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A Letter to Joan Osborne

Bible Reading: Philippians 2:3-7

Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God . . . he made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form.   Philippians 2:5-7

DEAR JOAN OSBORNE,

I know it’s been a little while since you wrote your hit song, “What If God Was One of Us?” But I wanted to write you today and share some great news with you.

I know a lot of Christians were upset by that song, particularly by the words of the chorus:

What if God was one of us?

Just a slob like one of us?

Just a stranger on the bus

Trying to make his way home?

Now, I should tell you that I’ve never been much of a slob. I’m a God of order, not of disorder (1 Corinthians 14:33). But you should be really excited to learn that the words of your song actually came true! God did become one of you (John 1:14)! I had the same thought you did, only it was about two thousand years ago. I left my throne in heaven and was born as a human baby. I lived thirty-something years, then I died on a cross so you could be forgiven and saved from the punishment your sins deserved.

You see, Joan, God is “one of us”! Your wish came true—long before you wished it. And I want to tell you something else, too, Joan: When I humbled myself and left heaven for earth, I showed everyone that humility is a godly trait. I humbled myself, so it’s a good thing when humans are able to put aside their pride and become humble. In fact, the biggest problem most people face today isn’t believing that God was humble enough to become a man—it’s humbling themselves enough to trust me with their lives. That’s a problem for them—and for me, because I love them. I love you, too, Joan. I just wanted you to know that.

Love, Jesus Christ

REFLECT: Have you ever heard Joan Osborne’s song “What If God Was One of Us?” If so, what did you think when you first heard it? How do you think Joan might respond to Jesus’ letter? How do you respond to Jesus’ letter? Why (according to Jesus’ letter) is humility right? Do you think you’re able to put aside your pride and become humble? How can you show a Christlike humility today?

PRAY: “Jesus, thank you for humbling yourself and coming to earth as a man so that I could be forgiven and saved from the punishment my sins deserved. Please remind me that humility is right because it’s like you. Help me also to be humble like you.”

 

 

© 1996, 2003, 2021 Josh McDowell Ministry.
All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, © 1996. Used by permission.
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Out With the Bad, In With the Good

Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:17-24

Throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. Ephesians 4:22-23

If Marissa had a buck for every time she had counted to ten when she felt like bop­ping someone in the nose, she would be running neck and neck with Bill Gates for richest person in the world. With the threat of getting kicked out of school hanging over her head, she decided to steer clear of fistfights. Keeping her conflicts down to screaming matches, she figured, was a worthy goal. She still wanted to be bad-just not as bad as she’d been.

Talk about it: What’s the best way to get rid of an ugly habit in your life?

Take a tip from the chemistry kit on your toy shelf. What’s the best way to force gas out of a test tube? If you answered, “Pour liquid into the test tube,” you’re right. The liquid pushes out the gas because they both can’t occupy the same space.

There’s a similar principle for dealing with bad habits. You don’t get rid of them by replacing them with habits that are a little less bad. You replace bad with good. And the way to do that is by changing how you think.

If you want to inject good thoughts, you can do it by memorizing Scripture. God’s Word forces out unhealthy thoughts by stuffing your brain full of the best thoughts.

Start by memorizing a Bible verse each week. Here are some great places to begin: Psalm 51:10;Psalm 119:9, ll;Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 10:13;Philippians4:8.

Memorize each verse word for word. Find a Bible translation that’s easy to understand, then write the verse on a small card you can keep in your pocket.

Meditate on the verse. Ask yourself what the verse means. Think about the verse throughout your day.

Apply the verse to your life. Complete the statement: “As a result of this verse, I will…”

Review. Go over the new verse every day for two months, then once a week.

The best way you can keep Bible verses fresh in your mind is to respond in some way to what you’ve memorized. Whenever you’re tempted to go back to an ugly habit, pull out one of your memory verses, review it, and go over it in your mind un­til the good thoughts force out the bad thoughts.

TALK: Say it in your own words: How does the Bible help you break bad habits?

PRAY: God, remake us to think like you through the Scriptures we memorize.

ACT: Make a plan to slowly but surely get your brain full of God’s best thoughts.

© 1996, 2003, 2021 Josh McDowell Ministry.
All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, © 1996. Used by permission.

Youth Devos

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A Letter to Joan Osborne

Bible Reading: Philippians 2:3-7

Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God . . . he made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form.   Philippians 2:5-7

DEAR JOAN OSBORNE,

I know it’s been a little while since you wrote your hit song, “What If God Was One of Us?” But I wanted to write you today and share some great news with you.

I know a lot of Christians were upset by that song, particularly by the words of the chorus:

What if God was one of us?

Just a slob like one of us?

Just a stranger on the bus

Trying to make his way home?

Now, I should tell you that I’ve never been much of a slob. I’m a God of order, not of disorder (1 Corinthians 14:33). But you should be really excited to learn that the words of your song actually came true! God did become one of you (John 1:14)! I had the same thought you did, only it was about two thousand years ago. I left my throne in heaven and was born as a human baby. I lived thirty-something years, then I died on a cross so you could be forgiven and saved from the punishment your sins deserved.

You see, Joan, God is “one of us”! Your wish came true—long before you wished it. And I want to tell you something else, too, Joan: When I humbled myself and left heaven for earth, I showed everyone that humility is a godly trait. I humbled myself, so it’s a good thing when humans are able to put aside their pride and become humble. In fact, the biggest problem most people face today isn’t believing that God was humble enough to become a man—it’s humbling themselves enough to trust me with their lives. That’s a problem for them—and for me, because I love them. I love you, too, Joan. I just wanted you to know that.

Love, Jesus Christ

REFLECT: Have you ever heard Joan Osborne’s song “What If God Was One of Us?” If so, what did you think when you first heard it? How do you think Joan might respond to Jesus’ letter? How do you respond to Jesus’ letter? Why (according to Jesus’ letter) is humility right? Do you think you’re able to put aside your pride and become humble? How can you show a Christlike humility today?

PRAY: “Jesus, thank you for humbling yourself and coming to earth as a man so that I could be forgiven and saved from the punishment my sins deserved. Please remind me that humility is right because it’s like you. Help me also to be humble like you.”

 

 

© 1996, 2003, 2021 Josh McDowell Ministry.
All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, © 1996. Used by permission.
 

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Propaga el amor de Dios