Jesus, you are the ultimate example of an unselfish life. As I study your word, may my heart be open to seeing the areas of my life that are more focused on my interests and less on the concerns of others and allow you to transform my way of thinking.
Read: Philippians 2:1-4, NIV
“(1) 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, (2) then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. (3) Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves. (4) Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
The focus of advertisers today is to appeal to your sense of “pleasing you.” “You should be driving a Honda,” “Gee your hair smells terrific,” or my favorite old fast food jingle…”have it your way!” Even parents and grandparents dote over their children and grandchildren, telling them how wonderful they are. So Is it any surprise that we have become such a “me first” society? The responses of Jesus help to put our perspective back into right focus. The Pharisees and Sadducees got together to ask Jesus, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your strength, this is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:36-39) Jesus did not spend His time here on earth “Lording over” everyone, instead, His example was one of great humility and unselfishness.
In our verses today, Paul is exhorting us to be imitators of the humility of Christ. In verse 3 Paul encourages us to “consider others better than” ourselves. So if someone is serving a meal, you ensure others get a plate full first before yourself. You forget the plans of your day to have fun and watch a movie when you see a stranger by the roadside in need and instead, assist them. Whatever opportunity might come before you to help others, you do it with the love of Christ; Consequently, the following verse, verse 5, says “your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”
Pray that God would lead you to minister more to needs of others and put opportunities in your path this week. In addition to that, consider your family members more and make a conscious effort to put their needs ahead of your own. People will begin to see a heart of compassion, caring and humility which will lead them to see Jesus in you!
Lord, we pray as your word says to us to “clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s might hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” (I Peter 5:5-6).