‘Each next risk is the biggest one’: James MacDonald talks with Mark Driscoll
Wed May 22, 2013
by Mark Driscoll
Tue May 21, 2013
by Amanda Edmondson
From prison to ReTrain: Russell’s story
Mon May 20, 2013
9 types of leaders in Scripture
Mon May 20, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
5 bits of wisdom for the professional Christian woman
Sun May 19, 2013
by Shandel Slaten
This Changes Everything
Have This Mind
I’ve often said that there’s one passage of Scripture that if I consistently applied it to my life then everything about how I live would change.
I’ve frequently written that I also think the same passage is a primary reason many people find it difficult to follow Jesus, because this passage is so convicting and calls for such radical sacrifice.
I’ve regularly thought that this same passage summarizes my prayer for the ultimate result of my parenting—that my children would choose to live out this one passage.
What’s the passage?
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Imagine the Instead Ofs
Imagine if the life and death of Christ—his self-sacrificial giving—were the model we followed every day in every relationship . . .
- How would we relate differently to others if instead of seeking (demanding) that they encourage us, comfort us, and love us, instead we lived to encourage, comfort, and love others because we already have Christ’s encouragement, comfort, and love?
- How would we relate differently in our homes—with our spouses, parents, and children—if instead of insisting that family members thought like us, we sought to understand, empathize with, and be one with our family members?
- How would we relate differently at work and in church if instead of seeking our own agenda, we did nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility considered others better than ourselves?
- How would we relate differently with our friends and with our “enemies” if instead of looking out for “number one,” we each looked not first to our own interests, but to the interests of others?
- How would our attitudes toward others change if we maintained the mind of Christ and did not demand equality, but made ourselves nothing, serving others, sacrificing for others, and humbling ourselves before and for others—even to the point of laying down our life for another?
The Fleshly Objection
Our flesh objects, “That’s not fair. I’ll only give like that if the other person is willing to give the same amount!”
I’m eternally grateful that Christ did not think like that. If he had, then I’d still be dead in my sins, because he would not have chosen to die for my sins.
It’s Not about Me
I’m preaching to myself here. This passage is eating me for lunch. That is, it’s convicting me deeply about how self-focused I’ve been instead of being Christ-centered, Christ-like, Christ-empowered, and others-focused.
Through Christ’s power, I want to live like Christ for Christ’s glory.
Through Christ’s power, I want to put others first, just as Christ sacrificed himself for us.
My Statement of Faith and Practice
Churches and parachurch groups create a statement of faith and practice that summarizes what they belief about Christianity and how Christians can reflect Christ as they live the Christian life.
For me, Philippians 2:1–11 has become for me a summary personal statement of faith and practice.
In Philippians 2:5–11, I find my statement of faith: an incredible summary of what I believe about Christ’s birth, life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and eternal glory.
In Philippians 2:1–5, I find my statement of practice—a radical summary of how I believe I should live the Christian life through Christ, like Christ, and for Christ as I serve others.
How could this one passage, Philippians 2:1–11, change how you live your life and relate to others?