“Made Himself of No Reputation” ( Philippians 2: 7, AKJV ) by Carley Evans


That is why God has raised him to such a height, given him that name which is greater than any other name; so that everything in heaven and on earth and under the earth must bend the knee before the name of Jesus, and every tongue must confess Jesus Christ as the Lord, dwelling in the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:9-11KNOX

For which thing God enhanced him, and gave to him a name that is above all name; [For which thing and God enhanced him, and gave to him a name that is above all names;] that in the name of Jesus each knee be bowed, of heavenly things, [and] of earthly things, and of hell’s; and each tongue acknowledge, that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:9-11WYC

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:9-11AKJV

“That is why,” “For which thing” and “Wherefore” indicate the reason God exalted Jesus Christ above all others. The reason is that Jesus “who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (AKJV)

Jesus’ willingness to humble Himself, to “make Himself of no reputation” is also the reason Paul calls upon Christians to likewise humble ourselves. If we walk about with our noses stuck in the air, who will benefit? Certainly not those who are lost. Neither will our spiritual pride bring glory to God. Note that Jesus’ humility brought glory to God the Father. His willingness to step out of His power and accept human weaknesses – including death – is why He is now exalted above all names.

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“Dispossessed” ( Philippians 2:5-8 KNOX ) by Carley Evans


orange_blueIn a world promoting the ‘get what you want and get it now’ attitude, Christ’s attitude is mind-numbing and shocking. Christ “took the nature of a slave” despite being “in the rank of Godhead.” He dispossessed Himself of His rightful station and fashioned Himself as a human being. He allowed Himself to die. Paul calls upon Christians to do the same:

Yours is to be the same mind which Christ Jesus shewed. His nature is, from the first, divine, and yet he did not see, in the rank of Godhead, a prize to be coveted; he dispossessed himself, and took the nature of a slave, fashioned in the likeness of men, and presenting himself to us in human form; and then he lowered his own dignity, accepted an obedience which brought him to death, death on a cross.

What prize do we covet?

“Of Low Esteem” ( James 4:10 WYC ) by Carley Evans


Look at the following translations of the same verse written by James. In several versions, we humble ourselves before or in the sight of the Lord while in several other versions, we find ourselves humbled (or meeked) by an outside force, perhaps by God Himself or by other human beings. At any rate, whether we cast ourselves down or are cast down by others, as we allow ourselves to remain humble, the Lord will exalt or lift us.

The haughty spirit – the proud – this is the one the Lord must discipline. Jesus’ harshest words are for those who hold themselves in high esteem. The Lord lifts the ones who feel the most unworthy and often those we view as the least in the kingdom of God.

Be ye meeked in the sight of the Lord, and he shall enhance you.

humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:10KNOX

Cast down yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10GNV

Be humbled in the sight of the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:10DRA

“A Way That Seems Right” ( Proverbs 14: 12, NIV ) by Carley Evans


“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” No person sets out to do what seems wrong; instead, a person performs those acts which seem right. [Before you argue that persons like Osama bin Ladin do only evil things which can not possibly “seem right,” remember that Osama truly believed that his actions against “infidels” were sanctioned by his god. The way in which bin Ladin worshiped his god seemed right to him.] Along this line, my actions seem right to me, though they are wrong “and in the end lead to death” according to the Lord. Why? Because my ways are not His ways; my thoughts are not His thoughts. In and of myself, I am incapable of pleasing the Lord God.

