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Remember The Wrapping

At our house some Christmas events are the same each year. Among them is my wife Martie’s appeal to the kids and grandkids as they attack their gifts: “Save the paper, we can use it next year!” Martie loves to give nice gifts, but she also appreciates the wrapping. Presentation is part of the beauty of the gift.

It makes me think of the wrapping Christ chose when He came as a redemptive gift to rescue us from our sinful selves. Jesus could have wrapped Himself in a mind-boggling show of power, lighting up the sky with His presence in a celestial show of glory. Instead, in a beautiful reversal of Genesis 1:26, He chose to wrap Himself “in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7).

So why is this wrapping so important? Because, being like us, He is no stranger to our struggles. He experienced deep loneliness and the betrayal of a dear friend. He was publicly shamed, misunderstood, and falsely accused. In short, He feels our pain. As a result, the writer of Hebrews tells us that we can “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).

When you think of the gift of Jesus this Christmas, remember to keep the “wrapping” in mind!

Lord, thank You for wrapping Yourself in our
likeness! Remind us that You understand our
struggles and that we can confidently take advantage
of the mercy and grace You offer to make us victorious.
Don’t disregard the wrapping of the best Christmas gift of all.

Insight

Philippians 2:5-11 is perhaps the greatest declaration of Christ’s deity and humanity in the Bible. In His incarnation, Jesus did not replace His deity with humanity, but added humanity to His deity; He did not cease to be God, but surrendered the independent use of His divine powers and the right to manifest His own glory as God. Before He went to the cross, Jesus prayed that the Father would restore to Him the glory He had with the Father “before the world was” (John 17:5). Jesus’ prayer was answered when the Father “highly exalted Him and [gave] Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow . . . to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11).

5 thoughts on “Remember The Wrapping

  1. franklincs says:

    God bless you greatly, Les!

  2. ahyordele1 says:

    One of the Greatest lessons we can learn from the Lord Jesus Christ and about today’s devotion Topic is “Humility.”
    He had an Humble Birth,born in a Manger(Luke 2 :7) also humbled Himself to the point of Death(Philippians 2:7).
    Every believer must also possess and display this Virtue “HUMILITY” always as one of the Fruits of the Spirit.
    May God help us all by the empowerment of His Holy Ghost to grow into full Stature of Christ Jesus.Amen!

  3. ruthng says:

    Thank you Joe, I love the analogy of Jesus coming to us gift wrapped in our likeness and the first thought that sprang into my mind this morning is:

    Jesus came with a Gift of Himself in our likeness to rewrap us iinto His likeness!

    Thanks be to God for the most beautiful and precious Gift I ever received and its God Himself!

    May all who read this ODB rejoice in the peace of God in the love and grace of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Emmanuel Joy!

  4. doctor-perspective says:

    Philippians 2:5-8 is one of the Theological hot-beds in the Christian Faith. Much of the discussion, debate and divergence of opinions rest on a single greek word “kenoo”, a derivative of “kenos”, which literally means “empty”. Verse 7 says “Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men…”
    Arising out of this, Theologians have named the discussion the “Kenosis Theory” and have proceeded to offer several different and often times conflicting interpretations of its exact meaning. Did Jesus empty Himself of all of His Divinity, some of His Divinity or none of His Divinity when He came to earth? Was there a fusion of His human and Divine natures? Or did they co-exist in separate compartments, allowing Him to call on either at will? These are but an introduction to the controversies surrounding the “Kenosis Theory”.

    However, it would appear that the Apostle Paul wanted to place his emphasis on verse 5. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…” As verses 6-9 will demonstrate, the characteristics of the mind of Christ are obedience to the Father’s will, and humility. But the admonitions did not begin in verse 5. Verses 2-4 read, “fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
    To help us better understand where Paul was coming from, verses 20 & 21 provide a revealing background. “For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.”

    Here Paul was referring to some other Believers who should by then have been mature and grounded enough to represent him to the Church at Philippi. Not so says Paul, and with the exception of Timothy, he paints a most unfortunate picture of these Believers..

    The Philippian church seems to have been his favorite group of Believers. This Church ministered to him more than any other Church. This Church carried out his instructions in his presence, and even more so in his absence. It seemed to have been a predominantly Gentile Church, with more than its fair share of prominent women. The Jewish legalists seemed to have been absent from this Church. It appears that he visited this Church more than any other Church. For these reasons and more, Paul wanted the best for the Church at Philippi, and was disappointed that he could not find more worthy mature Believers to minister to their needs on his behalf in his absence.

    The Kingdom of God is based on values of a Christian servanthood philosophy. “The greatest among you will be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11). At the heart of service is an appreciation of what God has done for us, despite the fact that we deserved nothing. As I meditate on where I was without Christ, the fact that God owed me nothing, and yet sacrificed His life to give me everything, the very least that I can do to say thanks to Him, is to serve others. And it really does not matter too much how I am rated or ranked even by those whom I serve. It is enough that I am allowed to serve, because although the visible service is to man, my actual service is to God. It is seen as a fitting sacrifice with an ascending sweet aroma, acceptable by Him. “…Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty… and not help You?’ “Then He will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me either.” (Matthew 24:44-45)

    And so with an exhortation to obedience to God, and humility in service, the Apostle Paul cites the greatest example of all time. Jesus, “who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men.
    And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8)
    Thank you brother Les Lamborn for 34 years of dedicated service in humility to God via ODB Radio.

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