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Posts tagged with: Philippians

A person's arm with a WWJD bracelet on it

The Good News of Christian Leadership – WWJD?

What would Jesus do? A helpful place to begin answering that question is to reflect on what Jesus has already done. To that end, our text from Philippians 2 provides profound insight.

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St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Findlay, Ohio; Eucharistic stained glass window depicting bread and wine

The Good News of Christian Leadership – Expensive Grace

Jesus’ death on the cross is not just an ugly necessity resulting from humanity’s greatest failure, but – here’s the wonderful surprise – it is the most profound revelation of God’s compassion for his creation. And, perhaps even more surprisingly, Jesus’ self-sacrifice becomes not only a one-time fix for humanity’s greatest problem, but the once-for-all-time demonstration of our intended vocation as human beings.

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A sunrise over the water

Living as Citizens on Earth as in Heaven

According to Philippians 3:20, “our citizenship is in heaven.” This does not mean simply that we get to go to heaven after we die. Rather, it means that we are to live on this earth according to the values of heaven. We are committed to the agenda of the one who is sovereign in heaven, the King of kings and Lord of lords. In all we do, we are to seek God’s justice and mercy, for God’s purposes and glory.

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A number of national flags, including the U.S. flag, flying in the breeze

Living as Citizens of Heaven

As citizens of the United States celebrate Independence Day, we recognize that we have another, supreme citizenship. According to Philippians 3:20, “our citizenship is in heaven.” Thus, while offering thanks for the goodness of our nation, we are not caught in idolatrous nationalism. Rather, we affirm what is good and critique what is not, working as citizens of heaven and earth for God’s justice here and now, even as we long for the ultimate justice of God’s future.

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Da Vinci’s Last Supper

Vocational Gratitude: Redemption

As we celebrate this Advent Season, reminded again of Jesus’ coming into the world, I want to reflect on the distinctive vision and driving force behind God’s incarnation in Jesus Christ. What was the mindset that Jesus brought to his work in the world? And, what might that say to us about our work as leaders?

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Help Me Help You: Investments That Matter

Your team members came to you with their gifts, talents, and time. They have enhanced your vision, and in some cases even caused it to flourish. And now a few years into the work, one of your stronger team members tells you that they are moving on. What do you do? How do you handle this?

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A young man laughing in joy.

Gratitude Enhances Your Joy and Guards Your Heart

Gratitude has numerous benefits. Behavior and medical science tell us so. As does the Bible. No doubt we should offer thanks to God because God deserves it, and because it’s the polite thing to do. But when we express our gratitude to God, we also benefit in many ways. In his letter to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul writes that he thanks God every time he remembers his church in Philippi (1:3). And when he does this, he does it with joy… always.

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A man in a shadowy valley, with the sun piercing from above.

In Plain Sight: Part 3

Rejoicing in the midst of trials, tragedies, and difficulties does not require the denial of the present pain. What you are seeing, and experiencing is real. Nevertheless, you should rejoice because your success is not rooted in your situation, or even in your ability to fix it—but it is firmly grounded in the track record of God. This is why Psalm 43 instructs us to place our hope in God as the remedy for a downcast soul. This is also why we are encouraged to rejoice in the Lord.

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A white person and an African American person with their hands locked in unity.

“You Can’t Take It or Leave It”

This is what it means to hear someone else’s story and honor it, value it, and treasure it. This is what it means to enter into relationship with another person, another group of people. Of course, Jesus was our best example of this. He moved into our neighborhood (as Eugene Peterson has paraphrased it), and did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. Instead, Jesus made himself nothing so that he could draw near to us, and heal us.

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The view from an economy class seat in an airplane cabin.

Frequent Flyer Blues

It’s easy to get used to being put on a pedestal. We may say we don’t want to be on a pedestal, but the benefits of pedestal living are hard to resist once we start to experience them. I’ve heard it said that we weren’t made for fame. I think that’s true. Only a few of us can truly handle position and power well. In fact, Jesus was our best example.

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People sitting around a campfire.

One in the Spirit

[Church camp is] where I first heard the song, “They’ll Know We Are Christians.” The hymn was written in the 60s, by Peter R. Scholtes. A parish priest in Chicago, Scholtes was leading a youth choir and “was looking for an appropriate song for a series of ecumenical, interracial events.” Unable to find a song that worked, Scholtes wrote his own, and it has stood the test of time.

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A child being caught by a Father's love.

Grasping the Right Things

The imagery of Philippians 3:12 reveals a God who wraps us up in his love and thus calls us to fully grasp the immensity of this reality. Paul’s leadership was based on his identity as one seized by the love of God. The problem that many people face is that they more readily grasp the negative labels and harmful words inflicted upon them more than they do the love of God.

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Someone typing on a vintage typewriter a midst a bustling crowd.

Leadership is a Lifetime of Learning

Here in his letter to the church in Philippi, Paul has just stressed how much he has given up in order to attain the matchless beauty of Christ (3:8-11). But he doesn’t want to mislead his readers into thinking he has attained perfection, so he emphasizes that even he, the Apostle Paul, has much room to grow… The best of leaders know that learning is a lifelong process, never assuming that they have arrived.

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A Christmas tree topper in the shape of the star that guided the magi.

Devotions for Christmas, Part 4: Anticipating the Future in Our Christmas Praise

At Christmas, we are right to focus on Jesus Christ and the wonder of his birth. We rightly bow before him in worship, like the Magi. Yet, in doing so, we are not just looking back to the past. We are also anticipating the future advent of Christ, when he will be revealed in all of his power and glory. Then, we will join with all creatures in bowing before him and proclaiming that he is Lord.

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Writing holiday cards over tea.

Devotions for Christmas, Part 3: Heeding the Summons of Christmas

We heed the summons of Christmas not only by giving gifts, participating in holiday worship services, and wishing others a “Merry Christmas.” We live the truth of Christmas also by choosing to embody the humility and self-sacrifice of Jesus. Even as he did not use his authority for personal advantage, we are called to give up our rights in service to others.

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