There You Are

Philippians 2: 1-4

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate?  Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

Background:

  • Paul lists four incentives to motivate the Philippian church toward unity:
  1. encouragement from Christ
  2. comfort from His love
  3. fellowship in the Spirit
  4. tender and compassionate hearts
  • Paul had joy but asked them to make his complete (plerosate) by being “like-minded” (literally, “mind of the same thing”).  “Of course, this was not a command for unity at the expense of truth.  It assumes that ‘the same thing’ is also ‘the right thing.'” (Expositors Bible Commentary)
  • In the Greek culture, humility was not valued.  Subjecting oneself to anything wasn’t a popular idea.  Paul preaches a counter-culture truth of thinking of others as better than ourselves.  “What Paul means is that our consideration for others must precede concern for ourselves (Romans 12:10).  This will go far toward removing disharmony.”
  • This passage doesn’t say we don’t need to look out for our own needs.  This doesn’t say neglect your physical, emotional, or spiritual needs.  It says that we in addition to taking care of ourselves, we should also take an interest in others.

Application questions:

How does all that Christ has done for us as listed in verse 1 motivate you to work for unity in your local body of believers?

How can you humbly consider someone who has been irritating you lately as better than yourself? Romans 12 says we are transformed by the renewing of our minds – ask God to help you think of them from His perspective.

How are you taking an interest in others around you?  Are you the kind of person that exudes an attitude of “Here I Am” or “There You Are”?  Today when you enter your living room, grocery store, workplace, or church event – try to take the posture of “There You Are” toward others!

Prayer:

Adoration:  Praise God that He gives us encouragement, comfort, fellowship with His Spirit, and tender hearts to serve Him.

Confession: Confess the selfishness we all have as defaults usually thinking of ourselves as better than others.

Thanksgiving:  Thank God that He gave us an example of humility to follow.

Supplication:  Ask God to give you opportunities to take an interest in others and grow in becoming a “There You Are” kind of person!

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