Morning Musing: Philippians 2:3-4

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

How important are the people around you? The answer to that question depends on how you’re looking at it. In an absolute sense, every person is of equal value. No one can claim to be objectively more important or valuable than anyone else. At the same time, in a relative sense, we do value some people more than others. I say this only by means of reflection, not evaluation. The question we need to answer, though, is how we should value the people around us. Paul gives us some wisdom here worth heeding. Let’s take a look at this together.

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Digging in Deeper: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

When was the last time you were in a place of genuine dependence on someone else? When was the last time you were so weak you couldn’t accomplish some task on your own? I still remember the day after having my appendix out. I had some sort of a reaction to the anesthesia that caused all my muscles to gradually clench until I was curled up in a ball. I could actively feel it happening, but couldn’t do anything about it. It was one of the weirdest, most helpless, not to mention scariest moments of my life. And the doctor on call just stood there staring at me. Thankfully one of my nurses broke protocol by not waiting on the pharmacy order to go through to give me some medicine that resolved the issue. Being weak and helpless is no fun. If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about. So then, what are we supposed to do with Paul’s glorification of weakness here? Let’s talk about it.

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All Fired Up

This week we kick off a brand-new teaching series called, A Heavy Load. So often, as we go through this life, we seek to do it on our own. We try and solve our own problems. We overcome our own challenges. We bear our own burdens. And at least in this culture, we’re taught to do just that. If you can’t manage your own stuff, what good are you anyway? But doing life on our own gets heavy after all. The weight of it all can begin to drag on our lives in all kinds of ways that add up and have an impact over time. The better approach is to quit trying to do life on our own and start doing it with Jesus. Over the next five weeks we are going to look at four specific loads we try and bear on our own, why that doesn’t work, and why doing life with Jesus is better. Then, in the final part, we’ll explore just why exactly life is so much better with Jesus. You won’t want to miss a single part of this conversation. Thanks for reading and sharing.

All Fired Up

I want you to do some remembering with me for just a minute this morning. I want you to think back to the last time you were genuinely angry about something that did not impact you directly and over which you had no control. If that seems oddly specific, there’s a reason for it which we’ll get to in a little bit. I’m not thinking about that time you saw something that was mildly irritating on one social media platform or another. I’m talking about the time you were angry – really and truly angry – but the object of your ire was not something that was having any sort of a direct impact on your life, and you weren’t really able to meaningfully do anything about it anyway. 

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Morning Musing: Genesis 2:23-24

“And the man said: This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken from man. This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Let me ask a loaded question: Did you marry your soulmate? Depending on your circumstances, you may have a whole variety of answers to that question. If you’re a newlywed (or a nearly -wed), you are probably going to fire off an immediate, “Absolutely!” in response. If you marriage is really, really good, you might also say yes. If you have experienced the pain of divorce or are in a marriage that is on rocky ground, you may not be quite so quick to agree. Let me change the question up just a bit: Do you even believe in the idea that each one of us has a soulmate? Again, maybe you do, maybe you don’t. It’s hard to deny the popularity of the idea in pop culture. What got me thinking about this today is a Hallmark movie I recently watched with my bride. If there is anywhere the concept of a soulmate is part of the foundation of an organization, it is in Hallmark’s film division. Sometimes, though, things slip through the cracks. Let’s talk about one of those times and what it looks like to have a healthier view of marriage than Hallmark offers.

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Morning Musing: James 4:10

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Yesterday we talked about one of the great paradoxes of the Christian worldview. This was Jesus’ declaration that if we want to save our lives, we must be prepared to lose them. Our conclusion then was that even though these two ideas sound contradictory, they are nonetheless both completely true. This morning we’re going to look briefly at another paradox of the faith. This one appears in various places throughout the Old and New Testaments, so there were multiple different passages we could have looked at. This one from James has a context that puts a little more fire behind the observation. Let’s talk about the greatness found in humility and a good example from a man named, Ted.

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