work out your salvation with fear & trembling

Ok, this is from the last part of Philip 2:12.  Need your thoughts, wisdom, insights, whatever.  I’m going to study this as well as I can, but I’d REALLY like your input – so would you kindly leave a comment & let me know what you think Paul meant when he said this?  If you want to bring any application into your comment, as well, don’t fight the urge.  🙂

Thanx!!

a deeper look at Philippians 2:5-8

I received some really good feedback asking for a little more of a deeper look at verses 5-8 than yesterday’s blog – so, here’s an attempt. 🙂

When Paul talks about having the same mind, understanding & attitude as Christ, he tells us this using the command form of the verb.  He’s not making a suggestion, or having a flash of brillance or even coming up with a good idea.  He is commanding us to have the same mind & attitude as Christ has.  From here, I believe that Paul demonstrates what he means by “having the same mind / attitude” in the next few points. 

First, in relation to position, Jesus did not “regard equality with God as something to be grasped.”  (NET)  Literally, not gripping supposing to be equal to God.  Humans are big on positions – 1st string Varsity, Treasurer of Student Council, Chief Operations Officer, . . . .  But of all the people who have ever lived & had a right to claim or hold onto a position, Jesus, being the Son of God would be the person most entitled to claim & hold onto His rightful position & status.  Knowing what Jesus did, we are commanded to have His mind & attitude, not demanding or clinging to a position we may have – whether we earned it, deserve it, were born with it or whatever.  Jesus, the 2nd person of the Trinity, was born in a manger.

Next, Jesus emptied Himself – not of His divinity, but of His glory.  Seems like there are lots of examples of Him emptying Himself – from his 40 day fast when He was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, to welcoming children to bless them, to making breakfast for Peter after he had denied Jesus.  But I’d like your input on how we can empty ourselves.  What ways have you found helpful to be more empty?

After emptying, Paul says that Jesus took the form of a servant.  I did  a little more checking into the word Paul uses here for servant & this word, doulos, was considered to be one of the worst positions a person could have in life.  The will of a doulos was completely subjected to his master’s desires & in some cases, a doulos was considered to be almost sub-human.  They had no rights, privileges, social status, possessions or position.  And Jesus took this form – keeping in mind that Paul tells us to have the same mind & attitude as Jesus.  Clearly, the idea of becoming a servant like this, flies in the face of all modern convenience or paradigms.  Nevertheless, we are commanded to serve, even live a life of service, no matter how menial the task may be or seem.

After taking the form of a servant, Paul says that Jesus came in the likeness of man.  Yesterday, we saw that this word likeness is where we get our word, “scheme”.  Remember that Jesus is fully God, as though He were not man & fully man as though He were not God.  Since we already are humans, my take on what Paul means when he says to have the same mind as Christ, in relation to the likeness of man, is that we not take ourselves so seriously. 

Finally, after doing all these things, Paul says that Jesus humbled Himself & became obedient to death on the crossI don’t think there was any way that Jesus could humble Himself more than what He underwent through His death.  If you want to look into what all this entailed with more depth, here are a few websites as starting points:  http://www.konnections.com/Kcundick/crucifix.html & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion

So, hopefully, there’s a little more depth for you here.  Let us know if you have any suggestions on implementing any &/or all of these points into your daily living.

Next week, we’ll be going through 2:9-18, so I’d encourage you to read these verses everyday, as part of your quiet time w God.  🙂

having the same mind as Jesus

Reading in Philippians 2 has been very stimulating and challenging to me.  Some things to consider in verses 5-8 are Paul’s command  to us to have the same mind or attitude that Christ has.  In verses 6-8, he tells us how to do this:

  • don’t hold onto a position (vs 6)
  • empty yourself (vs 7)
  • become a servant (vs 7)
  • don’t take yourself too seriously (vs 7)
  • humble yourself (vs 8)
  • die to yourself (vs 8 & Gal 2:20)

This is an “Everest” list – very big & maybe even insurmountable to some.  Nevertheless, if you look just a few verses later, Paul encourages us work out our salvation with fear & trembling & that God is at work in us to give us the desire & ability to accomplish His desires (vs 13).  So those times when you have a strange desire to help someone else, to take the low road & defer to someone else, to consider God’s preferences – consider those moments to be divine interruptions & even inspiritations.  These are moments when the Holy Spirit is helping you to have the same mind as Christ!  Any suggestions on getting better at being humble?  😉

happy, happy, happy

Happiness isn’t as elusive as it sounds.  For all the philosophers & philogists who are now figuring out if they want discuss etymological differences between joy & happiness, philosophical conundrums in epistemology as it relates to the existential state of happiness in a post-modern context, based on emerging paradigms and other complicated things – this blog may be too simple for your taste. 

For the rest of us, here’s something interesting I read in last week’s paper about some simple things we can do to increase our happiness.

  • give thanks – always find things to be thankful for (when you look, you automatically find your focus will improve)
  • Do good – carry someone’s groceries to the car, take some soup to someone who’s sick, call a friend & tell them that you appreciate them, tell your boss that you appreciate having a job, donate blood.  Kind acts always leaving you feeling good
  • Get involved – hibernating in your apartment or house can lead to some deep depression.  Volunteering at church can be a nice antidote because it helps get us out of the axis of self-centeredness.  Participate with life by engaging with others
  • Chose or lose – a scientific study showed that “only 10% of our well-being is determined by circumstances & 40% is a matter of intentional activity.”

These suggestions are from a secular perspective, but they sure sound alot like Biblical principles.  Gee, makes me think that there might be something worthwhile in that there Bible.  😉

problems w jalepenos

I love spicey food.  I like my pho hot, I like my mexican food spicey, I like to put la-jiao on my lo mein.  I like my Ethiopian food hot – I just like hot food! 

There is, however, a draw back that keeps coming back to bite me _ almost literally.  Whenever I cut or break apart jalepenos (for whatever purpose), the spiciness gets on my fingers & then anything my fingers touch.  Don’t even think of rubbing your eyes or picking your nose.  Which brings me to the reason for this blog.  I saw a recipe in this week’s food section in the newspaper for mexican brisket.  The recipe includes chopped up jalepeno & since I made this about 30min ago, I’m having some bad issues – my lips are burning & even though I didn’t pick my nose, somehow, my nose is burning.  I already reminded myself before the chopping about the dangers of jalepeno infestation, so I can’t figure out why I’m having this problem now. 

I can’t bring myself to use rubber gloves in my kitchen – I’m not a professional chef nor is my kitchen a restaurant.  Benji is sitting here telling me to make jalepeno cake for me.  :/  Any suggestions?  I’ve even thought of trying to snort milk, but I can’t bring myself to do this yet.  Advice anyone? 

Beuler?

Philippians – we’re BACK!!

Hello to everyone who is enjoying the Philippians exploration!  We’re going to be talking about Philip 2 in chapel next week, so I’d encourage you to to read chapter 2 (maybe one time a day).  Specifically, we’ll be looking at verses 5-11.  If you’re really into it, I’d encourage you to pick up RT Kendall’s book on it.  This book will blow your eyebrows off – if they’re non-bushy.  😉

Anyways, the book is PHENOMENAL!!!  Here’s the link for the book:  http://www.amazon.com/Imitating-Christ-R-T-Kendall/dp/1599790556/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1221595352&sr=8-1