God “shows us what is good. And what does the Lord require of [us]? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with [our] God.” (Micah 6:8) God says, “A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.” (Proverbs 29:23) Our pride — our trust in ourselves — can cause us to doubt that “every Word of God is flawless” and that “[God] is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” (Proverbs 30:5)

“[God] is a shield around [us]; He bestows glory on [us] and lifts up [our] heads. To the Lord [we] cry aloud, and He answers [us] from His holy hill.” (Psalm 3:3-4) “Because the Lord sustains [us], [we] will not fear.” (Psalm 3:5,6) “From the Lord comes deliverance. May [HIs] blessing be on [us.]” (Psalm 3:8)

“Ruined By Your Knowledge” ( 1 Corinthians 8: 1-3, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


Paul says, “knowledge inflates the pride.” (1 Corinthians 8:1) Paul also warns that “the weak brother, the brother for whom Christ died, [can be] ruined by your knowledge.” (1 Corinthians 8:11)

 

The knowledge of which Paul speaks is the understanding that idols are nothing; therefore, food that is offered to them is perfectly acceptable fare for one’s table. Unless, Paul explains, another brother in Christ does not have this knowledge. Then your knowledge that it is acceptable and “this right of yours [to eat food offered to idols] becomes a stumbling block to the weak.” (1 Corinthians 8:9) And, at this point, if you allow your knowledge to harm your brother, you are no longer acting in love.

 

Paul says, “Love builds up.” He warns, “Now when you sin like this against the brothers and wound their weak consciences, you are sinning against Christ.” (1 Corinthians 8:12) If that which I know to be acceptable, nevertheless harms my brother in Christ, “I will never again” do that. “so that I won’t cause my brother to fall.” (1 Corinthians 8:13)

 

Paul writes to the church at Corinth, “If anyone thinks he knows anything, he does not yet know as he ought to know it. But if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.”

“No Place For Human Pride” ( 1 Corinthians 1: 30, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“There is no place for human pride in the presence of God.” (1 Corinthians 1: 30)

 

When Jesus heals a demon-possessed man of his blindness and deafness, the Pharisees say, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” (Matthew 12:24, NIV) Jesus tells them, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters. And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” (Matthew 12:30-31, NIV)

 

In His hometown, Jesus offends His neighbors — people who’ve known Him all His life. Jesus says, “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” (Matthew 13:57, NIV)

 

The Pharisees complain against Jesus’ disciples, accusing them of not washing their hands before eating. Jesus replies, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?” (Matthew 15:3, NIV) He reminds the Pharisees that they avoid financially supporting their own mothers and fathers via setting aside money as a gift to God. “Thus,” says Jesus, “you nullify the Word of God for the sake of your tradition.” (Matthew 15:6, NIV)

 

The Pharisees and Sadducees ask Jesus to “show them a sign from heaven.” Jesus tells them, “you know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given except the sign of Jonah.” (Matthew 16:1,3-4, NIV)

 

Human pride is reflected in each of these encounters. The Pharisees are awash with self-righteousness and self-aggrandizement. Jesus says, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child never enters it.” (Mark 10:14-15, NIV)

 

In the presence of Jesus, there is no place for human pride.

“Grace To The Humble” (James 4: 6, NEB) by Carley Evans


“Humble yourselves before God and He will lift you high.” (James 4: 10) Humble yourselves, for “God opposes the arrogant and gives grace to the humble.” (James 4: 6)

James suggests that you not say that tomorrow you are going to do this or that, or go here or there. Instead he says, “You have no idea what tomorrow will bring.” (James 4: 13) Instead, you ought to say, “If it be the Lord’s will, we shall live to do this or that.” (James 4: 15) James warns that it is arrogance which leads you to boast of your plans as if you know your future. “All such boasting is wrong.” (James 4: 16)

James calls you to “come close to God, [so] He will come close to you.” (James 4: 8) Ask God for the wisdom you need to plan your days. For “if you fall short in wisdom, [you] should ask God for it and it will be given [you], for God is a generous giver who neither refuses nor reproaches anyone. But [you] must ask in faith, without a doubt in [your] mind.” (James 1: 5)

As you ask God for wisdom, know also that “the grace He gives is stronger.” (James 4: 6) God’s grace is stronger than the adversary, stronger than the world, and stronger than you. “Be sorrowful, mourn and weep. Turn your laughter into mourning and your gaiety into gloom.” (James 4: 9) As you humble yourselves before God, He gives wisdom and grace so that you overcome the world.