STOP — Philippians 2:1-4
As citizens of God’s Kingdom the Philippians are to evaluate their lives. If they find that their lives are better, that they have encouragement, love, fellowship, mercy, then they are to take the next step and work for unity. They are not to think about themselves and their desires, rather they are to consider how they can love and serve each other.
God has given us good gifts so we should seek to honor Him by being united in love and purpose with each other.
- “If, then...” should have us looking backwards. Paul previously mentioned that he wants the Philippians to live as citizens of heaven, which means they are to live lives that are worthy of the Gospel. How do they know if they are living that type of life? They are to examine themselves: do they have encouragement in Christ or consolation of love?
- The first evidence of a life that is worthy of Jesus is the presence of encouragement, love, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the feelings of affection and mercy. The second evidence is the choice to work for unity, to share the love God had given them, and to work with the same purpose of bringing God’s grace and love into the world.
- The focus of our lives needs to shift for being selfish to humility. What does it mean to consider others better than ourselves? Maybe we see a vision of this with Abraham when he let Lot make the first choice of land. We can let other people go first because we are confident that God has enough blessing that we will not be left out.
- We need to an interest in the lives of other people. It is easy for us to be consumed with what is happening to us and therefore we miss out on the ways we can serve and love those around us. It is important that we choose to pay attention to the lives of other people.
Lord Jesus, I ask for the faith to trust that You are able to bless everyone, so I don’t have to be stingy with my time, attention, and love.
For tomorrow: Philippians 2:5-11