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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010
Read Philippians 2:5-8. For today’s devotion, I want you to follow me in three different versions of the Bible. Here is the text in all three versions.

KJV

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

NAS

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

NIV

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

There is a progression in this passage I want to understand because I think God is showing us an important process. How do I humble myself? How do I have the mind of Christ? Is this something I can do myself? I believe God has to call us to do something as radical as this and give us the strength to do it.

Look at the three versions of this text. Each one of them tries to help us get our minds around what happened when God became a man, but still remained God. Jesus, fully God, part of the triune Godhead, stepped out of heaven’s glory and took on flesh and blood. There was no part of him that wasn’t still God, and no part of him that wasn’t fully human.

The first verb we encounter is one of “being.” I think of Moses and his encounter with God when the Lord said, “I am that I am.” The NAS says he “existed.” KJV says, “being in the form of God.” So the first step is to understand who God is, what his essence or being is.

The second step I see is that he did not hold fast to the station he rightfully owned. It is a volitional process of thinking/saying/acting counter to what he had a right to do. Jesus “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.” He “thought it not robbery,” which is an interesting way to put it. Jesus was not robbing anyone by being God because he was God.

When you know your station, your place, who you are, and then don’t consider that station something you have to hang onto in order to stay who you are, there is great freedom there. He didn't have to prove to anyone anything about himself. The next step we encounter is Jesus “made himself nothing.” He “emptied himself.” He “made himself of no reputation.”

When you know who you are and have the humility not to have to “grasp” that privilege, you can take the next step of divesting yourself, emptying yourself. He made himself nothing, which led to him taking on the form of a servant, a slave.

Then, and this is the critical point in the process for you and me, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of giving his life for you and me.

I don’t think you can skip any of the steps in that process and truly reach the humility that God wants for us. If we try to manufacture humility, we’ll fail and God won’t be glorified. We have to recognize who we are in Christ, that God is not just our maker, but also our Redeemer, and our Friend. We have access to the holy of holies because of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. So we go boldly to the throne of God.

Having all these rights and privileges of now being in the family of God, adopted into his kingdom, we have to make the conscious decision not to “strut our stuff” in front of the world. We must not hold onto whatever prestige and position we might have attained, but empty ourselves and daily, make ourselves servants. You can’t truly humble yourself until you go through those steps. But when you do, you not only are able to humble yourself, but also be obedient to God, submitting yourself to his perfect will.

Then you will be able to truly glorify God. Isn’t that what we long to do as believers?

Where are you in this progression? Ask God to show you how to humble yourself and become obedient in whatever he has for you today.

If we understand this example that Jesus gave us, and if we ask to have this same mind, God will enable us to do that as we constantly think about this, contemplate it, and pray that he will do his perfect work in us.

Find the words to the hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross. When we “examine closely” the cross, we understand that it's not just the incarnation that changed everything. It wasn't just God coming to earth that saved us. It was his sacrifice for us, his passion and love for us. Meditate on that cross today.

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