If you read the above blog entry Confetti, you know that I started a new Women of Faith Bible study called Encouraging One Another that my sweet (and encouraging!) friend Laurie gave me on her visit. I'm always in the middle of several books at at time, and now that I have completed my recent study on Leah I am ready to fully dive into this one.
One of the Bible passages the study took me to early this morning was Philippians 2:2-8. Now, if you have never read Philippians you are in for a treat. With only four chapters this letter is not hard to read, and is filled with themes of rejoicing, thanksgiving, unity, perseverance, knowing Christ, and more rejoicing and thanksgiving! I love this book.
The passage I read this morning is one that always convicts me though. Listen to verses 3 and 4...
"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or deceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."
Okay, this is hard. Especially in a culture that screams for us to have it our way because it's all about us. Living a life where nothing is done out of selfish ambition, where we think others are better than us, and where we aren't that concerned about our interests but those of others...well, that goes against the grain.
And why are we supposed to do this?
Verses 5-8 explain it. The Bible says that this was the mind of Jesus Christ. It says Jesus was God, but He made himself of "no reputation" and came to earth as a man, a bondservant in fact. It says Jesus humbled himself to death, and not just any death, the cruel death of the cross.
Jesus, who was God, came to earth and lived for others to the fullest extent of what that could ever involve. So if I take on His mind, which as a Christian I want and try to do, that means that I am called not to live for me, but for...others.
So I can be more like Jesus whom I love.
I don't know how many of you grew up in Sunday School like I did, but when I was a young girl I heard an acrostic for joy that revealed the order of whom we are to live for and serve which went like this...