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Self-management is one of the greatest challenges for any of us.  We all want to find the basic things that will make us better, improve the quality of lives, and help all of our relationships.  Most of us are a little “worn down” with the criticism, anger, and division of the last year.  We wonder, what can help us?  Our after Easter sermon series is 7 Powerful Graces for Living.  God has provided the resources to empower our lives.  God’s power is always a function of grace, not guilt; choice, not condemnation; relationship, not rejection.  Yet, at times, we struggle to clearly see and grasp these fundamental graces for living.  The first sermon is a fundamental grace for living and it is: Serve.  In the 7 deadly sins the first one is pride, but how does anyone become humble?  The answer may be found in Philippians 2:1-11.  In these verses Paul gives us the basic toolkit for finding and using this grace of serving to empower our living!  As you read Philippians 2:1-11, may you find the encouragement, love, and empathy that will empower your life.  Philippians 2:1-11: Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NIV)