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Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Philippians 2 : 1-11

“Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” -Philippians 2:2

Paul’s gratitude and appreciation for the Philippian believers who supported his ministry more than any other church is reflected in this epistle. (2 Cor. 8:11; Phil. 4:15–18). Through the letter, Paul also exhorts us to have the same mind and attitude while portraying Jesus Christ as a humble servant (Phil 2:5–11). Paul was an example of this attitude- his life poured out as a drink offering (Phil 2:17) for the sake of Christ which brought great contentment in His service and glory to God. In driving home this truth, he points them directly to Jesus (Phil 2:5-8), that humility modeled after the Savior, is the only way to fulfill our purpose to bring glory to God.

The key verse exhorts us to have:

Same mind: How do we get the mind of Christ? 1 Cor 2:16 states “…But we have the mind of Christ [to be guided by His thoughts and purposes].”  Having the mind of Christ is a decision one makes to live as Christ lived among us. Jesus chose to lay down His glory and become a man to minister and not to be ministered to, and as a humble servant to all. A person who has this mind lays down his own will and delights to do the will of the Father. Having this attitude is setting one’s mind on God’s interests above man’s or the self. There is also an outworking of the mind of Christ.  It is seen in our Saviour- His humility was not just seen in taking the human form but also serving others and ultimately submitting to a shameful death on the cross for the penalty of our sins. 1 Peter 1:13 says, “….prepare your minds for action…” Philippians 4:8-9 requests us: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice….." So you see, action is also called for while your mind is being renewed.

Maintain the same love: The word “maintain” shows a continuous attitude. God maintains His love towards man by keeping the invitation open to get right with Him, to be saved through His Son- until He comes back.  We who have experienced His love are called to maintain the same love towards our fellow men in fulfilling the greatest commandment to love (Matt 22:36-40; Romans 13:8-10). The outworking of such love is seen in  1Cor 13:4-7 “…Love is patient, kind, not jealous; does not brag, not arrogant, …….., but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…”

United in spirit: Paul calls for the unity of the Spirit because it is possible through Jesus who makes all people one- both Jew and Gentile. "For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one....For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father" (Eph. 2:14-18). Phil 2:3 calls for humility of mind to regard one another more important than ourselves.  This will help us to live in harmony without dissention- Ephesians 4:1-6 “…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Intent on one purpose:  1 Peter 4:1-2 says “Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,  so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh, no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.”  Jesus came and did the will of God and He set us an example to follow in His footsteps. Matt. 16:24 “…. “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” A renewed mind will lead us to deny ourselves so that the will of the Father can be accomplished in and through our lives.


Thought for the Day:

Jesus humbled Himself and was exalted …… to the glory of God the Father. Let us too humble ourselves under His mighty hand so that Christ will be exalted in us and bring glory to the Father.

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