Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pastor's Blog

Dear friend,

May the grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with us always. Amen.

One of the great joys for us as parents is seeing our children maturing in their vertical relationship with Christ, as they live in Him in His encouragement, as they are comforted by His love, as they enjoy fellowship with Him in the Spirit and as they experience the tender mercies and compassions of Christ. On the other hand, it is very distressing to see our children struggle in their relationship with Him which often times causes separation in families, isolation from families and often a distancing of themselves from the Lord.

The Apostle John writes in his epistle that because God has first loved us, we love Him and that we ought to love one another. This demonstrates that the vertical relationship of love that we have with Him was initiated by Him, and through His grace we are enabled to love Him in return. Only because we live in this vertical relationship are we then able to love others on a horizontal basis.

As we move to the next chapter of Paul's letter to the Philippians, Paul now begins to explain more concerning what he had told them in the previous chapter, "I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,

He points to their horizontal relationships as the place in which they are able to live out the evidence of that relationship that they have with Christ. He calls upon them to demonstrate the love that God has for them in their relationships with their fellow congregational (community) members, ending his initial teaching by pointing them to the humility of Jesus Christ and tellling them to have the mind in themselves that was in Jesus Christ.

KJV Philippians 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

Through the Holy Spirit now we are going to be shown the way of life in His kingdom. We are told that in our personal and individual relationship with Christ is now to be carried amongst others. Paul writes that by doing this his joy will be fulfilled when the individuals come together and share in the fellowship of Christ through being likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord and of one mind.

He then goes on to tell them that they should do nothing through strife or self promotion, but in lowliness of mind esteem each better than themselves. Also he encourages them to look not on their own things, but every person on the things of others.

Paul's deepening of his humility is reflected through his letters, as seen through his writings. He wrote 1 Cor, then Ephesians and his last letters were 1 and 2 Timothy.

I am the least of the apostles. 1 Corinthians 15:9

I am the very least of all the saints. Ephesians 3:8

I am the foremost of sinners. 1 Timothy 1:15

Humility is not thinking less of self, but thinking of self less.

Recently I came across this writing which seems to fit to use here. Read it from the top down and then read it from the bottom up. The contrast of pride and humility is certainly presented here.

Reverse Thinking

I will live my life according to these beliefs.
God does not exist
It’s just foolish to think
That there is an all knowing God with a cosmic plan.
That an all powerful God brings purpose to the pain and suffering in the world
Is a comforting thought however
Is only wishful thinking
People can do as they please without eternal consequences.
The idea that
I am deserving of hell
Because of sin,
Is a lie meant to make me a slave to those in power
“The more you have, the happier you will be.”
Our existence has no grand meaning or purpose
In a world with no God
There is freedom to be who I want to be
But with God
Life is an endless cycle of guilt and shame
Without God
Everything is fine
It is ridiculous to think
I am lost in need of saving.
"This was before Jesus Christ opened my eyes and reversed my thinking."

Humility is the simplicity of seeing things as they are: that you are absolutely dependent on Christ the Head and Christ the Body.

Humility is awareness of your need for every single experience and gift that Christ has given to the church, including the free gifts of forgiveness for sin, water baptism, baptism in the Holy Spirit, imparted gifts of the
Spirit, righteousness, holiness, redemption (freedom from slavery to sin).

Humility also gives you a vision of your need for community and participation ion the Body of Christ.This includes every gift, ministry, and office in every member, every order God has set in His Body, every doctrine Christ has revealed to His holy apostles, every administration of government in the church, the assembling together of the Christ the Body and all the ministry that occurs through that order, and every other part of Christ the Body.

We are nothing without Christ, we need all His gifts of grace and we are privileged to be in His Body for the purposes of participation in and with Him, in the lives of one another and in His mission to serve to bring salvation.

As we think on humility, let us consider Nehemiah....He cared for his people, He participated in their lives.

KJV Nehemiah 1:1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

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

Jesus was God, did not think He was robbing from God since He was God Himself, layed aside that glory for a time, becoming a servant to His Father, being born as a human just like us. In this state, He humbled himself, even being obedient all the way to the death of the cross.

He came to participate in our lives, so that we might be joined in His Body and participate in His mission.

Paul points all to the mind that was in Christ, who demonstrated the ultimate humility in that he layed down His life for all. He is like telling all to have this sacrificial mind that put aside all self interest and looked to the interests of others: Us!!

May we quiet ourselves before these words, and as we ask the Spirit to reveal reveal the heart of Christ towards us in humility, and as we contemplate of the mind of Christ towards us in love, may love bind us together in a closer bond in the Spirit.

In Christ,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 25 Jan 2015 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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The Cross of Christ 2.25.2018
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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*Wendy and Dan Salo: Strength & courage to trust Him w/her health concerns