The portion of Philippians for today’s blog has caused me to think and then rethink what it means for my life. Paul starts out with a statement that should cause us to pause and evaluate our life experiences. I like the New Living Translation as I think it makes it clearer. Philippians 2:1-2 “Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.” It seems Paul is saying if we have experienced Christ in our life through His love and compassion or felt the indwelling Holy Spirit within us then we should be able to work together with other believers having Christ and His gospel ministry as our priority. Being like minded does not mean uniformity like we are clones of one another. God made us to be individuals and gave us uniquely different gifts. We are to use them in working together striving to be joined in Christlike attitude. When we digress into petty arguments or oppose one another for the sake of opposition then we are not practicing God’s love towards one another and are hindering the spread of the gospel. Paul is saying that being like minded brings him complete joy or makes him truly happy. Seeing fellow believers working together in unity makes him glad! Paul goes on to admonish us to watch our “self” attitudes and motives and humbly look out for others. 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Sobering thoughts.
Paul’s words are as applicable today as they were to the believers of ancient Phillipi. People digress and desire to look out for themselves and their own interests rather than seeking to look out for the interest of others. Jesus wants us to have godly priorities: God first then man. He gave this as a command in Matthew 22:38-39 “Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Take some time today and reexamine your priorities- who are you putting first in your life? What is motivating you-love of God or love of self? Do, like Paul, find joy in seeing people work together in love and commitment to Christ?
My Joy is increased:
- I can be like-minded in and through Christ with other believers. (vs 2)
- I can experience joy as I focus on Christ and not worldly self-interests. (vs 3)
- I can have a loving and compassionate attitude towards others because of Christ in me. (vs 4)
Do these truths bring you joy? Hopefully, they will cause you to meditate and pray asking God to infuse you with His Holy Spirit and cause you to walk humbly before Him. That will surely bring you joy!!