Paul now shifts from looking specifically at his situation - in chains yet with joy - to the situation of the Philippians. He begins by exhorting the Philippians to be humble for the purpose of unity. Unity brings with it joy. Division brings with it chaos. Sin always divides. Bitterness, jealousy, envy, pride, anger, and malice all bring division thus robbing us of joy. Humility, on the other hand, brings unity and joy. This is an important message, not just for our homes and our work lives, but for our church. Will we love one another with a humble love reflective of Christ (particularly Christ on the cross) or will we be controlled by our selfish, divisive lust and demands?
Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
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September 2, 2012 | Philippians 1:1-11 - The Joy of Thanksgiving & Prayer
September 16, 2012 | Philippians 1:19-30 - The Joy of the Future