Philippians 2:1-4 NIV
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Encouragement from Being United with Christ
As those who are in Christ Jesus, by faith in him, we should be experiencing the encouragement of our Lord in our lives towards walks of holiness and righteousness and purity of devotion to him. We should also know the comfort of his love, especially at times when we are being persecuted.
We should also be walking in his love and grace in demonstrating his love to others – a love so powerful that it sent Jesus Christ, God the Son, to the cross to die for our sins so that we could be delivered from our slavery to sin and now become slaves (servants) of his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23).
We should know that power of God in our lives so that we can now, by the grace of God, be those who are no longer walking in the ways of the flesh, but who are now walking in the ways of God, in purity, righteousness, holiness, godliness, and integrity (Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24).
And we should be those who are experiencing intimate fellowship with our Lord via time spent with him daily in his word, in prayer, in song, and in surrender of our lives to him, and in obedience to his instructions to us, his followers. And we should be following him wherever he leads us.
Any Common Sharing in the Spirit
There are many people today who call themselves Christians. Some of them claim to be Christians because that it is the religion they grew up under, but they are not necessarily in a relationship with God/with Christ. And some of them claim faith in Jesus Christ based more on emotion and intellect.
But for us to share in the Spirit of God, first we must be drawn to faith in Jesus Christ by God the Father, and then we must have, by faith, died with Christ to sin and have been raised with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:17-24).
And we must, by the Spirit, be walking by the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, and by the Spirit be putting to death the deeds of the flesh so that we can walk in Christ’s righteousness and holiness, for the glory of God, and have eternal life with God (Rom 8:1-17; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23).
As well, we must be people of God with tender and compassionate hearts towards others who are hurting, who are in need, and who need to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives. And as God leads, we must be those who share with others in need, according to their needs.
Being One in spirit and of One Mind
Oneness of mind, heart and voice is being stressed much these days by political leaders, by pastors, and by the pope. But most all of them are not teaching the kind of oneness this passage of Scripture in Philippians 2 is speaking of. For, they are talking about oneness with the mind of man.
But the same love, the same spirit, and the same mind this is speaking of comes from God/Jesus Christ. So, first we must be united in mind, spirit (heart) and love with that of our God and Savior Jesus Christ, which is pure, righteous, holy, honorable, faithful, and truthful, not dishonest.
And that can only happen as we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, as we yield to his will and purpose for our lives, and as we, in the power of God, live holy and godly lives, pleasing to God, walking in obedience to his commands (New Covenant).
And then we can only be like-minded with those who are also like-minded with Christ, which not many people are who call themselves Christians, for they are more like-minded with the world and with worldly philosophy, attitudes, and actions than they are united with Christ in mind and heart.
Do Nothing out of Selfish Ambition
God did not put us here on this earth to live for ourselves and to be incessantly entertained by others. He put us here that we might give glory and honor to him by how we live our lives (Rom 12:1-2; Tit 2:11-14).
And Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, as well as that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15).
We are to take reasonable care for ourselves but we are not to obsess over ourselves or to make gods of ourselves. We are to care about others and to not be selfish and to think only of ourselves and our own comfort and/or pleasure. But we are to sacrificially demonstrate God’s love to others.
And we are to encourage one another in our walks of faith, in holiness and righteousness, in the power of the Spirit of God. We are to be concerned about one another and not just about ourselves. And we are to demonstrate that concern even at the cost of being rejected and hated by others, too.
Pray, Pray, Pray
An Original Work / September 6, 2012
Based off Various Scriptures
Pray that eyes may enlightened be,
So they may know Christ.
Pray that they may Him better know,
Strengthened by His pow’r.
Pray that they may grasp
How wide and long
And high and deep
Is Christ’s love.
Pray that they may be filled
To the fullness of God’s love.
Pray with thanksgiving.
Pray for an open door for me,
So I may share Christ.
Pray when the gospel is proclaimed –
Shared with clarity.
Pray words are given me so
I declare the gospel fearlessly.
I pray for you to be active
Sharing your faith, too.
We oft not know for what to pray,
So we ask for help.
The Spirit intercedes for us –
Words cannot express.
Just keep on praying for the saints
With all kinds of requests to God.
Pray they may have faith to
Please their God in ev’ry way.
Pray with joyfulness.