1Does your life in Christ give you strength? Does his love comfort you? Do
we share together in the spirit? Do you have mercy and kindness? 2If so, make
me very happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and having
one mind and purpose. 3When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be
your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves.
4Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of
Be Unselfish like Christ
5In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus.
6Christ himself was like God in everything.
But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be used for
his own benefit.
7But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing.
He was born to be a man
and became like a servant.
8And when he was living as a man,
he humbled himself and was fully obedient to God,
even when that caused his death—death on a cross.
9So God raised him to the highest place.
God made his name greater than every other name
10so that every knee will bow to the name of Jesus—
everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
11And everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord
and bring glory to God the Father.
Be the People God Wants You to Be
12My dear friends, you have always obeyed God when I was with you. It is
even more important that you obey now while I am away from you. Keep on
working to complete your salvation with fear and trembling, 13because God is
working in you to help you want to do and be able to do what pleases him.
14Do everything without complaining or arguing. 15Then you will be innocent
and without any wrong. You will be God’s children without fault. But you are
living with crooked and mean people all around you, among whom you shine like
stars in the dark world. 16You offer the teaching that gives life. So when Christ
comes again, I can be happy because my work was not wasted. I ran the race and
17Your faith makes you offer your lives as a sacrifice in serving God. If I
have to offer my own blood with your sacrifice, I will be happy and full of joy
with all of you. 18You also should be happy and full of joy with me.
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon. I will be happy to
learn how you are. 20I have no one else like Timothy, who truly cares for you.
21Other people are interested only in their own lives, not in the work of Jesus
Christ. 22You know the kind of person Timothy is. You know he has served with
me in telling the Good News, as a son serves his father. 23I plan to send him to
you quickly when I know what will happen to me. 24I am sure that the Lord will
help me to come to you soon.
25Epaphroditus, my brother in Christ, works and serves with me in the army
of Christ. When I needed help, you sent him to me. I think now that I must send
him back to you, 26because he wants very much to see all of you. He is worried
because you heard that he was sick. 27Yes, he was sick, and nearly died, but God
had mercy on him and me too so that I would not have more sadness. 28I want
very much to send him to you so that when you see him you can be happy, and I
can stop worrying about you. 29Welcome him in the Lord with much joy. Give
honor to people like him, 30because he almost died for the work of Christ. He
risked his life to give me the help you could not give in your service to me.
The Holy Bible, New Century Version
Paul pointed to Jesus as the ultimate example of servanthood and selflessness.
Imitate Jesus Christ, the humble servant of God. Jesus gave up his rights so that we could be saved.
Jesus deliberately stripped Himself of everything-His divine rights and privileges-and crossed the unthinkable chasm between God and man.
Try to imagine the span of that chasm.... The unlimited God became limited man.... Jesus Christ is God.
. . . From the world's viewpoint, Jesus had descended as low as a man-to say nothing of God-could go.
But there was one more downward step, in heaven's eyes the deepest descent of all: from sinless to sin stained . . . . Truly, He could go no lower.
... He knowingly and actively embraced a life of giving, serving, losing, and dying.
What was, and is, really hard for Jesus' followers to swallow is that we are called to do the same. To make ourselves nothing.... We must believe that as painful as it sometimes feels, descending is the only way to greatness.... Jesus obeyed for the sake of love.
And we, His followers and the recipients of His love, are called to do the same. When asked about the two greatest commands, Jesus replied: to love God and to love others. That is what motivated Jesus, and that is what is to motivate us. (From Descending into Greatness by Bill Hybels)
God views service and humility as strengths, not weaknesses. What steps in your relationships can you take to show greater humility? How can you expand your service to others?
Humility of Jesus -- Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 11:29; John 13:5; 2 Corinthians 8:9.