|Posted by A.Totire on March 5, 2019 at 7:30 PM|
17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.
Phil 3:17 (ESV)
This devotion is based upon the message "Modeling in Community," which is a continuation of this year's theme of pressing on to the higher calling in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:12). A part of our mission statement says that, as a community, we are learning how to model Jesus' message of love, hope, and reconciliation. We do this together as a community. It is not a do-it-yourself journey done in solitude.
The Apostle Paul says, "join in imitating me." To imitate the Apostle Paul is to imitate the life of Jesus Christ. We see this in his letter to the chuch in Corinth "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ." (1 Cor. 11:1). Here, the Apostle Paul explains that, as a follower of Jesus, his aim is to be a blessing to others so that he can share Jesus' love for them, so that they may also have a saving relationship with Jesus. So, rather than pursuing his own life, his own agenda so that he can bless himself, he does what it takes to reach others for Christ (I Cor. 9:19-25).
To illustrate this further, the Apostle Paul tells the poeple at the chuch in Philippi,
2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Phil 2:2-4 (ESV)
This "having the same mind" and "having the same love" and "one mind", seems rather idealistic today. As long as people go to chuch in order to get a blessing or to feel justified for doing so ("I went to chuch, therefore, I am ok), such a community seems too difficult to attain. However, it is not impossible, as long as we take ownnership of our journey with Christ and pursue the love of Jesus, it is certianly possible! In fact, that is God's will, that we seek to live for Him and to have His love fill us so that we are a blessing for others. In verse 5, the Apostle Paul writes, "Have this mind in yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus." He continues on to describe how Jesus Christ, even though He is God, came a servant and died on a cross for us. As a result, God highly exalted Jesus Christ.
How do we live that out today? Realize that it is God's intention to bless others, but those who do not know God seek out those blessings for themselves. They do whatever it takes, even cheating or stealing from others to get ahead. But, trusting God is to put your life in His hands, trusting in Him to take care of your needs, that you would not be taken advantage of. Rather, as a follower of Jesus Christ who puts his/her trust in God's provision, we are then positioned to be a conduit for God's blessings.
As a community, we are learning how to do that better and better. It is a community marked by God's love, trust, and faithfulness. It is a community of Christ-followers who model the love of Jesus Christ.
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