Our Daily Bread – Under Siege

Read: Philippians 2:1-11
Bible in a Year: Psalms 100-102; 1 Corinthians 1
Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. —Philippians 2:4
During the Bosnian War (1992-1996), more than 10,000 people—civilians and soldiers—were killed in the city of Sarajevo as gunfire and mortar rounds rained down from the surrounding hills. Steven Galloway’s gripping novel The Cellist of Sarajevo unfolds there, during the longest siege of a capital city in modern warfare. The book follows three fictional characters who must decide if they will become completely self-absorbed in their struggle to survive, or will somehow rise above their numbing circumstances to consider others during a time of great adversity.
From a prison in Rome, Paul wrote to the Christians in Philippi, saying: “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4). Paul cited Jesus as the great example of a selfless focus on others: “Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, . . . made Himself of no reputation . . . humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (vv. 5-8). Rather than seeking sympathy from others, Jesus gave all He had to rescue us from the tyranny of sin.
Our continuing challenge as followers of Jesus is to see through His eyes and respond to the needs of others in His strength, even in our own difficult times. —David C. McCasland
Are you going through something hard right now? What can you still do for another?
Embracing God’s love for us is the key to loving others.
INSIGHT: The words that Paul penned to the Philippian church while he was under house arrest are some of the most challenging. There is so much in this short letter that goes against our natural inclinations. From prison, Paul encouraged the Philippian believers to “make his joy complete” (2:2 niv). Paul is joyful while in prison because of his faith in Christ, and he encouraged the believers to add to his joy by looking out for one another and counting others as more important than themselves. Paul then uses Jesus as the example of this kind of selflessness. In taking on humanity, Jesus gave up everything that was rightfully His to come to our rescue. J.R. Hudberg

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