Philippians is joyful letter, written by an incarcerated man of God, who loved his spiritual “children.” They were fellow believers, living miles away, who were struggling to live out their faith in a tempting and dark world.
I especially like chapter 2, though it’s easier to talk and write about it than it is to DO IT.
Anytime it happens, I know it’s only God working it out somehow through me.
Here is my paraphrase of this chapter, and unlike the true inspired words of scripture, it’s peppered with all my favorite punctuation marks — dashes, parentheses, ellipses, etc…
Anyway, it’s from the heart and I hope writing my version of Philippians 2:1-11 reminds me to do what it says:
Following Christ brings encouragement, love, comfort, affection and a godly sympathy —
So, encourage me by living and walking together with unity.
Don’t be selfish or proud in your attitudes or actions.
Be humble — and lift people up — even up above yourself.
Don’t wallow in self-absorption; break out and joyfully meet a need…or two…or three!
Because (and only because) of Christ-in-you, you have His mind.
So…do things in the same way He did.
He came as a poor and lowly man…but in reality,
He was — and still is — G O D.
He willingly took on human form, with all of its earthly limitations. He was a meek and loving servant — empty, humble and obedient.
His obedience took Him to the cross.
(But He didn’t stay there.)
After the unimaginable suffering came the unlimited triumph.
Now and forever, God has lifted Jesus up and given Him a name so powerful
it will make every knee bow
and every tongue admit
that yes —
really and eternally–
is L O R D.
[And He — and we — will forever give God the glory He deserves!]
Philippians 2: 1-11 ESV
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 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. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Photo Credit:michael schaffler