Read: Philippians 2:6-11

But made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (v. 7 ESVUK)

The apostle Paul goes out of his way in these verses to emphasize the servant nature of Jesus Christ during his incarnation. Jesus actually entered our human history as a “slave”—that is literally what the term “servant” means. Jesus arrived on our planet as a slave, without advantages, without rights or privileges. Just think about that for a moment.

How many times in our week do we react negatively to others because our rights have been violated? How many of us devote more energy and concern to our rights than to our desire to be like Jesus Christ? And consider the essence of that likeness. Paul tells us that Jesus “made himself nothing,” or “emptied himself.” What does that mean? It means, at the very least, that Christ left his position of rank and privilege in heaven and literally poured himself out for people. He set aside his own divine prerogatives for the sake of others.

The heart of servanthood is in our attitude. The question is: “Do I possess the heart attitude of a servant? Do I serve others from my heart, or merely because I must?” True servants hardly know they are serving because service becomes such an integral part of their lives. They are not concerned where they serve, just that they can. They are not worried about whether they are noticed, applauded, or even thanked. Their concern is serving others as Christ did.

As you pray, ask God to allow you to serve others and him unconsciously.

About the Author

David Walls is a pastor and writer who has served in ministry for more than 40 years.

This entry is part 21 of 31 in the series Philippians: To All the Saints