A Thinking Faith

Romans 12:3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

In Romans 1, Paul explained the departure of reason in a life that rejects God.  The end result was a ‘debased mind.’ (1:28)  By contrast, in Romans 12, he called for Christians to submit the whole of their lives to God.  This, he noted in 12:1, is true spiritual sacrifice, resulting in being “transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (12:2)  The mind renewed by the grace of God in Christ thinks differently.

Thinking by the word.  The grace given to Paul extended to his authority as an apostle and gave him the right to say “I say to everyone among you.”  The grace given to us in Christ brings us under God’s word with all of its promises, provisions, and directions.  Who has not heard some simple, uneducated soul bring crystal clear focus to a subject because their mind had been tutored in the discipline of God’s word?  If we would unleash our grey matter to its greatest potential, we will begin with what God has said.

Thinking beyond yourself.  Self focus lends itself to distortion. Paul was concerned for those who overvalued themselves.  Sometimes we make the equal but opposite error of undervaluing self.  If you are like me, you can do both in the space of a few minutes.  The corrective for both is found in the same place, at the cross.  How can you undervalue what Christ was willing to die for?  How can you overvalue what Christ had to die for?  The cross is the place for sober thinking and the first thing it does is to take our vision away from self to him who died to redeem us all.

Thinking alone, if need be.  Paul said let ‘each’ one think.  There is a difference in receiving help with our thinking and letting the help do our thinking.  This is very personal.  Our gifts differ and that includes intellectual capacity.  But the man with one talent was not excused because he only had one and he was not rebuked because he didn’t have ten.  He was rebuked because he didn’t use what he had.

Thinking in faith.  Faith is the context in which Christian thinking operates.  It is how we are saved as Jesus taught Nicodemus in John 3.  It is how we walk as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5.  Learning to trust all that God has said is the spiritual air we breathe.

Use it or lose it.  That admonition was never more true than when applied to the grey matter God has blessed you with.  1 Corinthians 13:11  When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

What a wonderful Savior he is!

Forever

Is time your enemy or your friend?  The right answer is probably ‘both.’  Time is neutral but its content is not.  Under pressure, it feels like an enemy.  In repose, it feels like a friend.  Facing death without hope, time takes on the character of death, which the Scripture calls ‘the last enemy.’  Facing death in the hope of the Gospel, time is but the approach to, as the poet said, “an old door set in a garden wall.”

Often, our time is filled with content beyond our control.  There is precious little that we are able to direct in this world.  That is what makes ‘little’ precious.  It is also what makes pouring the content of God’s word into our minds and our lives so important.  The other side of that old door in the garden wall is expansive.  Here is a grand biblical phrase to mull over.  “From this time forth and forevermore.”  Fill your mind, and therefore fill you time, with some ‘forevers.’  Here are three.

A Forever Kingdom.  Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

A Forever Promise.   Isaiah 59:21 “And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from this time forth and forevermore.

A Forever Commitment.  Psalm 115:18  But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD!  How much trouble would we have avoided if we had only done this… Psalm 34:1  I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.  When his praise is in your mouth there will no room for your foot!

What a Savior!  Forever, too!  John 3:16

The Departure of Reason

Daniel 4:16 Let his mind be changed from a man’s...

I have scribbled three notes in the margin of my Bible beside Romans 1:18-32, that exacting description of man’s journey away from God.  The regress goes like this: lose the worship, lose the path, lose the mind.  The phrase ‘God gave them over’ beats like a drum until the march to madness culminates in this.  Romans 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

In the fourth chapter of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar became a living illustration of this regression as his pride overwhelmed his reason.  Honest reasoning produces humility.  Who imagines that they have arrived at their current state of knowledge on their own?  If someone does this, you may be sure it is imagination.  We walk daily in the benefit of the labors of others.  Even the plumber buys his parts ready made.  But the origin of bad thinking always begins when God is left out of the equation.  The king forgot God and reason headed for the door.

