Today’s passage is amazingly beautiful, descriptive of our Savior and presents us with a challenge and hope for the future. Philippians 2:5-10 is a well known and often quoted portion of scripture. I like the New Living Translation of this passage,
“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. (our challenge as believers)
6 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
What was Jesus’ attitude? He was not filled with self-pride. He could have been as He was God and possessed power and might beyond measure. But, He acted with sacrificial humility and came to earth in human form with the purpose of saving us though His death on the cross. He was obedient to God’s plan of redemption. The result was God honored His obedience forever and made us all be subject to Jesus. What a challenge to live each day with an attitude like Christ’s with humility, a servant’s heart, a willingness to put others first and with pure devotion and love for God. Only through the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit is it possible. Jesus promised in Matthew 19:26 “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Live life each day, trusting in the power of Jesus, the name above all names!
As I read this passage, I am awestruck by Jesus’ humility and sacrifice. He gave up His position in heaven to come to earth to save and to serve. How much He must love us!
My joy is increased today:
- as I consider how much God loves me.
- as I see that obedience brings blessings.
- as I see that no matter how things look right now, God has a plan for eternity and is in His control.
- as I realize that Jesus in King now and forever!
Have a blessed day and may there be joy in your heart and on your lips!
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!!
Here are some verses to uplift, encourage and challenge you this 5th Sunday of Lent as our world struggles with the pandemic of Covid-19:
God is Sovereign: Psalm 103:19 “The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.” 2 Chronicles 20:6 ““O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.” John 10:29 “ My Father, who has given (my sheep- believers) to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” Acts 17:26 “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,” Each of these verses shows God’s Sovereign power. He is Creator God and there is none greater. Once we belong to Him, nothing and no one can take us away from Him. God is the determiner of mankind and those things He allows to come into our lives. Like the plagues of the Old Testament, pray, pray, pray for God’s mercy in these days of Covid-19. Humble yourselves and turn back to Him and seek Him and His forgiveness. “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Romans 3:22-23 God promises restoration and forgiveness if: if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Here are the truths we found in God’s Word from Ephesians 4:17-5:20 this last week. They are rich and bring joy and challenge to the believer as we endeavor to walk with Him each day. Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead:
I can be a new creation in Jesus! Ephesians 4:17-24
We are made for righteous actions and thoughts towards ourselves and others which bring joy to God. Ephesians 4:25-32
We can be imitators of Jesus and have lives filled with love. Ephesians 5:1-2
I can choose light and life with Him. Ephesians 5:3-8
His light can be seen in me. Ephesians 5:9-14
How I live my life for Him matters. Ephesians 5:15-20
May you have a Sunday filled with His love and be able to spend time praying and mediating on His Sovereignty and His wonderful truths from Ephesians.