I don’t like messy.
But a lot of life is messy, isn’t it?
Messy settings. Messy relationships. Messy circumstances.
Life is messy.
“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
And how did Jesus overcome the world . . . He came into the mess we created.
The Creator King of kings and Lord of lords, came into the world’s messiness to overcome it.
And it takes humility to get messy.
It takes humble love to get messy for someone else.
That’s what Jesus did. It’s the example He set for us.
Jesus got messy showing us how to live with humble love.
The God of the Universe experienced the messiness of birth . . . not in a sterile hospital or even a clean bed but in a dirty stable.
The Savior allowed Himself to feel pain and emotions. He never had a home. He spent time with the unkempt and the unholy. He washed filthy feet. He was disregarded, ridiculed, and rejected. He was brutally beaten and nailed to a sinner’s cross.
He humbly took our punishment upon Himself because of His perfect unfailing love.
But He was wounded for the wrong we did; He was crushed for the evil we did. The punishment, which made us well, was given to Him, and we are healed because of His wounds.Isaiah 53:5 (NCV)
And then He told us to follow His example of humble love…
I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.John 13:34
After His resurrection and ascension . . . after they were filled with His Holy Spirit, His disciples carried out His command and shared His love with the world.
They followed Him. Proclaimed Him and testified to a messy world about a Savior, who gave up everything for them.
And then, Paul, the one who persecuted His followers, met Him on the road to Damascus and later wrote…
Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.Philippians 2:5–11
Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though He was God,
He did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, He gave up His divine privileges;
He took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When He appeared in human form,
He humbled Himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor
and gave Him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
That’s the message of Christmas…
The God of the Universe—Creator, Savior, Spirit—humbled Himself to make it possible for us to be with Him forever. He came to Shepherd us home.
This is one of my favorite short videos from The Skit Guys:
A Prayer to Trust Jesus with the Mess
and Live with Humble Love
Abba Father, thank you for Jesus. He said, “The Father and I are one.” (John 10:30) He prayed for us, saying, “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.” (John 17:21a) Jesus showed us Your grace, mercy, and love.
Please forgive me. I want to trust and obey Your will but too often I let this messy world influence me rather than living with the humble love You want. I’m so sorry. I want to follow Jesus’ example. I want to sacrificially take an interest in others and humbly serve to show this messy world Your extraordinary love.
Please help me. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit as I SEEK You and Your will. Give me the strength I need to deal with messy circumstances and messy people when I’d rather run and hide. Bless me with the peace that passes understanding and help me shine with gratitude and joy.
You have promised to give me everything I need. When the world promotes selfishness please give me the humility to live with a servant’s heart that I might glorify You. I give myself to You. My Shepherd, lead me and with Your Spirit’s help, I will follow You. Amen.
Paul also wrote…
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.Romans 12:2
God’s will for us in this messy world is to live each day with humble love just like Jesus.
The following quote inspires and encourages me.
Our relationship with Jesus is messy, intimate, and beautiful all at the same time. Often He takes us on these dangerous adventures just to strip everything else away but Himself. From there, He’ll show us that He is writing a bigger and far more beautiful story than we could have ever imagined. ~ Paige Armstrong
May you be blessed as you celebrate Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, who came to get messy, to show us how to live with humble love and shepherd us home.
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