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Give Your Cloak

'...He gave up his place with God and made himself nothing...' Philippians 2:6-8 NCV

In Bible days, coats were more than just a covering. Men wore a lightweight inner garment next to their skin and a heavier cloak on top. The outer garment functioned like a winter coat during the day, at night as a blanket against the cold. Men's garments were normally held as a deposit in business deals, and it was the inner garment that was usually forfeited. This garment was protected by law and had to be returned to the owner by sunset. Knowing this was the law, Jesus said, 'If anyone wants to...take your coat, give your cloak as well' (Matthew 5:40 NRS). In other words, don't just do what's legally required, go further. Say, 'I'm entitled to keep what's mine, but I'm giving it up in order to bless you.'

Our attitude should be the same as Jesus. 'He gave up his place with God and made himself nothing...' (Philippians 2:6-8 NCV). This is the kind of thinking many people don't get. Who in their right mind would give up what's theirs to help somebody else?

But it's what Jesus suggests. It's not just what you say, it's God's love in action through you that gets people's attention. This kind of love gets you out of your comfort zone, and makes you rely on God even more. It is truly humbling.

So what now? Whatever God asks you to do, he won't leave you to do it alone; he's got your back when you humbly 'give your cloak'!

Soulfood: Acts 14-15, Luke 24:50-53, Ps 7:1-9, Prov 11:3-6

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