitude standard is Christ and Him alone.
 
When Maria dared to discover a new reality for her life, she serendipitously found joy. She and her family also found purpose and joy in music. Paul’s hope for joy, the sweet music for his ears, was in the Philippian believers serving one another in Christ-like humility.

5/7/2015 11:18:37 AM by Wayne Proctor, pastor, Eure Baptist Church, Eure | with 0 comments
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