Philippians 2:1-11: If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with 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 purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
If you are a believer and a follower of Christ, you are united with Christ in all that you do as you live out your life of faith. The Apostle Paul reminds us, especially today, that as followers of the risen Christ, we are to imitate Christ’s humility in this fallen world. How do you and I, as ordinary followers of Christ, reveal to the world that we are set apart from the world? Paul gives us some important qualities that we must possess if we are to truly imitate the humility of Christ.
We must strive to offer comfort and encouragement to those around us who are weary and overburdened with the difficulties of life. We should attempt to show Christlike tenderness and compassion to those we encounter who feel unloved and unnoticed. Paul warns us to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). Jesus humbled himself; he took on the very nature of a servant, giving us a powerful example of how to humbly live out our faith in Christ.
Everything we do as followers of Christ should be for the building up of God’s kingdom and individual believers. Even our church leaders sometimes look to their own self-interests instead of those things that will advance God’s kingdom here on earth. When leaders of the church make decisions that first protect their own self interests, the mission and integrity of the church ceases to be effective. Everything must be done in a “like-minded” way because the church and the individual members must be “one in spirit and purpose” (Philippians 2:2). Everything we do should exalt God and give glory to His holy name. Giving all praise and glory to God should be the primary focus of the church.
What do you personally need to be “emptied” of? Do you need to exhibit more tenderness and compassion to those around you who so desperately need to experience these things in their lives? Do you need to empty yourself of the need to be noticed and recognized for your good works? Do you do things in order to further your ambitious nature or to make yourself look good to others? Do you look out for your own interests before considering the needs and well-being of others?
Pray that God will “empty” you of these worldly things and give you a Christ like humility that is necessary if you want to completely follow Christ and his example of humility. Following Christ involves letting go of “self” and regarding “others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). As believers, Christ calls us to let go of the things of this world and to take up our cross daily and follow him. The world may not recognize you or honor you, but you will be recognized by your Father in heaven when your journey on this earth comes to an end. You will be recognized as a good and faithful servant of our Lord Jesus Christ and you will live eternally praising God and Christ our Saviour.