Who’s First?

By , May 21, 2018

For everyone looks out for their own interests,
not those of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 2:21 (NIV)

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When you watch children playing you will soon witness an interesting problem that is sure to happen if they play long enough.

They will engage in a game where someone must go first and the rest follow after. Everyone will want to be the first to go whether it is to pick up a card, roll dice, or whatever. Going first makes the child feel important and feeds their ego.

Sometimes people grow up physically and never seem to grow up emotionally. They will still want to be first in any activity. Winning the game is all that is important to them. So they seek any advantage they can manipulate in order to come out first.

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Think Like Jesus

By , May 20, 2018

In your relationships with one another,
have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God
something to be used to his own advantage;
Philippians 2:5-6 (NIV)

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In western society we can have a difficult time trying to understand the effects of poverty on billions of people in our world. I know of several humanitarian organizations that arrange trips for their supporters to the countries where the most basic needs to support life are scarce.

The idea is that if you can get people with some wealth to go to areas of extreme need, the experience can help the visitors understand better why funds need to be given. Taking someone who owns a 3-4 bedroom home, complete with double car garage, central air conditioning, and other amenities, to witness people living in a one room hut 10 feet by ten feet can cause the donor to have the “mindset” of the impoverished.

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Vain Conceit

By , May 19, 2018

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
not looking to your own interests
but each of you to the interests of the others.
Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)

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He was one of the sadder men that I have met in my lifetime. There seemed to be something very wrong with him and it took me a while to determine what was really going on in his life.

The first thing I noticed about him was the way he walked. He seemed to strut or swagger when he walked anywhere. The manner in which he moved suggested that he had a sense of self importance.

Then, I noticed that he had an opinion on every topic of conversation. He tried to show that he knew a lot about any subject at all.

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Beware Of Vesuvius

By , May 18, 2018

Therefore if you have any encouragement
from being united with Christ,
if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,
if any tenderness and compassion,
then make my joy complete by being like-minded,
having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.”
Philippians 2:1-2 (NIV)

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Mount Vesuvius in Italy is best known for its eruption in A.D. 79 and the consequent destruction of two Roman cities. It is regarded as the most dangerous active volcano in the world. Several million people now live within reach of its lethal capabilities.

When we think of the destructive forces of such a mountain we shudder. Why would people repopulate the area around such a dreadful mountain which had killed many thousands of people over the centuries. Signs ought to be posted all around the area reading, Beware of Vesuvius.

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What Did I Sign Up For?

By , May 17, 2018

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ
not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,
since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had,
and now hear that I still have.
Philippians 1:29-30 (NIV)

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When a person signs up in the armed forces they only have a vague idea of the alternatives that might confront them. For example, I well remember a dear friend of mine describing his son’s experiences in the Canadian armed service.

The young man signed up expecting some rough and difficult things if he was ever posted overseas. However, when he was shipped to one of the hottest countries in the east, he was not psychologically ready for what he had to endure while there.

The first negative thing that shocked him was the need to wear a uniform better suited for cooler climates than the frequent 110 degree daytime temperatures in that country. Then he was required to carry a 40 pound kit on his back when marching and on duty.

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