Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Philippians 2:1-5 (NLT)
This is an interesting passage of Scripture to consider as we walk towards Palm Sunday and then next week, known as Passion Week which brings us to Resurrection Sunday. It feels like we coast along in the year hearing good messages of encouragement and discipline and then as the days fall away and come closer to what we see as the sacrifice of the Messiah, the messages become more focused and the extraneous falls away. Or maybe that is what is going on inside me. In my spirit I know my time has a finite number in this world and I hear the call to “Pay Attention!” and not be distracted.
Paul’s letter to the Philippians is a relatively short letter but it is filled with points to hear and absorb.
If I am being blessed by God, then do not hoard the blessings. I believe it is God’s intention to bless me because He loves me. Like any good parent, it is wonderful to give your child what they need and give even more than what they need. God also blesses me with the intention that I will be a conduit for His blessings to flow in others who, for many reasons, do not connect directly to Him to receive these blessings. God wants me to “leak” on others and refills me as I spend time with Him every day.
If my prayers are all about me, then I am not understanding God. One of the truths which Jesus spoke during His mountain sermon was for me to seek His Kingdom and a right relationship with Him first and everything else? He will take care of me (Matthew 6:33). And oh how I spend time with Jesus pointing out what I don’t have and what I need! Like He doesn’t know! And, yes, prayer is for me to learn from my Savior but I learn when I hush – and listen. Often when I pray for others I remember how God has taken care of me. I recall His power and great love. And when I do, I also hear and know that He will take care of me, no matter what I am going through now.
How do we work together with one mind and purpose? One of the best memories I have during the five years of the Pensacola Outpouring (revival) is sitting up in the balcony of the church and looking down at all the people singing their love for God together. I saw Catholic/Anglican priests and nuns, Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, Methodists, charismatics and evangelicals standing next to tattoo’d and pierced kids, young children and senior saints. They were all singing and worshiping their LORD. It was a wonderful sight!
My husband and I are blessed to see the same spirit of fellowship happen among the authors in our publication company. They come from many different Christian backgrounds and each has a personal relationship with their LORD. They express their love for Him in different ways and use different words. They don’t agree about many things. We could not homogenize their books into one cohesive text. But – they agree that Jesus is their Savior and God is the Creator and author of their life. Many work and play well together! What a marvelous, extraordinary blessing from God that is!
Pay attention this week to opportunities to work together with Christians outside your immediate circle. Get involved and learn about the many people who are out there doing God’s work. You may be surprised and blessed to seek first God’s Kingdom together and all the rest? Let God handle it.
Majesty written and sung by Michael W Smith