Saturday, July 05, 2008

Quiet Moments With God--Making our joy complete.

Philippians is a great book. When Paul wrote to the church in Philippi he wanted them to dig deep and examine their hearts.

Chapter two, verses 2 – 5 says, “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 Christ Jesus.”

We’ve all heard the adage “What would Jesus do?” Sadly, it’s become cliché and in some ways has lost its power. But cliché or not, this statement should make us think.

Paul tells the Philippians that their oneness of mind gives him joy. Living in unity pleases God. As His children we should think about His purpose rather than our own. However, society teaches that we ought to put ourselves first, and search for personal fulfillment. It's easy to fall into step with the world's ideals, especially when concurrence makes life all about us.

God disagrees with the world's view. He makes it clear we’re to look out for one another, to love and cherish each other. We're never supposed to look for opportunities to discredit or humiliate someone else or to take advantage of a weakness. I once had a pastor explain that sometimes Christians can be like sharks in bloodied water. Sadly, I’ve seen this, even among people I love. Even more sickening to me is that I’ve been a shark on more than one occasion. I'm thankful for a merciful God.

How lovely life would be if we could think like and live like Jesus. Can you imagine the beauty and peace in such a world?

I know a couple who live out the concept of putting others first. No matter what the issue, they always consider their spouse and what that person's needs may be. It can be something as simple as getting a drink for the other or allowing their spouse to choose the movie they'll watch that night, or it can be something as important as giving up their dream retirement so their partner can live close to family.

Of course no human gets it right all the time, except Christ, the God/man. He gave us the perfect example of what it looks like to put aside selfish ambitions and place others needs before our own. He served with humility and never forgot His Father’s wishes. God’s plan stood above all else. So much so that Christ, in obedience and humbleness, gave His life.

If Christ is our example, how then shall we live? Certainly not by seeking personal gratification or personal glory, but rather by desiring how to best serve The Father. Through obedience we shall find true joy.

Grace and peace to you from God.



  1. My ladies Bible study group is currently working through Max Lucado's book "Just Like Jesus". I thought of some of the things in that as I read your post.

    What Max has written really gets me thinking about the way I live in comparison to Jesus.

    We're only half way through at the moment, but the more I read the more I'm seeing how much I'm NOT like Jesus.

    It's something to work towards though.


  2. Being like Jesus isn't easy, and we'll never truly be "just" like Him. However, we do need to live out our faith in a way that announces that we are believers and not in a self-righteous way, but in a manner that says Love is the way.