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Not for Your Advantage

I ran across this verse one morning while reading. I saved it, knowing I wanted to think more about it.


“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Philippians 2:1-2 NKJV


Those two verses are part of 5 consecutive verses that give a perfect description of how we should treat one another. Approximately 100 words, that if we had no other instruction from cover to cover, we would have a clear picture here. I like the 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. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:” Philippians 2:1-5 NIV


Can you imagine a society where every single person values every single person more than themselves? Where your interests are of more importance to me than my own? Where you do NOTHING out of selfish ambition or motive? I can; and it sounds like heaven. It sounds like nothing that can be achieved now, right?

Pastor Larry Gibson said something years ago, that I am still quoting today. “It’s not just pie in the sky in the sweet by-and-by; it’s cake on your plate while you wait.”


Yes, God has grand plans for you for eternity, but He also has plans for you now, here. He wants you happy and healthy now. And He wants you interacting with others in happy and healthy ways. What does that look like?


Paul wrote in verse 5, “in your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:” What is that mindset?


“Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.” Philippians 2:6-8 The Message


If we could only read from one book in the Bible, telling us how to live with one another, in might have to be Philippians chapter 2.


Are you looking for the “good life”? Here it is!


“Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns…” 14-16


I have called myself a Christian all my life. I haven’t always acted like the daughter of the King, but my actions and behaviors did not change who I was; who I am. I am a follower of Christ and I have made huge mistakes. I also have had huge victories, but my point is this,


If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. – The Message


by Jeanette Stark – Thursday, October 27, 2022

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