Gardendale Nazarene

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Philippians | Pastor's Blog | Gardendale Nazarene


"In the Doing"

One of the great things about this week’s passage is Jesus’ ability to hit everyone's hearts on the same level. I believe that we fall into the same temptation that Jesus’ original audience fell into.

We hear Jesus’ words, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (7:1). Then we think, “I hope ________ is listening to this!” I can imagine that we aren’t the first people to be tempted by this.

Then, we get to verse 12, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”

It is though Jesus can see into our hearts. When we think of the Pharisee culture, we understand their desire to strengthen the Law. When you have someone wanting to strengthen the Law, you also have those who want to relax the Law. Jesus, the Son of the Living God, speaks directly to both groups. At the same time, He speaks through the ages to us today. In Matthew 22:34-40, we hear Jesus echo these words.

Author Scot McKnight writes, “There is nothing complex about this most simple of moral maxims; its difficulty is in the doing, not the knowing.”

Our challenge this week is simple- How do we live lives that turn from the selfishness of our society and turn to the selflessness of Christ? Again, the difficulty is "in the doing, not the knowing."

Philippians 2 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. There, Paul, quotes one of the great hymns of the early church. He knew that living out the selflessness of Christ was difficult. However, in that selflessness, Paul found beauty and life.

I’d like for you to commit to do something with me. What if we memorized Paul’s words together? What if, during the times of selfishness, we had a passage to push to the front of our minds?

Philippians 2:3-11 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,

6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 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.

May God bless you as we seek His life together!