Friday, March 21, 2014

Authentic in Nature

“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality
 with God something to be grasped,” Philippians 2:6 (NIV)
            Jesus chose not to boast that He was God’s Son. He went about what He was supposed to do while on Earth. Jesus didn’t laud it over the ones He met.

            I worked with a lady who had earned a doctorate in education and could have insisted that she be called ‘Doctor’ but she introduced herself with her first name. She had been in education before she took the job at the library. Her advanced degree studies were in reading education. If you didn’t see her name tag, you didn’t know she possessed three earned degrees. She knew her job, did it well, and was likable as a person.

            We see people who wish to be treated as regular, in spite of their advancements. Some pastors answer to their title; some seem comfortable being called by their first name. A friend once told me that pastors were people who had a calling from God but were just like us in all other ways. I had a counselor who possessed a PhD who told me to call him by his given name. I felt comfortable with him. He put on no airs.

            In walking through our world, we want to appear genuine to those we meet. We try to do this in ways that don’t burden those we are trying to get to know. Coming from a background that is difficult for me to talk about, I prefer not to tell all my deep feelings about things in my past. But I try to be pleasant and understanding of other people’s situations.

            As children of God, we are not exempt from the travails of this life. We should always try to realize that we are no different than the next person we meet on the street, in the stores, or at the doctor’s office.

            In the late 1960s there was a television comedian who had a one line thought that seemed to bring a lot of laughs. He’d look into the camera and say, “What you see is
what you get.” As I reflect on his words, I realize this phrase of his sums up the idea of authenticity in a way that makes it clear that we are to be transparent before all we meet.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Our Attitudes

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:”
Philippians 2:5 (NIV)

            How we act and react to the people and events that enter our lives should reflect Jesus. We have to shed ourselves of ‘us’ and take on His way of dealing with events, even if tend to upset us.

            Jesus showed compassion on the crowds who met Him as he traveled. He tenderly healed the woman who was ill for twelve years. Christ took pity on the 5,000 men and their families and fed them.

            I had a worry growing in my mind. This concern dealt with my husband of 41 years. When I went to do business at my bank and mail some letters, mostly bills. I decided to go on over to the church office and take care of something there.

            As I finished the actual business there, I shared with one of the secretaries what I had heard from Hubby. As I shared with her, I told her that several years ago a friend his had problems of the same kind. But I couldn’t finish the thought. She understood. I felt better after I talked to her. She showed compassion.

            Jesus showed mercy and forgiveness. When the angry men brought the adulterous woman to Him, He bent down and wrote something in the dirt. This caused the men to wander away from the scene. He looked at the woman and asked if any of her accusers were still hanging around. She replied that they were gone. His answer showed mercy along with forgiveness. When He saw those who came to Him to be healed, he looked on them with compassion. He might have been worn out from a day’s journey or from dealing with strong-willed people but He chose to display compassion to those who came to Him seeking help.

            Shouldn’t we emulate Jesus when people approach us, seeking help of whatever kind? 


Monday, March 17, 2014


Each of you should look not only to your interests
but also to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:4 (NIV)

            Paul spoke to a diverse church. Some had converted from Judaism. Others came from other areas, Rome, Greece, and who knows where else. There could have been a Roman jailer who worked in this colony for the empire. Each believer had a different background.

            Even today, we see people from different backgrounds come together to form a body of worship. In our protestant church, we have several people who have a Roman Catholic background. We have a family where the husband/father grew up in a home where his parent’s native language was spoken. He is first generation American. I have heard that he can speak that native language of his parents.

            We have people who come to the Lord as adults and have no Christian heritage to guide them. They learn of the Lord each day of their walk. Some people return to the Lord after they realize their need of a Savior and King.

            Sometimes, people working in a church encounter people who have been accused of transgressing the law of the land. Some of those we encounter are relatives of those who are paying a debt to society.

            We have to show Jesus to all we meet and with whom we work. As we strive together we learn to keep God uppermost in our lives. If those who are different from us have needs, we are to try to bring those needs to resolution. When the body of Christ works together, it works together not caring who amongst them gets the credit. They give that credit to Jesus.


Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...