Placing others before you is not an easy thing to do, but when done, not only is it fulfilling, but leaves one feeling a level of peace that cannot be described. Paul focuses on the humility of Christ in chapter two and it reminds me of what Jesus said in Matthew 20:28, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” In reality, Jesus Christ is the most humble person to ever walk the face of this earth. The Son of God, walked amongst us many years ago, and He didn’t come with all His splendour and glory, but He came in the simplest form, in order that we may receive the forgiveness of sins and get to know God’s love, the truest and purest of love, there ever is. This is the humility that Paul is urging us to imitate; to have a modest and low view of one’s importance.
“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, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” To be like-minded, sharing the same values, having a high level of integrity and character is what the body of Christ should embody. My son was once bullied in school, and he kept quiet about the whole situation and only shared about it much later on, however, after much prayers and counselling, his self esteem was back up. But he was bitter and angry about the people who hurt him and he always wanted to seek revenge on them, it took time before he calmed down about the whole situation, and I had to encourage him that despite the world having unkind and evil people, he shouldn’t allow them to change who he really is! That lying neighbour will not stop lying and gossiping about you! Your school mates will still hate you and pick on you, not because you have a problem, but because they envy your confidence and will try everything to pull you down, therefore do not allow the words that people say, have a hold and control over your life – dare to be different.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit (pride), rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Selfishness is looking at what benefits you and if it doesn’t, then you’re not game. In my country Kenya, our leaders are always after what benefits them and never about the people, albeit a few of the leaders who are passionate about serving others. They say pride comes before a fall, and we’ve all seen people who were proud, come down after a situation humbled them. Why wait for a situation to humble you? why be mean to the less fortunate in society, yet none of us knows where we will be the next day? My dad once told me a story that took place in his office. He got a buyer who was a foreigner, coming to buy gemstones, and his partner (speaking in native language) told him that they should hike the price and make more profit. My dad however has never been a shrewd business dealer, he refused the offer and stuck to the price that they normally sell for. They were however shocked because the foreigner heard everything that they spoke and was impressed by how my dad didn’t agree to increasing the prices, and this led to him sealing the deal with a huge sale. Greediness never took anyone anywhere, be content with what you have and live within your limits.
“In your relationship with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus,” mmmh, what does the mindset of Christ look like? I certainly wanna know, so am going to leave that to marinate in you, and allow your imagination to take place, but am thinking it must have godliness, holiness, purity and every other upright virtue that you can think of. To even imagine that, “Jesus who, being the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage.” Jesus is part of the God-Head (Holy Trinity) which includes, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, yet He didn’t consider Himself too Kingly to come down to earth and die on our behalf. He had every right to refuse, He had every right to say it’s too much I can’t do it, but He left His Throne, and came down, born of a woman, in a manger, surrounded by animals, with the sound of the sheep beetling and cows mooing! and no angels with golden harps to sing for Him in Heavenly melody. This is what I call, knowing who you are, and still not trying to show off!
“Rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross.” Many people saw Jesus as the carpenter’s son of Joseph and Mary, can anything good come out of Nazareth? but Jesus was not only obedient to His Father in Heaven but also to His earthly parents, and He took the road that led to His death on the cross. This just makes me question my own level of obedience. Have I really been obedient even if it meant I was embarrassed or hurt by the situation? did I follow the cause to the end because it pleases my Father in Heaven? I will be honest, there have been times I looked at my integrity as more important and this led me to compromise here and there, however, this year (2020) has been one that I have personally come to know God in a deeper level than I have ever known before and am still on the journey of discovering my true self, as God keeps revealing Himself to me and it is AMAZING!
“Therefore God exalted Him to the Highest place, and gave Him the name that is above every name.” Because of Christ’s obedience, God The Father exalted Him to the Highest place, did you get that? Jesus Christ is the one exalted and given THEE name above every other Name. “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in Heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God The Father.” Y’all can boast about all the powerful people you know, but there’s no name that exists that is higher than the name of Jesus Christ, even the devil knows this and he too must bow down. Am reminded of the story in Acts 19:14-15, where the “seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. One day the evil spirit answered them, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?’” and they ended up getting a though beating from the man who had the evil spirt who jumped on them and they went running, naked and bleeding. Are you an effective christian? or are you only known as a christian by your name! It’s time to change the narrative and stop being comfortable just going about in your daily life and not having an intimate relationship with Christ. A day is coming whereby every tongue will confess/acknowledge/declare/proclaim that Jesus is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father. Why wait? why not receive Him today into your heart and allow Him to be Lord and Saviour of your life, its very simple.
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Live a life pleasing to God, and work out your very own salvation, not coping what others are doing but working out your own with fear and trembling to God. There are so many controversial statements here and there and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however, as a Christian we shouldn’t do something just because another is doing it, and if we do, we will be conforming to pattens set out by human beings. Always ask yourself what does the Bible say? What is God saying about this? The Bible has all the answers that we need, look to it and you will find everything that you need. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil His good purpose.” God’s plans has always being to work in us and through us in order to fulfil His plans. He has a purpose for your life and even though things may not be taking shape right now, in due time everything will fall in place, trust the process, trust the King when its written, “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose,” Romans 8:28. Therefore, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”
I like giving my own life experiences, because it makes me relate with what the Bible is talking about, that said, I hate arguments, and I will avoid an argument like plague! However, my younger son is the total opposite of me and he always wants to prove himself right, even when he’s wrong. Grumbling and arguing, brings so much strife and conflict between friends and family and when you look back you wonder, was it really necessary to loose that friend because of an argument? was it worth it to grumbling over doing a job, yet you would have given it your all? God wants us to become blameless and pure children who are without fault, yes the world is crooked and every other day we see all sorts of evils going around, but were called to be the Salt and Light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16), and we can only maintain our saltiness by cementing ourself in the one and only foundation – Jesus Christ, then we will shine like stars ⭐🌟✨💫 in the sky.
Hold firmly to the word of God, which is life itself, like Paul, may we be poured out like a drink offering onto others, and may our lives be a testimony of who God is, He’s great power, loving kindness and great mercy.
Memory Verse Philippians 2:14-15 "Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, 'children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky."