Wednesday, November 24, 2010
In Humility Count Others More Significant Than Yourselves...
"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 rivalry 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"- Philippians 2:1-5
This week, I have been re-listening to a sermon from John Piper * that I heard years ago to remember the truths of loving others that I've forgotten. I remember the first time I heard this sermon, called “The Mind of Christ: Looking Out for the Interests of Others”. I was on my elliptical (not a convenient place for note taking). I wept and wept. I just couldn’t believe how clear that passage was as he preached. I was crushed (in a good way) by how little I really loved anyone in my life.
Here's what nailed me: vs. 4 says, "in humility count others more significant than yourselves" Paul doesn't say if they are worthy, treat them that way but that we are to treat them as though they are more significant. It's our treating them that is addressed, not them. I tend to judge and weigh whether or not someone deserves my love (woh- that's ugly).
Paul says though, that we can and should have the mind to love like Jesus. Like Jesus! God Himself, who didn't act on His own status, but instead looked to the interests of people who didn't at all deserve His love. We hated Him. I hated Him. And yet, He humbled himself to death on a cross so that I could be restored to Him. THAT is how I am called to love others. Oh how i long to live this out and not just type about it.
Piper's encouragement on looking to other's interests:
"It was beautiful when Christ put our interests above his own earthly comforts and died for us. It was beautiful when Paul suffered every day to plant the churches that brought us the gospel. It was beautiful when Timothy served side by side with Paul, putting the interests of others first. It was beautiful when Epaphroditus risked his life to complete the Philippian service to Paul. And it will be beautiful in your personal priorities and families and politics as God makes his wisdom grow up among us where the mind of Christ is so alive."
I am begging God to help me live it out to show genuine humility and love towards others. I'm once again just FLOORED by how deeply He loves me and humbled Himself for me! I'm listening over and over because I never want to forget this insight and go back to my selfish and thoughtless ways, but instead I long to love others (especially those who don't deserve it or even want it from me) joyfully because I'm so shocked and thrilled by the grace and mercy I've received through Jesus.
So... will you:
1) Listen (or at least read the outline) to this sermon?
2) Pray for me that it won't be just an awesome sermon, but a truth I live out daily?
Thanks, friends!!!! Praying for you!
*Note: John Piper is the senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN. He has authored many books (you may have heard of Desiring God or my personal favorite, Don't Waste Your Life). He is one of the biggest theologians of our day and is so incredibly wise. I'm so thankful