Thanksgiving & CommunionNovember 28-December 2
The Mind of Christ
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, – Philippians 2:5 (ESV)
While taking a flight in a small plane in Washington state, marriage counselors Les and Leslie Parrot were given some interesting information from their pilot: We crossed over the islands of Puget Sound and approached the lights of a local airport. “The most important thing about landing is the attitude of the plane,” said the pilot. “You mean altitude, don’t you?” I asked. “No,” the pilot explained. “The attitude has to do with the nose of the plane. If the attitude is too high, the plane will come down with a severe bounce. And if the attitude is too low, the plane may go out of control because of excessive landing speed.”
Then the pilot said something that got our attention: “The trick is to get the right attitude in spite of atmospheric conditions.” Without knowing it, our pilot had given us a perfect metaphor for creating a happy marriage—the trick is to develop the right attitude in spite of the circumstances we find ourselves in. (Les & Leslie Parrott, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts:
Seven Questions to Ask Before—and After—You Marry)
The right attitude is essential in all of life. In Philippians 2, the Apostle Paul is commanding the saints at Philippi to have the attitude of Jesus. Paul knew the only way to live in a Christ-like way was to have a Christ-like mind. And in the same way a plane needs a right attitude in spite of the conditions, we need the mind of Christ no matter the circumstance.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne said, “It’s not great talents that God blesses, but great likeness to Jesus.” The WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) bracelets were a popular way of reminding ourselves to respond the way Jesus would respond. What are some things you can do to help you think more like Jesus and see the world more like Jesus sees the world?
Thank God for giving you a new way of seeing life. Ask God to give you His way of thinking
about any challenging circumstances you are currently facing..
Thankful for the Incarnation
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.- Philippians 2:5-7 (ESV)
A former missionary told the story of two rugged, powerful mountain goats who met on a narrow pathway joining two mountain ridges. On one side was a chasm 1,000 feet deep; on the other, a steep cliff rising straight up. So narrow was the trail that there was no room to turn around, and the goats could not back up without falling. What would they do? Finally, instead
of fighting for the right to pass, one of the goats knelt down and made himself as flat as possible. The other goat then walked over him, and they both proceeded safely. In a sense, this is what Jesus Christ did for us when He left heaven’s glory and came to this earth to die for our sins. (D C Egner, Our Daily Bread)
Jesus refused to selfishly cling to His favored position as the divine Son of God nor view it as a prized possession to be used for Himself. One author wrote, “He (Jesus) stripped Himself of His expression of deity, but not His possession of deity. He restricted the outward manifestation of His deity. In His incarnation, He clothed Himself with humanity. He was like a king temporarily clothing himself in the garb of a peasant while still remaining king, even though it was not apparent.”
Pastor Jim reminded us that we have a better idea of what God is like because of the Incarnation. What are some of the things you learn about Jesus knowing that He took on the form of a man while He was still God?
Praise God for the things Jesus revealed to us about God by coming to Earth. Ask God to show you any areas where pride may be getting in the way of Him using you.
Thankful for the Crucifixion
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. — Philippians 2:8 (ESV)
The home of an English family was discovered on fire. They thought everybody was out but the baby. The mother saved her. For years, as the child grew up, the mother went about the house with her hands covered. The daughter came into her room one day unexpectedly, and the mother sat there with her hands uncovered. They were torn and scarred and disfigured. Instantly the mother tried to cover them as the girl came forward, but she said, “I had better tell you about it. It was when the fire was in the house and you were in your cradle. I fought my way through the flames to get you. I wrapped you in a blanket and dropped you through the window, and somebody caught you. I could not go down the stairway, so I climbed out of the window. My hands were burnt, and I slipped and caught on the trellis work. When I fell, my hands were torn. The doctor did his best, but, my dear, these hands were torn for you.” And the girl, who had grown to womanhood, sprang toward her mother, took one hand and then the other, and buried her face in those hands, as she kept saying, “They are beautiful hands,
beautiful hands.” (J. Wilbur Chapman)
Jesus’ hands were scarred at the Cross for us. At the Cross, Jesus paid the penalty we should have paid, by enduring the wrath of God we should have endured. It is good for us to remember that Jesus was perfectly obedient to the point of death in our place, as our substitute. Jerry Bridges writes, “Just as God charged our sin to Christ, so he credits the perfect obedience of Jesus to all who trust in him. In what is often called the Great Exchange, God exchanges our sin for Christ’s righteousness. As a result, all who have trusted in Christ as Savior stand before God not with a clean-but-empty ledger, but one filled with the very righteousness of Christ!”
What do the nail scarred hands of Jesus tell you about how He feels about you? How should you respond to His nail scarred hands?
Praise Jesus for His scars and what they represent. Ask God to grow your heart and acts of gratitude in your life.
Thankful for the Resurrection
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, – Philippians 2:9 (ESV)
Dr. Tony Evans writes: Over the years, many celebrities have knelt on the sidewalk outside the Grumman’s Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles to leave their hand- and footprints in the cement on the Hollywood walk of fame. Fans always gather to applaud their favorite stars as they leave their imprints. Those who qualify for a place on the walk of fame must have made a name for
themselves —one that is recognized, respected, and even revered. If that is the criterion, Jesus Christ would win hands down as deserving the top spot not just on some sidewalk, but the top spot in the universe. (Tony Evans, Who is this King of Glory)
The resurrection of Jesus signified the satisfactory and completed work of Jesus on our behalf. Because Jesus was willing to humble Himself and be obedient to death on the cross, God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name above every name….putting His stamp of approval on Jesus’ death as the satisfaction of the penalty for our sins.
What are some of the great names in society today? Why are they considered great? Why is Jesus’ name even greater?
Thank God for the significance of the Resurrection. Praise Jesus for the reasons you listed that make His name great.
Thankful for the Expectation
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. —Philippians 2:10-11 (ESV)
God has a way of turning the tables on evil. The French philosopher Voltaire predicted that Christianity would be swept from existence within one hundred years. Yet just fifty years after he died in 1779, the German Bible Society had occupied Voltaire’s house and was using his printing press to produce stacks of Bibles. During World War II, Adolf Hitler erected a massive stone structure in Monte Carlo. It was to be a radio station from which to broadcast Nazi propaganda into North Africa. Today, from that very building, Trans World Radio beams the Gospel of Christ’s redeeming love all across Europe and into Russia and Africa. Could these ironies of history be just a hint of the last word Christ will have at the end of this age? The apostle Paul wrote of a day when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that “Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:11). (D J De Haan, Our Daily Bread)
One day as a British king entered a room and everyone stood, he said, “Please take your seats, gentlemen. I’m not the Lord, you know.” “No, Your Highness,” replied one of the group. “If you were, we would have dropped to our knees.” There is coming a day when all of Creation will bow down before Jesus and confess that He is Lord.
Pastor Jim talked about the return of Christ in His sermon. What stood out to you about the return of Christ? Did God convict you about changing anything in your life if you are going to live expecting His return?
Praise God that you don’t have to fear His return if you have entered into a relationship with Him. Pray that our church would have a sense of urgency about the return of Christ that would drive our evangelistic efforts.