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: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:1-8)
Over the next four days we will focus on the Discipline of Service. If there were ever two words that need to be rescued from misuse, “service” and “servants” would certainly have to be considered. Just consider the term “customer service” used for some of the institutions we engage with, or consider the term “public servants” especially when it is associated with some politicians. And then, there is Jesus. He comes along and the meaning of service and servant was never clearer. Paul wisely, therefore, admonishes us to imitate Jesus’ servant nature in Philippians 2:1-8 (see above). The passage is rich with motivations we need to have and motivations we need to avoid. This is a great place to start our review of the Discipline of Service.
Please prayerfully read the passage and answer the questions below.
Today’s Questions for comments:
- What are some of the qualities of Jesus described in the passage that make him the perfect model for the Discipline of Service?
- What are some clear motivations to avoid?
March 23, 2015 at 7:32 am
Jesus showed tenderness and compassion,love, selflessness, no conceit, humility. Jesus also had the ability to put others above himself.
My prayer continues to be that at no time in my life will I every deem myself better than others, regardless of what my position or status, wealth or anything I have in life. But that like the Father I’ll make myself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant.
March 23, 2015 at 8:57 am
Jesus is the perfect model because he put others before himself, even to the pain of death – He bore the shame – even though he is the Son of GOD. It is a completely ego – less state. This qualitity is otherworldly and therefore very hard to attain in the natural. I don’t know that anyone can meet this standard consistently. At the heart of the problem I think is motives – why we do the things we do. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer 17:9). We only see our true selves to the extent GOD reveals it to us.
Paul asks us to avoid any motive related to PRIDE, to be meek. Indeed PRIDE is one of the gravest of sins and spawns many evils (see Prov. 8:13). Jesus set the example for us – the son of GOD, who allowed himself to be spat upon and disgraced, He was totally despised yet he bore it all with humility and grace. What a wonderful challenge to embrace even a sliver of that standard! I have learned that Pridefulness is a burden – waaaayyyyy too much work!
March 23, 2015 at 9:22 am
Even though Jesus is God, He never used that status to abuse his authority. It seems that every news report, or every other phone camera is reporting or capturing someone in authority, who should be looking out for the best interest of citizens, abusing their authority.
Jesus humbled himself, was not condescending, and was willing to be of service to the poor, rich, able-bodied, and the disabled, all while showing love and compassion.
Some people serve others hoping for a payback. If that’s the case, their motivation is not pure. We should be Christ-minded and serve any and everyone as much as we are capable. It should be joyful service. If God blesses us for our service while we’re on Earth, that’s great. Either way, as children of God, our reward will be in heaven.
March 23, 2015 at 9:47 am
Jesus, i) did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage, ii) made Himself nothing and took on the nature of a servant, iii) humbled Himself and was obedient. I should avoid the temptation to serve out of, i) selfish ambition, ii) vain conceit, iii)because it makes me feel superior to others and iv)self interest. Very,convicting as the truth will always be. Father, forgive me and help me a faithful servant, like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
March 23, 2015 at 3:20 pm
What are some of the qualities of Jesus described in the passage that make him the perfect model for the Discipline of Service?
– Confidence in who he was in the eyes of God;
– Compassionate; Humility/Selflessness;
– Totally committed.
What are some clear motivations to avoid?
– Desire for power/desire to be served or to rule over others;
– Cold heartedness or insensitivity to the needs of others.
Jesus example raises the question of, “How far am I willing to go to meet a need (for the Gospel/the salvation the Gospel offers) on the part of another individual?”
March 23, 2015 at 5:47 pm
Jesus took on the role of a servant which was the lowest strata in society, a position of humility and one where your needs are not as important as those whom you serve. And as a servant He obeyed His Father, even when it meant dying on the cross. However, He did it out of love and compassion for people and as His followers we must try to do such.
Today’s devotion reminds me of the devotional from Luke 10:38-42. We must remember to serve others without ulterior motives, without complete humility. We serve others not for recognition but as unto the Father (Colossians 3:23-24)
March 23, 2015 at 8:36 pm
Thank you commentators! A few of you shared prayers that I am sure resonated with many others, and the scripture passages shared are very helpful. Interestingly, the question asked by Cuaco will be raised tomorrow. How far should we be prepared to go to help others? I look forward to your feedback tomorrow.