Read: Philippians 1:27–2:4
Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 34–36; Hebrews 2
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.—Philippians 2:3
“Do you have a few items you’d like me to wash?” I asked a visitor to our home in London. His face lit up, and as his daughter walked by, he said, “Get your dirty clothes—Amy’s doing our laundry!” I smiled, realizing that my offer had been extended from a few items to a few loads.
Later as I hung clothes outside on the line, a phrase from my morning’s Bible reading floated through my mind: “In humility value others above yourselves” (Phil. 2:3). I had been reading Paul’s letter to the people of Philippi, in which he exhorts them to live worthy of Christ’s calling through serving and being united with others. They were facing persecution, but Paul wanted them to be of one mind. He knew that their unity, birthed through their union with Christ and expressed through serving each other, would enable them to keep strong in their faith.
We might claim to love others without selfish ambition or vain conceit, but the true state of our hearts isn’t revealed until we put our love into action. Though I felt tempted to grumble, I knew that as a follower of Christ, my call was to put my love for my friends into practice—with a clean heart.
May we find ways to serve our family, friends, and neighbors for God’s glory. —Amy Boucher Pye
Read Luke 22:22–27 and consider how you can pattern yourself after Jesus the servant, looking especially at the words, “But I am among you as one who serves.”
The gift of unity can result from serving each other.
INSIGHT: Philippians was written by the apostle Paul to a group of Christians in the ancient city of Philippi. Paul had met many of these church members several years earlier when he visited this Roman colony in the heart of Macedonia. The church had begun with the conversion of a small group of women—including a wealthy Thyatiran clothing dealer named Lydia—who met to worship God on the banks of the Krenides River outside the city gates (Acts 16:11-15). Now many years later Paul wrote to these friends from prison. He was unsure he would ever see them again to deliver his message in person (1:27). What was the content of this message? Stand firm; stand together; be joyful; there is hope in Christ! Dennis Moles