A Warning.  Actually, multiple warnings.  First there came a dream (Daniel 4:10-17) and then an interpreter, a preacher of righteousness named Daniel (4:19-27).  The sentence on the king’s pride, spoken in the dream and affirmed by the prophet, was this.  Daniel 4:17 The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.

An Open Door.  God’s warnings are full of grace.  Daniel called upon the king to turn even at that late moment.  Daniel 4:27 ‘Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.’  As C.S. Lewis observed, if there has been a wrong turning on the road, he who turns back quickest is the most progressive man.

A Closed Mind. Heedless is the terrible but exact word that describes what happened.  The king lost it all, first his mind and then his kingdom.  The final word came not from a dream nor from a prophet, but from heaven itself.  And it came with this telling difference.  In the dream it was said “that the living may know that the Most High rules.”  The word that fell directly from heaven said “until you know that the Most High rules.” (4:32)  The lesson would be up close and personal.

The Return of Reason.  Daniel 4:34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation.  The answer is where it has always been.

It is a strange time when, in the name of reason, reason seems so far away.  People made by God, made in the image of God, and made for God, cannot dismiss him and live reasonably.  “Let his mind be changed from a man’s…”  It happens without fail.  But by the grace that is in Jesus Christ, this too may happen…

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

What a Savior!  John 3:16

Falling Houses, 3

Lessons from the fall of the house of Eli…

1 Samuel 2:30 Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.’

Forfeiting the blessing of God.  The blessing taken for granted by Eli and sons would no longer be granted.  In place of blessing would come envy.  1 Samuel 2:32 Then in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed on Israel.  God’s blessing would be known to others, but Eli’s household would look on without tasting it.  It is sad to watch a great house crumble.

The shock of realization.  1 Samuel 2:34 And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day.  Up to this point, God’s judgment may have seemed remote.  No more.  At the very least, it would happen within the lifetimes of his two sons.  But the solemn news that both sons would die the same day suggested something much nearer.  Indeed, it was not far away.

The last half of Romans 1 is about the entropy that results from our disconnect with God.  Men exchange the truth of God for a lie and worship the creation over the creator. (Romans 1:25)  Eli elevated his sons above God.  Being priest didn’t help.  Being Israel didn’t help.  Religion, inasmuch as it is the work of men, is subject to the same entropy as the rest of the world.  The cover of religion is useless where the essential relationship lies broken.  If God is life then without him is death.  Whether the demise descends suddenly as with Eli or creeps along until collapse becomes inevitable, the last word is always the same.  In Old Testament language, the soul that sins shall die.  In New Testament language, the wages of sin is death.

Just like the two crumbling houses on the back street of the village of my boyhood, individuals, societies, and nations, have their turn at life.  But without help from God, whether sudden or prolonged, death comes.  Let’s be forever grateful that God has more to say than this.

Hope.  Within the very words of judgment, God speaks a promise.  1 Samuel 2:35 And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever.  Here is hope for anyone who will embrace it and follow this thread to its fulfillment in the New Testament.  There, the great High Priest of the Ages, God’s own Son, fulfills the hope of a sinful race and becomes the one true mediator between God and man.

Hebrews 7:25-26  Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.  For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.

What a wonderful Savior he is!

Falling Houses, 2

The fall of the house of Eli was preceded by progressive warning from God and persistent neglect by Eli.  God’s warning was never clearer than the moment he sent his prophet to confront Eli directly.  The passage is found in 1 Samuel 2:27-36 and it reveals important lessons.

Eli knew goodness but not grace.  1 Samuel 2:27-28  And there came a man of God to Eli and said to him, “Thus the LORD has said, ‘Did I indeed reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh?  Did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel.'”  Eli and his household enjoyed the bounty of the people’s offerings to God.  So God had ordered things.  But Eli had not reflected on how he came to such a position.  It was the choice of God, not the merit of Eli that had made him priest and brought such favor upon him.  Where there should have been humility and thanksgiving for grace, there was forgetfulness followed by carelessness.

