Archive for July, 2008

Selfishness and the mind of Christ

Thursday, July 24th, 2008 at 8:51 pm

1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
2 Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.
Philippians 2:1-16

This passage addresses selfishness and the “I’m more important than you” attitude.

Because Jesus put himself last to benefit others, so also should we put ourselves last to benefit others.

Christ lived a life, not for himself, but for others. Even though he was equal with God (v6), he humbled himself and became a servant (v7-8). Even though the Lord Jesus Christ is above all and every knee will bow before him (v9-10), he lowered himself to that of a humble servant (v8). In fact, he humbled himself to the point that he laid down his life for those who should be serving him.

  1. Even though Christ is God and is the one who should be obeyed, he humbled himself and became obedient to death vv. 6-8.
    • if Christ – who is God – can humble himself, we who are even lower than angels should humble ourselves
  2. Christ did not have to exalt himself. When Christ humbled himself, God exalted him vv.9-11.
    • don’t exalt your own self – see Luke 14:7-11
  3. God is the one who works in us to do his will, so we should humble ourselves and become obedient to him v 13.
    • don’t take credit for the good you do – it is all of God Eph 2:10
    • we cannot do a great work for God, but God can do a great work through us.

Things that get in the way:

  1. strife (pride = self importance) v. 3
    • Only by pride cometh contention (Proverbs 13:10) – contention = strife
  2. vainglory (self-glory) v. 3
    • For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body (1 Cor 6:20) – we should bring glory to God, not ourselves
    • It is not I, but Christ that liveth in me (Galatians 2:20)
  3. self-esteem v. 3
  4. selfishness v. 4

When we have the mind of Christ:

  1. We are consoled in Christ v. 1
    • Because he defeated even death, we have no enemies that can conquer us.
    • It is a great consolation to know that death has no sting. I Cor 15:55-57
  2. We are comforted with love v. 1
    • God is love I John 4:8
  3. We have spiritual fellowship v. 1
  4. We have compassion and mercy on others v. 1
  5. We will be blameless v. 15
  6. We will cause no harm to others v. 15
  7. We will be without rebuke – even though we live in a wicked world v. 15
    • no one will be able to bring a charge against us Romans 8 who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect…

Examples:

  1. Holding doors for others.
  2. Giving money to help others instead of spending it on yourself.
  3. Cleaning up after yourself so someone else doesn’t have to clean up your mess.
  4. Sharing.
  5. Letting others go before you – whether it be in a line, or a turn at a game, or whatever.
  6. Putting things back where they belong so the next person who needs it can find it.
  7. Showing up early or on time – this says the time of the person you are meeting is more important than your own.
  8. Seeing something that needs to be done and doing it even if it isn’t your job or turn to do it.
  9. Not fighting about seats in the car.

Most importantly, having the mind of Christ allows us to shine as lights in this wicked world so that others will see the word of life and turn to Christ. When we murmur, complain, bicker, or fight when we don’t get our way and have to yield to someone else, we are showing forth ourselves instead of Christ.

When we esteem others before ourselves and do so without murmuring and disputing, we are holding forth the word of life – showing a testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ and how he esteemed us better than even his own life. I pray that each of us will be such a testimony.

by Gordy

Your relationship with Christ and others

Saturday, July 19th, 2008 at 9:27 pm

Recently, I read a quote online that is worth sharing:

Where you are at in your relationship with Christ is where He has brought you.

It is your journey, not a standard for others.

I often see Christians sit in the seat of the scornful when they see someone who they feel doesn’t measure up to their standards. I am not saying all Christians do this, but I do see it often. If the other person is comitting a sin then God requires us to try to restore that person rather than talk about them and look on them with scorn.

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Galatians 6:1

However, if the matter is not a sin but rather just a different standard, then we are not to judge that person.

Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. Romans 14:4

Some people think they have higher standards than others and those who don’t have the same standards are lesser Christians. However, standards are not higher or lower – they are just different standards. Read Romans 14. There are things that are perfectly acceptable for one Christian but not for another. It is not our place to force our standards on others or to measure others’ spirituality by our standards.

Let’s remove ourselves from the seat of the scornful and remember that where we are is where God has brought us. God is conforming us all to the image of Christ. Some need more work than others. Some have been on that journey longer than others. Let us not judge God’s servants.

Posted in Quick Thoughts
by Gordy

Are you good enough?

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008 at 5:55 pm

This is a great video.

Posted in Quick Thoughts
by Gordy

A faithful man

Monday, July 14th, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find? Proverbs 20:6

Where are the faithful? Are you faithful to what God has given you to do? You should be.

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2

Has God given you a ministry? Then be faithful at it. Don’t be faithful most of the time or only when you feel like it. Don’t skip out on ministering so you can go out to eat with the family – or for any other reason. If you are in some type of ministry, then God requires you to be faithful. If for some reason you are unable, then find a substitute to take your place – don’t just leave the others in the ministry with you to pick up your slack. Find someone to fill in. It doesn’t matter how big or how small your part is. If people cannot depend upon you to be faithful in the little things, certainly they will not depend upon you to be faithful in the big things.

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. Luke 16:10

Are you faithful? Those to whom you minister will notice if you are not.

Posted in Quick Thoughts
by Gordy