Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Repute is defined as the opinion generally held of someone or something; the state of being generally regarded in a particular way. Ref. Bing Dictionary

Just exactly how long do you think this state of non-reputation lasted? We cannot control what others think. Looking at the life of Christ, from a human perspective, His reputation preceded Him. All you have to do is look at all the prophecies about the Christ child to understand that. Three Magi came with gifts in recognition of His arrival. Two elderly people who prayed to see the Messiah before they died, recognized Him as a baby. Their opinions were anticipatory in nature and realized in a moment.

From God’s perspective however, He went from being the creator of all things, to a child who had done nothing. Who among us can say such a thing? We begin with nothing and have to build a reputation. He was everything and gave it all away to become a human who had done nothing.

If you stop and think about His reputation today, you will find it has not changed in nearly two thousand years. He is still the most divisive personality in history. He is loved and hated with the same level of passion as He was when He lived out His ministry. His reputation has not changed.

I on the other hand can witness that my reputation has changed only because of Him. Like everyone else I cannot control what other people think of me, but their thoughts and opinions of me have changed greatly, for the better. The reason is simple. Before Christ I didn’t care what anyone thought about me. Rebels do not consider opinions, they only care about the moment.

Coming to Christ changed my focus of caring about reputation. Not my reputation, His. Now I cannot control what people think, I can only control what they hear and see from a human perspective. As a representative of Christ what I say and do reflects on Him, not me.

When Lost

Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

My dad taught me how to hunt when I was young. Surprisingly one of the most important lessons he gave me was in how not to get lost. It was more important than discovering what to do when you do get lost.

Situational awareness is key. Terrain features, mountains, lakes, streams, swamps, marshes, logging roads, property boundaries, and any easily identified features and their relationship to each other is vital. The time of day is always required. A good compass helps.

What does that have to do with the opening verse?

Those tools will not help you to keep from being lost in that sense. You were born lost and just didn’t know it. The tendency for people who find themselves lost always seem to look to their past to discover where they went wrong, like trying to retrace their steps to get back to a place they didn’t feel lost.

It doesn’t work.

Jesus came to seek you out and to find you. Once He has you, you are no longer lost. Guess what happens then? You find yourself in God’s Kingdom and nothing is familiar, because it is not of this world. Now that you have been found, saved, is when you have to use the tools I described earlier. Now that you are saved, you need to study the terrain, identify the landmarks, establish relationships, and understand this new territory.

The bible is your topical map. The Holy Spirit is your compass and He always points towards Jesus. While the compass is vital, it will not identify swamps, marshes and bogs. He may lead you to lakes and rivers. Hey, we are Fishers of men, are we not?

The cool part is that no matter where you are, you are never lost.