It’s the worship thing again.  1 Samuel 2:29  Why then do you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?  We are made to worship and therefore we will.  The question is what or who will we worship.  Failing to honor God as God, Eli honored his sons above God.  The scorn of his sons was obvious for all to see.  People were abandoning worship because of these boys.  But God was here speaking to Eli.  His word reveals that Eli has the same heart condition as his sons.  Is that where they learned it?  Did they see, as children so often do, that under the guise of worship leader lurked a heart filled with self adoration?  It is an interesting question that we cannot answer.  But this we know, each one will answer for the condition of their own heart.  Ezekiel 18:4  Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.

More next time.  But do observe this.  As you watch the fall of the house of Eli, you are seeing Romans 1:18f in action. Give thanks today that the book of Romans didn’t end with chapter one.  It goes on to the cross and on to the heights of heaven itself.  But we don’t get to either without understanding how things are falling apart in our world.  If anyone is falling apart today, try falling into this… John 3:16.

What a Savior!

Falling Houses

The village of Cades had only two blocks with a few side roads, some of which hardly merited the description “road.”  The streets were unnamed at the time, but the one that formed the eastern boundary of the ‘big’ block was called ‘the back street.’  No one lived on the back street, but there were two old shacks, side by side, roofs falling in, with not even a broken window pane to be found.  No doubt they had once been the scene of supper tables and warm light against a dark night.  They had become something of a haunt to little boys and perhaps a palace to nesting birds.

We passed them a thousand times on bicycles, hid behind them, never had the nerve to go in them, but all the while I never once recall thinking of the people who had lived there.  I am not sure whether I have become perceptive or sentimental, but there is now something sad about such a sight.  Who lived there?  Where did they go?  What happened or didn’t happen that this place was abandoned?

The fall of the house of Eli is recorded in the opening four chapters of 1 Samuel.  It is far from the only matter there, but it is given with many details and we are permitted to see the factors in that fall.

Hearing problems.  Eli had a literal vision problem as he aged.  But he had hearing problems of a spiritual nature that had been manifest for a long time.  1 Samuel 2:22 Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel.  Eli heard much, said little, and did nothing.  When the Bible tells us that faith comes by hearing the word of Christ, it is not talking about the vibration of the ear drum but the vibration of the heart.  There is no magic in hearing what God has said.  Indeed, it may be dangerous.  One of the early church fathers said that the same sun which softens the wax, hardens the clay.  There is a compounding danger in hearing the word of God and rejecting its message.

Progressive warnings.  Warnings from God are a product of grace.  Eli had opportunities to repent.  The initial warning was written in his own heart.  He knew what his sons were about and he knew it wasn’t right.  1 Samuel 2:23-25  And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people.  No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading abroad.  If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?”  But Eli took no action.

Added to this, God sent one of his messenger boys, a man of God, who directly confronted Eli about the situation and the pending judgment. (2:27-36)  It was a severe word with a clear message.  Yet Eli did not act.

Then God raised up a voice in Eli’s very presence.  1 Samuel 3 is the record of God’s calling the boy Samuel and the first message God gave him.  The message (3:11-14) was the short version of previous warnings.  But we have not one hint that Eli responded to what God was showing him, though the message came by multiple voices.

Next, the lessons from God’s warnings to Eli.

What a wonderful Savior he is!

Listen! Can You Hear It?

A little boy was frightened from his sleep one night by the sudden approach of a train.  Early childhood experiences often make deep impressions.  So it was with this one.  Afterward, he could often be seen, in the deep of night, standing beside the bed of his mother and father, telling them that a train was approaching.  They couldn’t hear it.  They couldn’t feel it.  But he did.  They soon learned that the boy’s hearing with respect to approaching trains was nearly infallible.  He had been specially prepared to hear trains.

Isaiah was no boy and there were no trains, but he had been specially prepared to hear the approach of something else.  Isaiah 66:6  The sound of an uproar from the city! A sound from the temple! The sound of the LORD, rendering recompense to his enemies!  Isaiah 66:1-6 is about God’s word, who hears it, and how they respond to it.  Consider.

