"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, 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!" Philippians 2:5-8
Christmas was driven by love.
In these three incredible verses Paul reveals the motive of why Jesus gave up His exalted position and all the privileges of being God and did some serious down-sizing to become flesh and blood. He stepped out of eternity and into time. He came from a serene and secure paradise to a sinful, selfish and savage world.
What would possess Him to do such a thing?
LOVE! No other explanation makes sense.
Not only was Christmas driven by love but it defines love.
Love begins with an attitude - "have the same mindset as Christ". No one loves accidently. No one loves naturally. Love is a decision. You and I love because we choose to love. Even Jesus, Who was God - and God IS love - had to set His mind on leaving Heaven.
Love becomes an action - "He made Himself nothing". Love has to be more than a thought or a feeling. Love has to be demonstrated with cooresponding actions. Love seeks! Love serves! Love sacrifices! The Bible says that God loves us BUT Christmas showed it!
Love bought atonement - "He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross"
Love properly expressed results in life-change. Real love is transformational! It changes the heart, it changes the head and it changes the habits. Loving like Jesus loved changed the world! When you receive His love it changes you - it helps you love yourself. Loving yourself enables you to live for God and love others. Paul begins this portion of Scripture by commanding us to love like this in ALL of our relationships!
What drives your life? What defines your life? What difference does your life make?
Christmas demands an answer! Christmas holds you accountable to love! Christ took away all the excuses!