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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
Rights

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Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-8).

"I have rights!" we hear people exclaim, usually in defense of some unjustifiable action of their own. The wrong or right of their actions no longer seem to matter as greatly as if their rights are upheld. And regardless of whether or not their actions caused another harm, we will often hear them stand quickly to defend their own rights without thought of the rights of those they harmed. And as illogical as it seems that we should allow it to continue, we do. For it only seems to be a natural course of action to a nation where what is right is not nearly as important as what are "my rights."
Morality is in the eye of the beholder. Or so it would seem if we were to take a cross-section of the heart of America. Individual freedom is god to most and is supported to what ever extent the law can be twisted to allow. Character and integrity are no longer desirable traits, but instead, they are things that stand in the way of what is desired. And few really seem to care, that is, until it somehow affects them. But should it affect someone else adversely--then it's "none of my business."
That may be the attitude of the most of America, but what of the attitude of those who are God's children? We know that we are called to be "holy, even as [He] is holy." That in itself means that we are separate from the world and that we are called to live by a higher standard. And we have been given an example to follow in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, who humbled himself even to death, not considering who He was to be a thing that should give Him special rights. For He did not consider His rights at all, but freely gave up even what we would consider to be His human rights.
Our promotion of rights have given birth to such statements as, "You gotta stand up for yourself," and "If you don't look out for yourself no one else will," and also "You can't just let people walk all over you." But we may find it difficult to back up such claims with any scriptural support. For what verse will we use to condone the "My rights" mentality. For truly when we search the scriptures, what we find are statements like, "Do not resist an evil person," and "If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."
It is the wisdom of the world that would tell us not to be another's doormat, and it is foolishness to them that we should allow someone to treat us poorly and love them in return. So what then should we say of the cross of Christ? We know that Scripture says, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18). So where then shall we see the greatest power demonstrated if not in the things that are foolish to the world--and that being in our willful following of Christ which would not consider our rights something to be grasped.
Our sinful flesh wants nothing to do with such thinking. We will fight, kick and scratch to make sure that someone takes notice of our rights or the injustice that we perceive is done to us. Nevertheless, it is in Christ's sacrifice of His rights in the pursuit of a greater cause than Himself, wherein we find the power of God. And it will be in the same kind of sacrifice of His followers that the world will truly take notice--not of ones who are the world's doormat--but of one's who stand firmly rooted in the Love of God, regardless of the world's response to such an apparent "foolishness."

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).

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