Philippians 2:1-11 (NRSV)
Paul's plea for Christ-like humility
If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Come on Somebody! Can Paul get an, “Amen,” or what? Today’s scripture will certainly preach!
I love the gentle advice that Paul gives about how we are to interact with each other in this world. He says in essence, that we are to live humble lives caring first and foremost for the needs of others.
Now, I know that advice is totally counter-cultural. After all, we’re taught to look out for Number 1, finders keepers, lose their sweepers, and don’t worry about stepping on the little guy on the way to the top--a real leader has no friends anyway!
YUCK! Who wants to live in that kind of society? Look at what we have reaped from the seeds of greed, selfishness, and pettiness. When we care only about ourselves, we create a climate where everyone else feels that they have to do the same. We say things like, “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness…I’m nobody’s punk!” Doesn’t this sound just horrible? What terrible bad news!
But, here in Paul’s letter to the Church at Philippi we are given GOOD NEWS. Paul says, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross.”
What humility! If anyone had a right to brag, it was Jesus. If anyone had a right to demand special attention, it was Jesus. If anyone had a right to ask people to serve him night and day, it was Jesus!
Yet, JESUS did none of that. Instead, he humbled himself to the cross where he died to take away the sin of the whole world. What Amazing and Extravagant Love!
Jesus’ actions teach us that love is always humble. When we become Christians, we are invited to take on the mind and heart of Christ. God is love; therefore our actions must be loving. We must submit our natural inclination to greed and selfishness and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, enabling and equipping us to supernaturally sow the seeds of love, humility, and service.
How else will we win the world for Christ? Non-Christians are looking to experience the heart of GOD in our words and in our deeds. Please know that our non-Christians friends are taking note of how we treat them--and how we treat each other--within the Body of Christ. I have heard it said that the actions of a Christian are The Bible that many Non-Christians may never read.
What are your non-Christian friends reading in your life? If you’re not sure, it’s time to “turn a page!” As you pray for divine revelation, Spirit will point out those relationships where you can do more to share the love of Jesus with others!
Finally, let me close with a very exciting promise found in Scripture. Today’s GOOD NEWS says that there will come a day when, “Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord!”
Now, ain’ta that GOOD NEWS?!
What areas of your life could use a healthy dose of humility today?
Loving God, thank you for the humility that you displayed when you chose to willingly die for me. I know that you did not do anything to deserve such terrible treatment. Help me to live out my gratitude to you in humble service to those whom you love. I want to be like Jesus and I want to share your love. Please help me to be faithful. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you have questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, "Come to Jesus" found at
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