Entrusted With The Gospel Church Website Banner

Fridge Rights

After my sermon yesterday, Jackie and I were discussing the service and she said, “I thought you were going to
mention ‘fridge rights’ the way you were going.” I told her that I hadn’t even thought of it, but it would have
been a perfect addition to the sermon on unity. The term ‘fridge rights’ comes from a book we read a long time
ago that describes a deep enough level of friendship that when you’re at their house, you don’t have to ask to
get something from the fridge, you can just help yourself. You usually find this kind of closeness only between
family members or lifelong friends.
 
Who has ‘fridge rights’ in your life? Are there people who have a deep enough relationship with you to ask hard
questions, to be there for you no matter what? That’s true unity.


Became Obedient to Death, Even Death on a Cross

Legend tells of a time when Alexander the Great demanded the surrender on a foreign ruler. The ruler scoffed
and asked why he should surrender when his force was twice as large as Alexander’s. This meeting took place
near a cliff, and Alexander ordered his soldiers to line up and march towards the cliff. One by one the soldiers
stepped unwaveringly off the edge, plummeting to their death. After the first five soldiers fell to their doom, the
foreign ruler announced his surrender. Any general that could command such total obedience in their soldiers
would be unstoppable in battle.

Read more

He Humbled Himself

“He Humbled Himself”
Philippians 2:8
 
We, as human beings, like to compare. I grew up in St. Louis, and one of the (apparently) unique characteristics
of St. Louis residents is to ask one another which high school they went to. I had a few friends who were discussing why
this question was asked so routinely. While part of the reason might be to discover mutual friends or acquaintances, the
people in the discussion were pretty open about their real motives. It was a clue to social standing! Did the person live in a
poor area or a wealthy one? Finding out which school a stranger went to was a tactful way to discover the person’s likely
socio-economic status.

Read more

The Nature of a Servant

“Taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself . . .” (Philippians 2:7–8).
 
When I was in college, my first job on campus was cleaning the communal bathrooms in the boys’
dorm. It was hardly a glamourous job. It certainly wasn’t the job I would have chosen, but it was one I was
assigned. A couple weeks into the semester, though, I began to realize that this job was more than just a way to
make a couple bucks. It was a way to serve the guys I lived with. Seeing my job as serving my friends changed
my attitude about the job.

Read more

Made Himself Nothing

“[He] did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing” Phil. 2:6b-7a
Imagine becoming an infant again. Think of all that you would lose! You would no longer be able to drive
where you want to go, fix yourself food you want to eat, and talk to friends with ease. Newborns can’t even
hold up their own heads. They have minimal understanding that their hands are even part of their body, much
less able to use those hands to manipulate the world around them. If you retained your memories of your current
life, you would undoubtedly feel trapped. You would be a prisoner in your own body.

Read more

In Very Nature God

As we continue our study of this Philippian hymn, we encounter this tiny little phrase with deep theological
significance. We are told Jesus is “in very nature God”. Orthodox Christian teaching holds that Jesus is fully man and
fully God. In some way we cannot fully understand that he was both a living, breathing, physically human being, but also
God in every sense of the word. 100% man and 100% God. This may sound like meaningless philosophical mumbo
jumbo, but it is of utmost importance. Jesus was the mediator between God and man. If he was all Divine and not man, he
could not have taken our place on the cross. If he was all human and not divine, his death would not cancel all of
humanity’s debt.

Read more

Attitude of Christ

In Philippians 2 we find a poetic description of Christ’s humility. Many scholars believe that Paul is
actually quoting a poem or hymn the church already knew. We will be looking at this powerful passage over the
next few weeks. The first line is:
 
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus”. The King James says, “Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus.” Sometimes when we hear the word attitude, we think either of having a
positive attitude and smiling all the time, or a teenage rebel having an attitude and adamantly defying someone.

Read more

Where Do I Start?

For those who missed my sermon yesterday, here is my suggested Bible reading plan:
Mark, Acts, James, Romans, Philippians, 1-3 John, Genesis, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel,
1 and 2 Kings
 
The rationale is that Mark is a great introduction into the life of Jesus. Acts is the sequel to the gospels and
describes the early church. James because it’s incredibly practical and easy to read. Romans succinctly conveys
a great deal of theology. Philippians and 1-3 John are short, easy to read, and give a good sampling of the other
letters. Then we go back to the Old testament and read the history books pretty much in order. Once you make I
through this list, you can tackle pretty much any book in the Bible.


Trouble in Paradise

In Genesis chapter one, every time God makes something He calls it good. The earth is good. The trees are
good. The birds and fish are good. The animals are good. But then in Genesis chapter two, there is one thing
that is not good: for man to be alone. This is before the Fall. The world is idyllic and unmarred by sin. Yet still,
in this paradise, there is something that is not good. To fix this, God forms Eve to be the perfect partner for
Adam. Most times I have read or studied this passage, the theologians speak of the institution of marriage.
Rightly so! That is clearly mentioned in this passage. But in our Sunday School discussion yesterday, we
discussed how in our modern, pandemic-affected world, “It is not good for man to be alone” has taken on a
different layer of meaning. The past several months have been a challenge for many as they we isolated in
homes, away from friends and family. Nursing homes and hospitals restricted visitation, often completely. In
the midst of this profound isolation and loneliness, we have lived out the truth that “it is not good for man to be
alone.” Today, give a call to someone who might be alone. You might just be that lifeline of friendship in a
dark time.


Oh, Say, Can You See

Francis Scott Key wrote the words to the Star-Spangled Banner while on a British ship during the bombardment
of Fort McHenry. Key, a loyal American, was unable to do anything but watch as the British bombarded the
fort. Through the darkness of the night, it was difficult to tell what was happening. Had the fort surrendered?
Had they held out? Would they fly the white flag of surrender, or the star-spangled banner? It wasn’t until “the
dawn’s early light” that Key could see which flag was waving. In relief and joy, he saw the flag of his new
country, flying true in the midst of the battle.
 
Sometimes as Christians, in the dark of the night, we can question if God is still in control. Does He see what is
happening? Does He even care? But when the morning comes, we realize He has been there all along. Today, if
you are going through a battle in the night, with bombs bursting in air all around you, take heart, because our
God still stands.