The Excellent Things

Php 2:1  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,

Php 2:2  make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

Php 2:3  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

Php 2:4  do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Php 2:21  For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.

 

I want to talk about several verses in Philippians Two, but first let us go to Philippians One to see the background of them.   Phil. One talks about some non-instructions that Paul was giving to the Philippians.  Non-instructions are saying things in love to lead them to doing; to encourage and suggest without really commanding them to do it.  He encouraged the people to perform the ‘excellent things’ that were high things to keep a group or organization together.  They are in vss. 1&2 above.  Then he talked about wanting to honor GOD in his body whether by being alive or if he had to by dying.  Sounds like he was in control of it. But his being alive was better for them because he could keep encouraging and instructing these people as an organization or church so that they would stay together for a long time.  They would be connected by cords of Love.  They would be of the same mind and intent on one purpose.

There is encouragement in Christ, consolation of love, and fellowship of the Holy Spirit.  These things are God meeting our needs and we become like rivers of living water flowing out of our bellies.  God meets our needs and helps us grow; we can, all of us when we mature, have natural affection and compassion for one another.  When our needs are met we turn to others with the same love, encouragement, and maturity in the church and help them grow.  We turn to the weakest links and help them to grow into solid citizens who can do the same for others to fulfill the one purpose we are set on, which is the furtherance of the gospel.  We have one Lord, one gospel, one baptism, one mind.  We are very intent on letting the gospel be heard because we have a world that could be headed for hell and we have to warn them and show them Jesus, who is the way.

So we read the first two verses then the third.  By maintaining the same love in vs. 2 we should do nothing in selfish motivation, not for ourselves or in empty conceit.  Thinking we are good enough to love like Christ but not being able to, just to prove a point.  But in humility of mind regard one another as more important than ourselves.  We should grow up,’ we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought’.  We should grow our compassion and see that people are in need and in want.  We have our needs met, you understand, and now we can give a cold drink of water to our enemies and clothe the naked and visit the sick and in prison.  Actually turn outward and improve our worldview to take in its inhabitants and empathize or sympathize and meet some needs- another reason we are here.  That is great love.  Great love will hold us together and get things done and we will grow and become more like Jesus and the world may even be a better place for a while.

So we don’t merely look out for our own interests but also for the interests of love.  Here is how to love someone more than yourself!  Have your need met and leave yourself behind.  Focus on others, nurture your family, supply others with the gospel and the spirit of GOD.  How many of us really know how to love with an everlasting love, to encourage, having something worthwhile to give.  The gospel and eternal life are the only non-temporaries worth giving.  Caring- the obvious ones who need are always the target but our own families lack love and the ability to overcome without Jesus.  Who can help some of us but God alone- we are so stubborn.  That guy who wouldn’t put his cup in the dishwasher and his wife divorced him- that’s stubborn.

Then in the following verses of Chap.2 Paul talks about the workers he once had that turned back to the world and selfishness.  That quit loving him and Jesus and decided to pursue their own interests.  Do you think they went to heaven after only going half way and then quitting, they fell away.  He talked about Timothy his faithful son in the Lord who was still doing so much, and the Gospel and being a Pastor fit him perfectly though he had some shyness.  He did everything thing Paul taught him and was eating it up and doing well and keeping his church together possibly in Ephesus, Turkey.

He continued and talked about Epaphroditus.  Who was a great worker too, did everything Paul told him to the point of getting sick and he almost died.  But he got better and now he wanted to go back to Philippi and possibly lead their church, he had grown so much and was set on spiritual fire.  He had a heart for the Lord and for the people.

Then in vs. 21 he said about the ones who had fallen away that ’they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus’.  We should all seek after the interests of others and be committed to do so.  Get saved, get your needs met and be more than a conqueror of your own life and in the lives of others.  Our brothers could use a helping hand, ya know?  Making it with a little help from your friends is not that bad.  Like a commune run on godly principles that has gone on for almost 2000 years.  Serve Jesus and these excellent things and receive a great reward when the work is done.

 

 

 

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