The Word of Truth.  Isaiah 66:1-2  Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest?  All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”  Work through those two verses backwards.  Start at the end where someone is trembling at the word of God.  What they see in that word has produced a thoroughgoing humility before God.  Pride in the works of men has crumbled before the majesty of God.  The grandest temple has become a tiny speck on the footstool of his feet.  All the power and ingenuity of men is known to be but a gift from him who made all things.

The Ritual Lie.  By contrast to those listening faithfully to his word, we see those who blindly follow a ritual.  Isaiah 66:3-4  “He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck… These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations; I also will choose harsh treatment for them and bring their fears upon them, because when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they did not listen; but they did what was evil in my eyes and chose that in which I did not delight.”  Once again, start at the end.  These prefer darkness to light and so do not attend to the word of truth.  God speaks but they do not listen.  They are afraid and justly so.  But refusing the light that God would bring, they cover their deeds in ritual sacrifice.  It is worse than useless.  It is an abomination.  Far from releasing them from their fears, it can only bring those fears upon them.

The Sound of His Approach.  Isaiah 66:5-6  Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word: “Your brothers who hate you and cast you out for my name’s sake have said, ‘Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy’; but it is they who shall be put to shame.  The sound of an uproar from the city! A sound from the temple! The sound of the LORD, rendering recompense to his enemies!”  This mockery of the humble is in fact the proof of his coming.  He will defend his own.  And Isaiah, who for the better part of a lifetime was specially prepared to hear his approach, heard rumblings in the darkness.

Listen!  Can you hear it?

What a Savior!

No Mercy

I woke up with the strange and terrible thought that I should ponder what a place of no mercy would be like.  I quickly understood that this was no thought I wished to ponder at all.  Still thinking, I realized that such a place was outside my experience.  I have known a thousand mercies, small and great.  Daily, these mercies have come to me, often from the hand of a friend, sometimes from the hand of a stranger, always from the heart of God.  They have come as simply as finding shade from a blistering sun or warmth from bone-chilling cold.  Occasionally, they arrive with such size and force that I am overwhelmed, and they come by such a convoluted path that divine orchestration is the only possible answer.  But ‘no mercy’ is a thing I really don’t know.

So I thought on what mercy is.  I have an odd definition of mercy that is born of an incident in the life of King David.  When God blesses a man as he did David, pride is a great danger to the man and a grievous offense against God.  In 2 Samuel 24, David’s pride bested him.  God’s judgment was swift and severe.  The prophet Gad set three possible judgments before David (24:13), each one terrible.  David’s response is the foundation of my definition of mercy.  2 Samuel 24:14 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.”  David let God choose.  He believed in God’s mercy and so God’s choice could only be the most merciful choice.  He trusted the nature of God over the nature of men, including himself.

Mercy then, according to David’s experience, is the difference between what could have happened and what did happen once he fell into the hands of God.  It gives one pause, doesn’t it, to ponder what could have happened?  But what did happen was mercy.  Consider.

Mercy pursues.  Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.  Mercy is after you!  I hope you know it.

Mercy is rich.  Ephesians 2:4-5  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved–.  My sin and your sin together cannot exhaust the riches of God’s mercy.

Mercy wins.  James 2:13  For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.  The first sentence in that verse cuts.  The second heals.  Mercy wins.

Mercy gives hope.  1 Peter 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  Such a hope is ground for daily praise.

Mercy forgets.  Hebrews 8:12  For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.  This is so amazing!  The enemy of our souls reminds us of our sin.  God has forgotten!

The place of no mercy, then, must be the opposite of all that mercy is.  It is the place where where no one pursues you, no one is coming for you.  There is no wealth of kindness to bring relief.  Hope is gone and there is no victory or salvation in sight.  It is the place where no sin is ever forgotten.  If ever there was a description of hell, this is it.  No mercy.

Matthew 5:7  Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

What a wonderful Savior he is!

