“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”
Philippians 2:1-2 (NIV)
Paul tells the believers in Philippi several things in this short passage. He breaks down the vertical relationship between Christ and each believer.
Are we encouraged by being close to Christ? We learn that Jesus helps us through the harsh circumstances of life. I have found that has been a gift to me.
Does God comfort us by His love? As I sat writing on a very warm Saturday evening, He brought to my mind the facts that I was able to bear up under some heavy loads in my life. That has been a comfort to me at different times in these past few years.
Have we had any fellowship with the Spirit? When I have trouble sleeping most nights, I turn my thoughts into prayers. This helps me unwind and, eventually, I do fall asleep. I consider these times very sweet. I need to practice this on a regular basis.
Do we model tenderness and compassion? This one I have to work on. I get frustrated at things; I know I should not, but I do. I get upset when things do not go, as I believe they should. Sometimes I have a short fuse on my temper. I also am sensitive to the tones of voice people close to me use.
Paul then tells his readers to think as Jesus would think. He continues by telling his readers and us we should love as He loves. He loved people, not what they did wrong. He further tells us we should have kindred spirits and pursue the same purpose. At our church, we are preparing for Vacation Bible School. There are several of us working on different areas. Registration, Snacks, Crafts, A Comfort Room for Special Needs kids, Setting up a tent,
Seeking volunteers to lead each class, and giving the lesson each night. We all have different gifts and skills. Nevertheless, we are all working for the same goal-bringing Christ to the children of our church and our area.