PJ’s Daily Devotional for Monday, February 13, 2017.
What is the motivating force of your life?
In what is called, “The Christ Hymn,” Paul gives us the great motive for our life in Philippians 2:5-11, “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” (Philippians 2:5-11).
As maturing Christians, the motivating force of our lives must become the exemplary example of Jesus Christ!
What used to be the motive of my life?
Paul answers that question in the verses directly before the Christ Hymn: “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” (Philippians 2:2-4).
The Bible accurately diagnosis my former ambition as selfish, filled with conceit and vain glory; a time when I would look after my own interests. As I reflect upon my life, I sadly see this diagnosis as true. The reality for many is that this habitual thinking of the flesh can still be the current ambition of their life. To mature as a Christian, the dominant mindset must become that of the Spirit, so that your mind and heart are that of Christ and not of self.
Paul calls maturing Christians to a life of Christ-like humility and sacrificial love: “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me” (Philippians 2:14-18).
From these verses, let’s look at the evidence that demonstrates Christ being at the center of our lives:
- We do all things without grumbling and disputing (14)
- We are becoming blameless and innocent, pure (“without blemish”) in the world (15)
- We are Biblical in faith and practice (“holding fast to the word of life) (16)
- We live a sacrificial love to God and others for the glory of God (17)
All of this, motivated by Christ, is so that we will shine as lights in the world. We will manifest the evidence of being what Jesus promised us to be in Matthew 5:13-16: salt of the earth and light of the world. Let us rejoice and be glad!