And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:8)
He didn’t have to die—you know that.
He chose to die, for reasons I still can’t fully grasp. I mean, I understand the basic theological concept of redemption. He who knew no sin, taking the burden of my sin upon himself, dying in my place to pay the price for that sin and restore my relationship to the Father. He took the punishment because—and here’s where my brain locks up—he thinks I’m worth it.
I hope he’s right.
I can’t wrap my head around the concept, but I can wrap my heart around it.
Still, the whole thing is just so very not the way I would have done it.
And there you go, folks—reason #37 to be glad I am not God.
Thank you, Lord, that you were willing to pay the price I could never pay.
Thank you, Father, that it did not end with the cross.
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to grasped, but made himself nothing, taking on the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2:6-7)
He was perfect.
He knew everything
Everything that has ever been was made with the thought of his heart and the breath of his mouth.
But he stepped down from all that into a broken world. A world of
That is the attitude to which we are called, Beloved. We step into that same world today. We may know
Are you up to the challenge?
Let’s pray for each other today, Beloved.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: (Philippians 2:5)
No pressure here—just have the same attitude as the Lord of the Universe. Tomorrow we will look at what Paul means by an attitude, “The same as that of Christ Jesus.” For today, just consider this: God has called you—commanded you—to be like him.
Chew on that today.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)
But they’re not.
Better than you, that is.
Seriously, isn’t it hard to consider others better than yourself when you know the way they live? When you hear the way they speak and see how they act? Does God really expect you to put…them before your own needs and wants?
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. (Philippians 2:1-2)
Does it show?
Does your relationship with Christ have a visible effect on who you are in the world?
Does your fellowship with other believers reflect the fellowship you have with the Holy Spirit?
It should, you know.
Let that be the focus of your prayers this morning, as you head out into a week filled with people who are not as easy to love as Jesus is.
Go and love, Beloved of Christ.
Our garbage disposal died.
To fully grasp my sadness, you must understand that the garbage disposal is one of my all-time favorite household appliances. It has one, simple purpose—to eat—and it does that exceedingly well. It does not seek to glorify itself—no, it stays out of sight under the sink, bothering no one and taking up no precious counter space. It doesn’t need bright colors or fancy names or hand embroidered covers. It just wants to make my life better by consuming everything in the kitchen that annoys or disgusts me. Continue reading
Whatever happens, conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. (Philippians 1:27)
What will happen to you today?
Oh, you can probably guess a good portion of it, but you don’t really know, do you? Laughter, tears, love, anger, pain, joy, indigestion—who knows what the next hours hold?
Better question—How will you conduct yourself today?
Will your laughter be at others…or with them?
Will your tears be for yourself, or for the broken?
Will your love be selfish or selfless?
Will your anger be trivial or righteous?
And what of your pain?
And your joy?
Perhaps we need not elaborate on the indigestion.
Live worthy today, Beloved.
For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
Is your purpose, every day, to get closer and closer to Jesus? To bring him honor and glory with your every breath? To know him, and then know him better?
Do you look to the eventual end of your life as the fulfillment of all your earthly desires? The great graduation day when you receive all that you have earned, and all that you could never earn?
Oh, Beloved, I hope so.
As for me, I still let the mundane cloud my view of eternity far more often than I would like.
I’m going to make this verse my prayer today, with the hope that the power of the Holy Spirit will drive it deep into my soul and make it who I am.
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:20)
The word that strikes me in this verse is courage. The walk of faith is not for the faint of heart. If I want my life to exalt Christ, it will take courage.
And I have so stinking little.
The other night, I encountered a man who was perhaps not entirely stable. He was sitting at a table in a coffee shop, sort of streaming consciousness to whomever might be listening. Some of what he was saying was a denial of the deity of Christ.
I knew I should talk to him, but for the longest time I just sat and tried to ignore him.
While I wrote a devotion on preaching Christ.
Why? Hard to articulate, but it comes down to fear.
Eventually, I went over and engaged him in gentle debate—if I hadn’t, I doubt that I would be sharing this with you. I didn’t change his mind, but I stood.
I take minor victories where I can get them.
Pray for me, and I will pray for you, that we will have the courage to live a life that glorifies God.
Be not ashamed, Beloved.
The important thing is that in every way, from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of that I rejoice. (Philippians 1:18)
How will you preach Christ today?
With tenderness, kindness, compassion?
Will you climb upon a soap box, or sit down for a quiet conversation?
You don’t need a stage, a crowd, or a microphone.
You do need a heart, a story, and the Holy Spirit within you.
And you have that.
How will you preach Christ today?