Read: Philippians 2:1-11
Being in very nature God, [Christ Jesus] did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Jesus Came to Take Away our Sin
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Doing something to help someone else instead of yourself is being selfless. Firefighters are selfless when they fight the extreme danger of a burning building. They race to a fire when everyone else is running away. Soldiers go to battle for their country and for their fellow soldiers. Doctors and nurses risk catching disease because they want to help others. When a child is sick or afraid, parents will give up a restful night of sleep to comfort their child. A thoughtful young person might invite someone to a school event who others might never consider inviting. All of these are acting with others in mind first. These are examples of selflessness.
As wonderful as these examples are, they are nothing compared with Jesus’ selflessness. Jesus is true God. It means he possesses all power and all glory. He is able to heal every disease. He creates all life whether human life or life in nature, he can control the weather, he can control the universe and everything in it. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, he still had all that power, but he set it aside. He humbled himself by becoming a human. He experienced everything we do: being cold, hungry, tired, criticized, humiliated, and even tempted by Satan. He could have used his power to avoid all these things, but he didn’t. He came for one reason, and that reason was the most selfless act ever. He came because he loves you. He came because he loves all people. He came because the only way that you and I could receive God’s forgiveness is for Jesus to take our punishment. That doesn’t make sense to our heads, but it was God’s plan for us. Jesus came so that he could take away our sins, every one of them.
What do we do with that amazing gift of love? We can share it selflessly with others. We can go to God in repentance knowing that his forgiveness is ours. We don’t have to worry about whether we’ve done enough good things in God’s eyes. We can focus on showing love to each other simply out of love for God. We can live with peace and joy in our hearts and reflect that to others all to God’s glory. We can be selfless because everything we truly need, has already been done for us by Jesus. Thank you, dear Savior!
Dear Jesus, you love me more than I can even imagine. Your willingness to come to earth, to become a man so that you could live and die for me, is a gift that is beyond words. Thank you for being my dearest friend and Savior. In your name. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Selfless means to do something for someone else and expect nothing back, not even a thank you. What are some of the many things your parents do for you without you asking and sometimes without you saying thank you?
- Jesus did a lot of selfless things for people while he was on earth. Name as many as you can.
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Jesus healed the sick, comforted people, raised people from the dead, and taught people. Of all the things he did, what was the most selfless?
- God expects us to be perfect to get into heaven. But we aren’t perfect. We sin every day. How does Jesus dying on the cross give us life in heaven?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Name as many situations as you can where things were difficult for Jesus and he could have used his power as God to fix them but didn’t. (Example: When they captured him in Gethsemane.) Why didn’t Jesus use his power more often?
- Jesus’ death on the cross paid for our sins and fulfilled God’s expectation of living a perfect life. When he did all this, he was thinking of you. How does knowing this help you when you are worried, or feel alone, or when you feel guilty? How can this help you to help others?
Hymn: CW 593:1,2,4,5 – Now the Light Has Gone Away
Now the light has gone away;
Father, listen while I pray,
Asking you to watch and keep
And to send me quiet sleep.
Jesus, Savior, wash away
All that I’ve done wrong today.
Make me ever more like you,
Good and gentle, kind and true.
Now my evening praise I give;
You once died that I might live.
All your precious gifts are free—
Oh, how good you are to me!
Ah, my best and kindest Friend,
You will love me to the end.
Let me love you more and more,
Always better than before.