Devotions

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The Mind of Christ

 “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11 

This is quite the glorious image that comes to mind when reading this passage. Think about it. Paul weaves us through the humility of Christ. We read how Jesus humbled himself to a low place and was raised up by God to a high place. Jesus was so obedient to God the Father that he was given a name that is above every other name. Picture it now… That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bend, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God. The ending of this passage always gets me ready to dance and to shout, “Hallelujah!” But I can’t help but also give attention to how it begins.  

Paul exclaims in verse five that we should have the same mind in us that was in Jesus. Why does Paul say that? To me, it seems like Paul wants us to realize the lasting value of humility. Jesus—the Son of God and God enfleshed—could have exploited his power and used it to take advantage of people on earth and have them all become subservient to him. Instead, as Paul points out, in humility Jesus took on the form of a slave and became subservient to people on earth. Jesus is the ultimate servant leader: one who humbly leads by meeting and serving the needs of others. Paul bids us to recognize this, and to reflect this attitude in our minds and in our actions. Perhaps even today we need to be thinking of ways to approach other people with humility. We need to be thinking of ways to be serving others before we even begin to think of ways that others can serve us. This, brothers and sisters, is part of the mind of Christ. And as evidenced by this scripture passage, God honors our humility and raises us up in love so that all the world might see and confess the wonderful name of Jesus!  

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    Posted by Josh Miles
    in Church

    Sharing the Word of God

    Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105 

    Some years ago as a pastor in Conyers, a parishioner came to me with a problem. She was a volunteer who cleaned and straightened our sanctuary each week preparing the building for worship on Sunday. She discovered that over time we were missing pew Bibles and were having to replace a few each week. On this particular week there were five Bibles missing from the pew racks. When she told me this, I shouted “Praise the Lord!” 

    She responded as you can imagine, with a frown and a furrowed brow. “Why are you so happy when I am trying my best to keep everything in its place?” she asked me. I answered her with this thought: “Those Bibles are in the place where they need to be, in someone’s hand or in someone’s house. We can only hope that over time the Bible is found in their hearts, too.” 

    The Bible has a long and storied history for people of faith, and it continues to be a source of much joy and pain among Christians around the world. Over the centuries we have fought over it and fought for it. Too often we have misunderstood what it has to offer and misrepresented it to one another. Some folks think it is a weapon and use the Bible to browbeat and harass anyone within striking distance. Many people I have known use it as a source to prove what they want to believe, quoting verses out of context to their advantage. 

    I have been taught that the Bible is the sacred text for Christians, and that by careful study we learn about God’s unconditional love for us in and through Jesus Christ. In my life I have found that that the bible is not a self-help book full of easy answers, but a book of stories and wisdom that is meant to lead us into a loving relationship with God. 

    The bible is not a book for those who need a weapon. It is not a book for those who know it all and want to prove to you that they do. It is not a book for those who are in a hurry and looking for the shortest route. 

    The bible is a book for pilgrims and wanderers. It is a book for children and for those who wish to become children again. It is a book for seekers and searchers and dreamers. It is a book for anyone who hopes that the love of God might be written upon their hearts. 

    If you need a Bible, I have one for you. Just let me know. I will meet you any place and any time just to give you one. If you already have one, I encourage you to read it as often as you can. Marvel at the stories of people like you and me. Search the pages until you find the unconditional love of God, and then hold on to it and don’t let go. 

    Posted by Bob Winstead

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