The Mind of Christ

Philippians 2:5-7  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

In Isaiah, the Lord reminded his people that our sinful nature had disabled our heavenly thinking.  Isaiah 55:8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.  In Christ, Paul told us, all things become new (2 Corinthians 5:17) and that includes a new way of thinking.  We learn this new way by following him.  Philippians 2:5-11 is a long journey in a few verses.  The road follows our Savior from the glory of heaven to the spiritual darkness of earth, then onward to the final restoration of heaven and earth.  As we walk that road with Paul, we may learn much about the mind of Christ.

He had a mind for us.  He was willing to become like us in order to redeem us.  Jesus was the complete counterpoint to the self ambition and vainglory of man.  In the wilderness, Satan showed him the glory of the nations, offered him that glory, as if it were Satan’s own to give, in exchange for worship.  But Jesus left a glory far greater than all the nations could generate.  To that greater glory he would return, but not before he made a way for us to share that glory.  How foolish we were to grovel for the passing glory of a broken world in exchange for an eternal glory in unbroken fellowship with the living God!  But that is what we did.  Too often, it is what we do. One glimpse of that heavenly glory today and we would fall at the feet of Jesus in wonder saying, “You left that for me?”  That’s what he did, for each, for all.  He has a mind for us.

He had a mind for obedience.  Philippians 2:8  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  He left the glory of the Father, but he did not leave behind his love for the Father nor his great desire to return to the Father. John 17:4-5  I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.  And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.  His love for the Father was shown by accomplishing the Father’s will on earth.  John 14:31  but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.

The Father has a mind for the Son.  Philippians 2:9-11  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  The glory of the nations that Jesus rejected from the deceiving hand of Satan, he will receive from the Father. The Father always intended that it would be his (Psalm 2).  It is the next item on the Father’s agenda (Psalm 110).

Philippians 2:1-11 is a crystal clear window into the mind and heart of God.  As Paul would later write in the same letter… “Think on these things.” (4:8)

What a wonderful Savior he is!

The Mind Matters

Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

When Paul gave a description of an attitude worth having in Philippians 2:1-5, he laid great emphasis on how we think.  In verse two, he called for the same mind and for one mind.  In verse three, he called for lowliness of mind.  In verse five, he directed the church to the mind of Christ.  Where emotions quickly change and are often hard to control, the mind can be directed.  In Romans 8:5, it is clear that we have a responsibility to focus the mind on the things of God.

Has there ever been a time when the mind was more relentlessly bombarded by information and images than this present time?  When the mind is fed an endless stream of data, it becomes impossible to process it all.  I am grateful for modern communication.  It is very convenient at times and it makes this blog possible.  But I am deeply concerned when we become so distracted by the deluge of information that we surrender our right to refuse it.  Romans 8:5 is clear.  YOU set your mind.  You fix your mind on things of the Spirit.  You are in charge of your thinking.  Don’t think like THEY tell you to think.  Don’t think like I tell you to think.  Be Berean.  Acts 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.  Take charge of your mind’s menu.

Here is Paul’s recipe from Philippians 2:1-4 for cooking up an attitude worth having.

Think deep.  Philippians 2:1 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion.  They had plunged into the depths of Christ’s grace.  Let grace shape thinking.  Like a string of pearls, Paul held before the Philippians the beautiful realities of God’s grace.  All of this was theirs.  That was motive enough to think like Christ.

Think wide.  Philippians 2:2  complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  Paul directed the minds of individual Christians to the larger body of the church.  Rising from the same depths of grace, the church had common ground.  There were believers around them who stood in the same teaching.  See them.  Find them.  Work with them.

Think wisely.  Philippians 2:3-4  Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Paul named two threats to the Philippians pursuit of the mind of Christ.  Ambition for self is lionized in the world but lethal to faith.  Conceit was translated almost literally in the KJV as vainglory.  Humanity in its sin is emptied of its true glory.  The poor substitutes for that glory offered by the world are temporal at best and always vain.  Genuine humility of mind begins by filling the mind with something greater than itself.  Paul goes on to show the Philippians, not something greater, but someone greater.  In 5-11, he shows them the Christ, who emptied himself of glory for their sakes.  Whoever thinks on Christ thinks wisely.

What a wonderful Savior he is!