Philippians 2:1-11 – “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” NKJV
We talked about Humility and the Submissive Mind but another characteristic of the Person of Joy is…
- He Serves Others – – [Philippians 2:7].
If we think of others only in an abstract sense that is totally inadequate and will not produce Joy or Victory. We have to get down to the nitty-gritty of SERVICE. I heard about a famous philosopher who wrote volumes about educating and training children but neglected his own. It was easy for him to love children abstractly but when it came to the practical he failed. Jesus not only thought of others HE SERVED.
It is reported that during the Civil War, General George B. McClellan was put in charge of the Army of the Potomac, mainly because public opinion was on his side. He fancied himself as a great military leader and enjoyed hearing the platitudes and accolades when people called him a “Young Napoleon.” Yet, history reveals that his performance was far less than spectacular and President Lincoln commissioned him General-In-Chief hoping for some positive action, but McClellan still procrastinated. On one occasion President Lincoln and two of his aides went to visit McClellan only to find that he was absent from his post to attend a wedding. They waited for over an hour for the General to return and when he did, he failed to acknowledge the presence of the President and went upstairs and did not return to see the President. Half an hour later President Lincoln sent the servant up to advise the General that he and the others were waiting only to be informed that the General had gone to bed and could not be disturbed. The men with President Lincoln were irate but Mr. Lincoln simply got up and went home saying, “This is not the time of making points of etiquette and personal dignity. I would hold McClellan’s horse if only he will bring us success.” That is a demonstration of an attitude of humility that is worthy of note.
- He Sacrifices – – [Philippians 2:8].
Many people are willing to serve so long as it does not cost them anything. However, when the price becomes large, they quickly lose interest. Jesus, we are told in verse 8, “became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.” Jesus did not die as a martyr but as savior. Dr. J.H. Jowett said, “Ministry that costs nothing accomplishes nothing.” Someone said, “If there is to be blessing there must be bleeding.” I heard of a missionary to Brazil that as he made through the markets during a religious festival notices a booth with a large sign above it – “CHEAP CROSSES” and he thought to himself, “That is what many Christians are looking for. Our Lord’s Cross was not cheap so why should mine be so.”
- He Glorifies God in All Things and at All Times – – [Philippians 2:9-11].
Our ministry and labor are not competition with each other but for the glory of God and if we are truly doing what we do for His glory we care not who gets the credit or recognition.
1 Peter 5:6 declares, “Humbles yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” Remember Joseph served for 13 years before God promoted him to 2nd in command in Egypt and David was anointed King as a child but endured years of hardship before he occupied the throne. There is incredibly Joy in the person of a Submissive Mind because his Joy comes out of service to God and others. Real Joy comes from Glorying God in Who We Are and What We Do!
God bless you richly is my prayer and desire!