By: Waylon Bailey ~
I love the church, and I have great admiration for the church which Jesus established.
My parents also loved the church and did all they could to be a blessing to the church.
My love and admiration for the church is not naïve. Through the years, I have seen the church do less than what it could for the kingdom of God. I have seen agendas and power plays. I have experienced selfishness and apathy.
You love the church as I do. What can we do to make our churches better?
Paul also loved the church. The church at Philippi was his “ideal” church, but Paul was not naïve about the church, either.
Though Paul loved the church at Philippi, he could see its blemishes and imperfections. For this reason, he called on the church to look at life and the church differently.
Here are three things Paul wanted the church to do.
First, Paul called on the church at Philippi to be united in mind, spirit, and purpose (Philippians 2:1-2). Like Jesus, Paul recognized that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Based on the work of God in their lives, Paul exhorted the church to have the same mind and the same love.
Second, Paul took this encouragement towards unity to a new level by calling the church to shun selfishness and to embrace humility (Philippians 2:3).
We all know that the problems of the church are problems of self-centeredness and selfishness. How many times have we seen people get their feelings hurt because they were looking at themselves instead of having the mind of Christ?
Most of the wounds of the church in my lifetime have been self-inflicted wounds. They have come as a result of people taking sides, having agendas, and generally looking out for number one.
We all know these issues are destructive to the church and harmful to the proclamation of the Gospel. Paul’s words are absolutely essential: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).
Third, Paul wanted the church to put the interest of Christ above the interest of self. How difficult it is to get the church to see the simplicity and the power of this argument.
Wouldn’t we all be better off if we really asked what Jesus would have us do? Could we see tremendous progress by cutting out our harmful agendas and personal self-interest?
Paul exhorted the church to take on the mind and attitude of Christ.
Its time for us to do the same. Be servants. Don’t look out simply for your own interests but the interest of Christ. Live a life of devotion and service to God.
The mind of Christ is not impossible nor even difficult as long as we genuinely open our lives to God to let Him have control.
“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
That kind of attitude Will make the church powerful in its community and a blessing to the people around it. Taking the mind of Christ will make us serve as ministers who please God and praise and exalt His holy name.
Have a great week!