God's Exquisite Garden


God sent his Son, Christ Jesus, who was the foremost example God was able to provide. The Lord Jesus Christ should be our model, we should fashion our lives in harmony with His wonderful example.

Jesus took upon himself to be the most humble, lowliest man. He performed the lowliest of offices, thereby benefitting us.

The attitude or views that Christ made apparent is the meaning of the mind of Christ. This is what we are told in Philippians 2 :5(NKJV).This has been seen - outlook determines outcome. Many people today think that they can't manage their moods or attitudes. Christians are not slaves to their attitudes. We must have a particular attitude as did Jesus. A resemblance to his life is what we must bear if we are to have the benefit of his death.

Without the Spirit of Christ, we are none of His.

Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:28-29 (NKJV)

Included with the meaning of the mind of Christ are direction, emotions and character. Exceedingly humble was Christ. As Christ was, we should be lowly-minded. As Christ was humble, we should be humble. We should be like-minded, as Christ did. Christ who humbled himself to sufferings and death for all mankind, his spirit and steps are the same that we must walk in. Jesus lived and died for us, not just to please God's authority . Our finest example is Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus left Heaven, came to this earth, suffered and died for us- this was looked at by Paul with admiration.

The compelling call to the believer is the self-sacrifice of Jesus. Once we embrace His attitude, our relationship with others will be effective. Once we imitate his attitude, true Christians will model their personal relationships on Jesus. Our unity should be a unity growing out of love, out of a Christlike attitude.

We must train ourselves to think like Christ, if we are to be like Christ. Jesus Christ came to this earth and left Heaven and all its glory. On earth, Jesus made Himself nothing. While He was on earth, He was a Servant. Here on earth, He humbled himself to the degree that He without reserve died a criminal's death. And He did all this for us. If we, as Christians have this attitude regarding one another there will be unity. We will have the unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17. And we will truly be one, in spirit and purpose. We, like Jesus, will live to serve.

This, of course, was part of Paul's vision. Because Jesus humbled Himself, God the Father exalted Him to the highest place" (Phil. 2:9). For us as well as for Jesus, the way up is down. For us, as for Jesus, God blesses us when we humble ourselves in the service of others. Christ was humble, in order to obey God and serve people, He was willing to give up His rights.

Since we are to have the mind of Christ, we should have a servant's attitude. Serving out of love for God and for others, not out of guilt or fear. Remember, you can choose your attitude. You can approach life expecting to be served, or you can look for opportunities to serve others.

When we see the need to serve others, we will look into the concerns of others, there needs to be the utmost subtlety. Everyone at one time or another has wanted something kept secret. When we visit the sick, as we show a tender kindness for them, we shouldn't be too precise in being inquisitive into their medical disorders or their emotions. Circumstances may be such they prefer not to speak about. We should allow them to tell their own stories.

An interest of spiritual matters of each member should be a concern for all. But, while these things are true, it is also true that the rule before us positively requires us to show an interest in the concerns of others; and it may be regarded as implying the following things:

(1.) We are to feel that the spiritual interests of every one in the church is, in a certain sense, our own interest. The church is one. It is combined together for a common object. Each one is intrusted with a portion of the esteem of the whole, and the conduct of one member affects the character of all. We are therefore to promote, in every way possible, the welfare of every other member of the church. If they go astray, we are to admonish and entreat them; if they are in error, we are to instruct them; if they are in trouble, we are to aid them. Every member of the church has a claim on the sympathy of his brethren, and should be certain of always finding it when his circumstances are such as to demand it.

(2.) There are situations where it is suitable to look with special interest on the mundane concerns of others. It is when the poor, the fatherless, and the injured and the impaired must be sought out in order to be assisted and relieved. They are too tranquil and modest to press their situation on the attention of others, and they need that others should manifest a generous care in their welfare in order to relieve them. This is not an improper interference into their concerns, and it should not be so regarded.

(3.) For a comparable reason, we should pursue the welfare of all others in a spiritual sense. We should seek to alert the sinner, being perceptive to his needs, and lead him to the Savior. Those in darkness will not come themselves; they are unconcerned, and will not seek salvation; they are filled with the love of this world, and will not seek a better; devoted to pursuits that will lead them to ruin, and they ought to be informed of it.

It is no more an intrusion in their concerns to inform them of their condition, and to attempt to lead them to the Savior, than it is to warn a man in a dark night, who walks on the verge of a cliff, of his jeopardy that is in store; or to arouse one from sleep whose house is in flames.

In like manner, it is not meddling with the concerns of another to tell him that there is a glorious heaven which may be his, than it would be to inform a man that there is a mine of golden ore on his farm. It is for the man's own interest, and it is the office of a friend to remind him of these things. He does a man a favor who tells him that he has a Redeemer, and that there is a heaven to which he may rise; he does his neighbor the greatest possible kindness who informs him that there is a world of infinite woe, and tells him of an easy way by which he may escape it.

The world around is dependant on the church to be informed of these truths. The unworldly will not warn the unworldly of their danger; the crowd that presses to the theater or the ball-room will not convey to those who are there that they are on the broad way to hell; and every one who loves his neighbor should feel sufficient interest in him to tell him that he may be forever happy in heaven.

Verse 5. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. The object of this reference to the example of the Savior is particularly to implement the duty of humility. This was the highest model which could be provided, and it would make manifest and confirm all the apostle had said of this virtue. The chief foundation in the case is that we are to make the Lord Jesus our example, and are in all respects to frame our lives, as far as possible, in conformity with this great model. The point here is, that he left a state of unspeakable majesty, and took upon him the most inferior form of humanity, and completed the lowliest offices, that he might benefit us.

We see in John 13:14- If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. Here, he means for us to do things for others that we ourselves might find as a mundane task. These low, menial tasks performed for others are done for them when they are unable to do the work themselves.

The washing of feet was performed for those that had travelled. They wore sandals then which when walking a distance could get the wearer's feet dirty. During that period after bowing, greeting and kissing the guest is offered water for washing his feet. After the various greetings,a servant would help the guest by pouring water over their feet. Then the servant, with his hands would rub the guests' feet and wipe them dry with a napkin. In this instance , Jesus took the place of a servant. There is also I Peter 2:21 which reads For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.

Copyright 2007 Linda Lawrence