Come Follow Me 2023, Come Unto Christ, Devotional

Of Humble Beginnings

And she gave birth to her firstborn son, and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
~ Luke 2:7, LEB ~

On December 31, 1919, my grandmother was born. She was not delivered in a hospital where the doctors and nurses were able to tend to her needs as an infant. She was delivered on the dining room table of her family home. While we sometimes take advantage of modern-day medicine – there are still children brought forth into this life where they have humble beginnings. Some are delivered in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. Some are delivered while in traffic enroute to a medical facility. Some have even adopted the practice of foregoing to have a child delivered at a hospital and instead the child is born at home.

As miraculous as the Saviors birth was – heralded by angelic beings – His was of humble beginnings.

The Savior shared in His father’s Glory (John 17:5) prior to His mortal existence. Yet, he emptied himself of all glory he shared with the Father and took on mortal flesh (Philippians 2:5-8). Submitting Himself obediently to the will of the Father. And it is what we are to do in fulfillment of Christ’s invitation to come unto him, deny ourselves, and take up our cross as a way to follow after Him.

Luke 1:7 – Birth of the Savior

It is striking how Luke wrote a simple phrase concerning the birth of Christ. Not only is it striking – but it is also the most significant spiritual truth of all Scripture. No one appeared to make any room for Joseph and Mary. Christ’s birth, therefore, was like those many children born in ways where they are most vulnerable. Because of His humble beginnings, not one of pomp and eloquence, we too share in a time where we are born out of humble beginnings.

Our own personal spiritual growth and progress has its beginnings in those moments of humility. It is in those moments we see clearly how our own self-centeredness caused us to stumble. How hypersensitive some of us may have become to our circumstances or other people. Others may have taken things quite personally because of this self-centeredness. Yet, there are those who felt entitled and when their own personal needs were not met – they became critical, judgmental, angry, and frustrated.

At the time, we lacked an eternal perspective, or a vision for what lay ahead, because of a limited perspective. Our Heavenly Father’s vision is not limited in scope because His plan and purpose extend beyond mere mortal existence. And therefore, His plans and desires for each one of us is not limited by those moments where we may experience the ups and downs of life.

Yet, for us to gain this eternal perspective we need to have a humble beginning. A place where we come to with full sincerity, contrition and broken heart, and genuine humility. A place to offer up our own lives and will over to the care of our Heavenly Father. Because it is in this humble and vulnerable state, we are to experience the birth of Christ within us.

Take a moment to listen to the story of an addict in full recovery and sustaining sobriety. One describes that moment and place where they came to a place of realizing their need for Christ. Hear the story of those devastated by betrayal in their own relationships and experienced abandonment. What of those who came out of abusive and toxic relationships where they struggle to even put their own faith and trust in God?

Every story of one who truly has come unto Christ to follow him begins with a place of humility and brokenness. A place where they were the most vulnerable. Or have you long forgotten your own spiritual birth? Forgotten that moment of time where you were brought down into a place of humility – seeking Christ in those moments of despair and need?

Like our Savior – real spiritual birth begins in the humblest settings of a person’s life. Have you truly experienced the birth of Christ within you? If not, what is preventing you from experiencing this? What is causing you to stumble? What is preventing you from emptying yourself of self-centeredness and come unto Christ and follow Him?

Today’s Thought and Reminder

The Savior was born much like many of us – and quite particularly in a vulnerable way. For us, He comes to redeem those most in need of His guidance, wisdom, and teachings. And while one’s spiritual conversion to come unto Christ and follow Him may have its beginnings in a Church Setting – most of the time it is in those moments and places that are not conventional.

Our Heavenly Father sees those who are broken and lonely. Those who are hurting. And it is because of the Savior’s humble beginnings – we too may experience the birth of Christ in our own hearts. Of humble beginnings where we feel vulnerable, helpless, and in need. All that he asks us to do is to deny ourselves by emptying ourselves of those things that feed our self-centeredness, take up our cross every day, and follow His teachings. Until then, we are not able to gain an eternal perspective and miss out on those promised blessings and rewards awaiting us.

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