Lightbearers. This is my prayer for you today as you move in love and adoration of one another on Valentine’s Day. For encouragement, I want to bring forward chapter two from Philippians. This section begins with the concept of humility breeding unity. And unity is what we need in Christendom today, because the religion is mega-divided.
“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Philippian 2:1-3.
While this passage rings out strong, just how feasible is Paul’s request? How do we achieve such a sacrificial love? Let us unpack the passage briefly.
I believe in order to succeed, we first must look to Christ as our example, and keep at the forefront of our mind that He is our reward. It was He who first loved sacrificially. In fact, Paul addresses this fact two verses later as he breaks down this request by exalting Christ and informing us that because of His sacrificial love, to the very point of giving up His flesh and blood, His name was exalted.
His name is so divine that Paul informs us at the Revelation of Christ Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue confess He is the Lord. This is called worship. Every living soul should partake of this.
And this love should comfort us, Paul says above. He then encourages us to have the same love Jesus had towards us towards others.
“But we are not Jesus,” you say.
This is true.
In order to achieve this, Paul tells us we will need mercy. Mercy and humility. If we esteem ourselves lower than others, and consider their needs, our selfish ambition and conceit will be broken.
Keep in mind, if this was easily done, if this was second nature for us, Paul would not have to implore us to be humble. In verse twelve Paul teaches us we are working out our salvation through fear and trembling. That is, when we bow down in worship, acknowledging the greatness of YHWH, the Almighty God, when we get but a glimpse of Him, we will tremble in awe.
When we remember the God of the Old Testament, the God who rescued Israel and brought his covenant bride through the Red Sea to the Promised Land, parted the Jordan, saved a nation through Esther, prepared a Messiah through the line of David, scattered the twelve tribes throughout the world because Israel played the harlot, promised to redeem her, brought Himself in the flesh to rescue not only her, but all humanity, walked on water, calmed the sea, fed five thousand with five loaves and two fish, went to the cross as a ransom for us and then rose from the dead, we begin to get the idea of His holiness and how great the divide is between us and Him.
Achieving Paul’s Mandate in a Perverse World
This spirit of humility is what we need to put on before we can achieve Paul’s mandate. In fact, if we do not clothe ourselves with humility, we are a pathetic witness to the darkness, putting forth very little light, and we bicker and complain. Look at verses fourteen and fifteen. “Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”
Look at what he is saying! When we complain and dispute, when we esteem ourselves highly, when we don’t bow the knee before our Maker and Savior, we end up hurting each other and bringing on guilt to the body.
This is destructive in a world that is already so perverse.
So, as for me, today I am concentrating on this passage. It hit me hard as I read it. I must always put on humility, and it is very difficult to do, as it is counter-intuitive. I must put others above myself. I must stop grumbling, complaining and disputing. There is no love and no mercy in these things.
Then, I will appear as an even brighter light in the darkness. And the darkness is getting ever darker. Have you noticed?
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…