Read Philippians 2:1-5 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. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.
Think about this: The book of Philippians is known as the book of joy and encouragement. Even though Paul (who wrote Philippians) is actually writing it from jail! Paul shows us by example how to have real joy and happiness not based on possessions, position, or power, but instead based on knowing Jesus. When Jesus leads us, and we put others first we have the same mindset as Christ. When we submit to Him, joy and happiness is the outcome not the goal of life.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, your word says that we are to have the same mindset as Christ. I pray that I would have the same mindset as Jesus and value others above myself. Help me to have real joy in you instead of the “me” based happiness that the world desires. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Read Philippians 2:12-18 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
Think about this: In this week’s message Pastor Todd mentioned that when we make happiness the priority, we create consumers out of our kids (if we have them) and ourselves. One indicator that you are focused on happiness leading to being a consumer is a high frequency of grumbling/complaining and arguing about the things in your life. Paul gives some simple solutions here to move away from that. Obeying God (vs12); finding your purpose in God (vs13); Not complaining or grumbling (vs14); Serving others (vs17); Rejoicing with others (vs17-18).
Take a step: Spend some time in prayer today asking God to reveal if you are frequently complaining/grumbling or arguing about the things in your life. Then ask a friend or someone you trust if you are complaining/grumbling a lot. If they say yes, look back over the solutions Paul gives (outlined above) and take a step in at least one of those solutions.
Read Philippians 2:5-11 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.
Think about this: In this week’s sermon we heard that making serving a priority will create character. In today’s passage we see how Jesus (who was God) made Himself a servant to others. There’s power in serving others! God uses us serving others to not just help or encourage someone else, but it also helps grow our character by making us more like Christ.
Prayer: God I know character matters to you. I want to be like Jesus. Of humble character and with a servant’s heart. Show me where my character is broken and help make it more like Christ. Make my joy complete by making me a servant those around me. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Read Philippians 4:4-20 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. 10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. 14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Think about this: This chapter from the book of Joy (Philippians) is all about letting God build your character with the right things. From making the choice to rejoice (vs4) to right thinking (vs4-8) to living in contentment (vs12-13) to giving (vs18). Take sometime today and write down the characteristics outlined in this passage that you would want to define your character.
Prayer: Lord, real happiness and joy are found when we reflect you. I pray you would help me to think about the right things and to act in the right ways. Help me be content in Jesus. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Read Philippians 4:4-8 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Take a step: After revisiting this section of the Scripture, take time today to memorize Verse 8. Memorizing scripture not only helps us remember what God’s Word says, it also firmly plants it in our hearts and minds. So when we face decisions or choices that move us away from the character God wants for us, verses like these help us see the truth with right thinking which leads to right living. After you memorize this verse share it with a friend.
Prayer on Saturday: Spend at least 10 (or 20) minutes in prayer today. Pray for the list below:
Take a few minutes and praise God for who He is and all that He’s provided for you this week.
Take some time and ask God to search your heart and reveal any sin that you need to confess to Him or any if happiness has become your primary goal instead of Jesus or loving others. Confess those things to Him.
Ask God for His blessing on our church and on this series called Kidding Me. Ask God to help your kids (if you have them or pray for the upcoming generation of kids) to be servants for Christ and others.