Together in Christ: 'The Upside Down Ethic' — Philippians 2:2

Tuesday, November 26, 2024

Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

Don't be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
— Philippians 2:2 NLT

Key Thought

Today's verses are built upon the self-emptying love of Christ that led Him to come to earth and give Himself for each of us. [1] Jesus gave up His rights. He refused to cling to His status and position to protect His place in the world and save His dignity. He refused the protection of heaven that could have been His by right and suffered a gruesome death as a mortal. He emptied Himself and served. God raised Him and honored Him.

Jesus is our example of the attitude we must have as we live our lives. He is the resurrected and coming Lord Whose example reminds us that glory and honor here are fleeting, but a day of glory is coming for us. Our Lord has shown us how to treat each other and what to value as important in life. Jesus had taught us these things in what we call "The Beatitudes."  [2] Paul reminded us that Jesus demonstrated them in His life and now calls us to follow Him in putting them into daily practice in our lives. Paul's words don't need an explanation; we just need to live them in our relationships. So, let's reread them, and as Jesus' half-brother James reminded us, we need to put them into practice and not just hear and read them: [3]

Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

Don’t be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
[1] Philippians 2:5-11 are the verses that follow our passage. They explain how Jesus lived out the principles Paul called the Philippians to live.
[2] Matthew 6:3-12.
[3] James 1:22-25.

Today's Prayer

Divine and mighty Holy Spirit, pour God's love into my heart as promised. * Conform my heart and my actions to those of Jesus, my Lord, Savior, and example ^ I want to treat others as Jesus did so they can discover His love, grace, mercy, and transforming power. I ask this, O God, in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 6:1-16
  • Philippians 2:1-11

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Illustration

Illustration of Philippians 2:2 NLT — Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.    Don't be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.