Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Jeremiah 50; Philippians 2
Philippians 2 is known as the kenosis passage. It is the doctrine of the deity of Christ as He laid aside the use of His 100% Deity as He lived as 100% man. The first few verses of this chapter deal with the unity those believers are to enjoy as they serve the Lord with gladness. Paul knew that there is a difference between harmony and uniformity. True spiritual harmony comes from within; it is a matter of the heart. Uniformity is the result of pressure from without. This is why Paul opens this section appealing to the highest possible spiritual motivation (Phil. 2:1-4). Since these believers at Philippi are brothers and sisters in Christ, this ought to encourage them to work toward harmony and love, not division and competition. In a gracious way, Paul is saying to the church, “Your disunity reveals that there is a spiritual problem in your heart that is affecting the harmony of the church. It isn’t going to be genuinely solved by rules or threats; it’s going to be solved when your hearts are right with Christ and with each other.” Paul wanted them to see that the basic cause was selfishness, and the cause of selfishness is pride. There can be no joy in the life of the Christian marriage, home, or church when people put themselves above others. The way of thinking that produces Biblical harmony is to have the mind of Christ. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” (vs. 5) It is interesting that this text teaches us that there is a dual responsibility. For us to enjoy harmony, it will require the believer to do his part, and for the Lord to do His part. In verse 12, the Bible says that the believer must “…work out his own salvation with fear and trembling.” We must obey the clear teaching of scripture with a respect for God’s position, power, and program. People who do not fear God, strive to please themselves rather than striving to please God. This selfishness always produces strife rather than harmony. Verse 13 the Bible says, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” God will always do His part in order for us to live in harmony in our marriages, families, and churches. With the assurance that God is doing His part faithfully, the question that remains is are we doing our part? Our part is to be done without murmuring or disputings. Complaining about someone or something starts so much of today’s strife and division. Oh how we need to let God dictate our thinking and behavior.
• Lord, please help me to think of others before myself. Please help my speech to always be edifying and encouraging and never selfish or self-serving.
• Lord, thank you for the example of putting aside your own comfort and convenience in order to provide an example of sacrifice for the good of others. Please help me to serve my wife with a joyful and sacrificial spirit. Please help me to serve my boys with a spirit of humility and grace. Please help me to serve my church family with steadfastness and a true servant’s heart.