Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus had a certain mindset in his relationships with other people that we also are to have.
What is described about that mindset in each of verses from 6-8?
Focus on one or two persons close to you that you have difficulty relating to at times. How are you to embody and live out the aspects you answered above in your relationships with them?
Today, ask the Lord for His supernatural empowering for you have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, that you would humble yourself to serve and love them like Jesus did for us. Also spend time as in verses 9-11 to exalt Jesus who is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father!
Philippians 2:1-4 (NIV)
1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Paul is addressing those who are part of the Philippians church, to be like-minded – which requires humility.
In our cultural context, faith is generally thought of as an individualistic private pursuit. In contrast, what is expressed in verse 2 – what does it look like to live out a Biblical faith?
In order for that reality of shared and mutual faith in the church to come about, humility is required. What is contrasted against humility in verse 3 and why are those things so counter to humility and the life of faith within the church?
How is humility described in verses 3 and 4 and how does that apply for your life?
As you have experienced God’s love and care for you, on that basis begin to pray through specific needs of others in your small group or missional group. Ask for the overcoming of barriers and differences with the common faith, common calling, and humility to value one another above self.
Psalm 131:3 (NLT)
3 O Israel, put your hope in the LORD— now and always.
When Charles Spurgeon preached this psalm, he said it “is one of the shortest Psalms to read, but one of the longest to learn.” – [Eugene Petersen, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Kindle 1961]
In this last verse of the psalm, who now is being addressed?
What is the difference between putting hope in the LORD vs. in other “sources” and why is that so important for the community?
How is this public display a genuine outworking of the psalmist’s growth in individual humility before the LORD?
And that is what Psalm 131 nurtures: a quality of calm confidence and quiet strength that knows the difference between unruly arrogance and faithful aspiration, knows how to discriminate between infantile dependency and childlike trust, and chooses to aspire and to trust… – [Eugene Petersen, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Kindle 1981]
In humility, spend time praying for your church or ministry. Pray that the brothers and sisters in your community would put their hope in the LORD, not only for now but persisting in that always!
Psalm 131:2 (NLT)
2 Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
For God does not want us neurotically dependent on him but willingly trustful in him. And so he weans us. – [Eugene Petersen, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Kindle 1954]
A weaned child is past requiring the mother’s milk and therefore no longer cries out for it. A weaned child still completely needs the mother, but has a more clear awareness of her and trust that she will provide rather than only awareness of desperate need.
Who is doing the calming and quieting, and to whom?
Calming self sounds a bit like pop psychology: remember to breathe, count to ten, etc. What rather does the imagery of the weaned child with mother likened to “my soul within me” show about true humility?
How is the Lord leading you to actively engage in the calming and quieting of self?
Spend some time asking the Lord to mature you in humility, where you become more and more aware of God’s presence and love for you. Pray for this deepening trust in our Heavenly Father!
Psalm 131:1 (NLT)
1 LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty.
I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp.
One temptation that has received this treatment in Western civilization, with some special flourishes in America, is ambition…It is the oldest sin in the book, the one that got Adam thrown out of the garden and Lucifer tossed out of heaven. What is fairly new about it is the general admiration and approval that it receives. – [Eugene Petersen, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Kindle 1878]
The aspect of humility emphasized here is what we don’t do – what is the meaning and importance of this aspect?
What are these great matters or things too awesome that the psalmist is referring to?
Humility sometimes is wrongly thought of as low view of self. How does the starting address of the psalm to the LORD help correct that view?
In response to this verse, talk to the LORD and spend time having your heart and eyes drawn to Him once more. Surrender self and possibly self ambition that desires to be concerned with what are matters for the LORD only.