How Empty Can You Become

How Empty Can You Become

It's not about how full you can get, but how empty you can become. "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Philippians 2.5-8)

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Grounded

Grounded

A famous playwright once said, "I can resist anything but temptation." And that's the problem with temptation: it appeals to that which we are most vulnerable to.  

Jesus was confronted by the devil, the great tempter, during an extended wilderness stay. Having fasted for forty days, He was tempted to turn stones into bread (Matthew 4.2-3). He was then tempted to test angelic protection (Matthew 4.5-6), and then desire for worldly power (Matthew 4.8-9). He met each of these three great temptations by quoting God's word. He knew Scripture well enough to bring appropriate passages to bear in the heat of temptation. And therein is a great lesson and application for us. We surely will succumb to temptation unless we are so grounded in God's word as to resist it with His word.

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Not About Us

Not About Us

It's not about us. "For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, 'Light shall shine out of darkness,' is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." (2 Corinthians 4.5-6)

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Not a To-Do List

Not a To-Do List

It's not really a to-do list. These are actions and activities that just work well - for self and others. "Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality." (Romans 12.9-13)

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Talking About It

Talking About It

If you think it is important, you will make it a point to talk about it. That's why weather, sports, and politics are key discussion topics. But, what about our faith?

 "I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective and powerful because of your accurate knowledge of every good thing which is ours in Christ." Philemon 6, Amplified Bible)

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Good Intentions

Good Intentions

There is a so-called road paved with good intentions, and we all have participated in the paving process. My more recent contribution has been the book I started writing but never quite seem to get around to working on. For you it might be that good deed you are planning to do for your neighbor. Or the special day you've been planning for your spouse and family. Or maybe that area of service in your local church you're planning to step up to.

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Courage

Courage

He had courage in the face of a great storm, and so can we. Paul the apostle was aboard a ship, facing a horrific storm such that "all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned." (Acts 27.20) But, he received an angelic message of encouragement (Acts 27.24), and shared it will all on board. "Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told." (Acts 27.25).

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Cityscapes

Cityscapes

Luke 4:1-7 (NASB)

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

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