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In A Few Words

In A Few Words

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Published by Joseph Winston
With 76 Greek words, the author of the "Christ Hymn" challenges our assumptions about God. He tells us that Jesus gave everything up because He loves you. God the Father is so impressed with His Son that He gave up His throne to Jesus. God now uses this power to serve you.
With 76 Greek words, the author of the "Christ Hymn" challenges our assumptions about God. He tells us that Jesus gave everything up because He loves you. God the Father is so impressed with His Son that He gave up His throne to Jesus. God now uses this power to serve you.

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Published by: Joseph Winston on Mar 28, 2010
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In A Few Words
The Rev. Joseph WinstonMarch 28, 2010
Grace and peace are gifts for you from God, the Father of our Lord JesusChrist.
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It only takes a few words to describe you. Retailers understand this well. Theytake small bits of publicly available information about you and transform thisknowledge into targeted advertising that makes them money. They stuff your mail-box full of direct mail with the hope you will open at least one of the fliers and buysomething from them. Someone from a boiler-room calls you during dinner. Theyplay off your fear that you just might miss something important and you quicklypick up the phone. Right away, they start on the scripts that addresses who youare.
Conservative?
Can you help out the state troopers during this difficult time of the year?
Liberal?
The time for change is now. Go out and vote in a new genera-tion of leaders.
Rural?
A timeshare condo is a great way to see the world. Comethis weekend up to the lake and see for yourself.
Urban?
Support the environ-
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Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Philippians1:2, 2 Thessalonians 1:2, Philemon 1:3.
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ment. Buy a green car. And so it goes. The search giants on the Internet maketheir fortunes based on the undeniable truth you look for things that interest you.In exchange for providing the service, they will gladly give you a few targetedadvertisements. You never know, you just might want to but it from someone else.If you have ever watched someone’s house, you know what I mean. When youpick up their mail, you see that it is not quite the same as yours. Answer the phoneand hear that the telemarketers bring a slightly different sales pitch to their phone.And if you look for something on their computer, more than likely, you will seeads that do not pop up on your machine. That is the power found in a couple of words. They capture the essence of an idea.Songwriters use this fact to their advantage. With a couple of well-chosenwords, they construct a line. Add a tiny bit more and then they have a verse.String together some more lyrics and the song is completed.About in the middle of Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi, we have a song(Philippians 2:6-11). From the few words preserved for us by Paul, we can tellthat it is a hymn. The rhythm of the words shows the lines and it naturally fallsinto two verses. The same structure along with the vocabulary used seems to pointto another author besides Paul. There are other things we do not know besidesthe author. We cannot tell if everyone was so familiar with the hymn that theycould not help themselves when they heard it and broke out in song like “Twinkle,Twinkle, Little Star,” “Happy Birthday,” or even “A, B, C, D” does for us today.The original title is long gone. Today, we generally call this the “Christ Hymn”since the song speaks of Jesus but as you soon will hear, this hymn also paints for2
 
us just as important picture about God.One of today’s leading bands sings out on their latest album, “Only love, onlylove can leave such a mark.”
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With these few words, the authors of these lyricscapture the spirit of the first verse of the “Christ Hymn.” Jesus loves you.Love causes Jesus to change. And it is not some New Year’s resolution thatHe breaks right after the memory of the night fades away. All by Himself, Jesussingle-handedly redefines what it means to be God. The poet in a handful of wordstells you that Jesus will not take advantage of you (Philippians 2:6). In the distantpast, this phrase simply meant that Jesus did not want your sacrifices. He doesnot desire your children, your spouse, your home, or even your money. He needsnothing you have. Today, we rarely imagine any god that would act like this. Thatis how good of a job Jesus has done. But His work is not finished yet. We nolonger see Jesus here with us. We put Him in some world way off there that wecall Heaven. Maybe before Jesus, God could not stand to be with people. After all,wearesohuman.Wesleep.Wehunger.Wethirst.Welove.Weage.Wedie.Throwin our bad behavior and it is hard for us to even like ourselves. Jesus changed allthat. His passion is for you. No matter what you do, He never leaves you. That ishow much love changes every thing.Love makes Jesus give up all of His rights, powers, and privileges. That iswhat the poet means when he says, that Jesus “emptied himself (Philippians 2:7).”Before Jesus, a cross word would never injure God since there was a huge barrierbetween God and us. Not anymore. Jesus is one of us. Threats pierce His heart,
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