The Cost of Community: Philippians 2:1-11
December 29/30 | Matt Wright
If we hope to leave loneliness behind, the escape will cost us something. We’ll need to learn to be more vulnerable, more available, more charitable. Real relationships may not come easily, but might the rewards outweigh the risk? Jesus showed us by example what it means to surrender everything for relationship.
What are we willing to surrender?
Have you ever reflected on your life and wondered how often Jesus has done this?
Philippians 2:1-11 (NASB)
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, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Do we get it? The things that should draw us together are often disrupted by our own selfish desires. I know, I live with this tension. I bet you do also. We live with this tension because God created us to live a life that He know would bring us true peace and joy. We often choose not to live as He intended. As we read in the passage above, Jesus, God in flesh, left His place in heaven to show us how to live that life. Paul says; "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus".
Does Jesus know who I have to deal with on a daily basis?
Has He rode a motorcycle in traffic?
I read the Book, He does. He dealt with much worse because He loved them, and deals with me, because He loves me.
Funny that when I do love selflessly, as He intended, I do feel that joy and peace that passes all comprehension He talks in His Word. It often costs me something, usually nothing big, missing a tv show, being late or missing a meal, getting to bed later than I should. But (Deep Breath) I'm still here. Living as He did, living as He intended has not cost me my life yet. I often wonder how far I would go, what will I pay, to truly live as He intended.