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Philippians 2: 5 -7

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

There is a whole bunch of theology tied up in this verse but I wish to focus on a more narrow aspect of this verse today and suggest a way it applies to each of us.

This scripture tells us that Jesus emptied himself. It is talking about his removing the robe of his deity and taking on the garment of human flesh. I am taken aback by this idea of him emptying himself. What shall we imagine; perhaps a container of some sort? Let’s picture a clear 2 liter bottle. Imagine the bottle full of green liquid. Now pick it up and pour out half of the contents. Half of what that bottle knew and contained is now gone. However, the bottle is not empty is it? So, pour out all but one drop. Okay, the bottle is effectively empty. Most of what it held and what gave it the biggest part of its value is now gone. Still though, the bottle is not completely empty is it? So, let’s pour out the last drop and for argument’s sake all you physicists, let’s not consider the air that rushes in to fill the void. The bottle was a container for green liquid and now that the last drop has been poured out the bottle is truly empty.

Have you ever felt the way that bottle must feel at this point? Have you felt empty? If you have then you would likely say it is not a feeling you would pursue. None the less, Jesus emptied himself of everything he was and everything he knew in order to be the lamb we required. That had to be a pretty intense experience. Here you are part of the Godhead and then you become empty.

So, here is my point. I believe that we are supposed to, in like manner, empty ourselves so that we can be renewed in his image. We shuck off the old self and put on the new person which has been made in the image of Christ himself. It is sort of the reverse process that Jesus went through. He put on flesh and we must crucify our flesh and take on his nature. It seems to me that we can only be renewed into this new creation which is our right and our destiny to the degree that we empty ourselves of the old person. The more we empty ourselves, the more we can be filled. We like to hold onto the familiar, but this I believe, we will be much happier, more successful, and more fulfilled the more we pour out ourselves unto him. Empty vessels are good. Just ask the widow in 2 Kings 4: 1 – 7. When we present God with empty vessels He fills them with oil. Be filled today!

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