If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. —(Philippians 2:1-4 Message)
The devotional scripture today was given to us in our “For Your Soul” Sunday worship. My mother was our guest minister and when she read this passage, I knew she had a divine Word. She challenged each of us, in the month we are daring to love, to examine our love walk but most importantly to check our actions with the words that we profess. She brought clarity to the Words that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Body of Christ in Philippi. She challenged each of us that have been encouraged because of knowing Christ or have been consoled, comforted because of fellowshipping with our Father and felt the comfort and guiding of the Holy Spirit; to not do anything from selfishness or personal conceited motives. She than brought revelation to what the Father desires from us. If we wish to be pleasing in the sight of our Father we should regard others as more important than ourselves, and do not merely look out for ourselves but we are to look out for others. If we are to be united with Christ, profess to be in a relationship with Him and the work of His Spirit is within us, then certain things should be true of our lives. Just as the Apostle presented these questions to the Church at Phillipi, she presented those same questions to the combined household of faith. My Pastor and mother called for the entire household of faith to rise to the standards of true believers that will work together, will love each other, and will serve each other. She presented the basic concept of a servant committed to the Master.
This really hit home for me. My mother and father who are and were Pastors, considered themselves to be first servants in the Kingdom, taught us to have a servants heart of love that demonstrated Christ in our very character. They taught us that the servant is the one gives unselfishly, as our Father will take care of us and He will exalt and honor us. But as I have worked in ministry, I have heard a different doctrine being taught and demonstrated, especially in the Body of Christ. And it had discouraged and disappointed me. I have seen a constant lack of unity, pushing, plotting, manipulating, deceiving and grabbing. I was beginning to believe that this is the Christian way instead of the American Way. In our society, we are raised believing that the one who looks out for self gets ahead, but this is contrary to what the Messiah showed us. He was the first servant. Jesus set aside the privileges of Heaven to become flesh and blood. He traded the glory of Heaven for the humble trappings of a carpenter. He gave up sleep so He could pray for the lost. He gave up His privacy, so He could teach and heal the sick. He gave no thought to His reputation, when He time to visit with a woman of Samaria with a sketchy past. He patiently taught His disciples until they finally understood. He washed the feet of the ones who had vowed to serve Him. And in the ultimate act of servanthood, He willingly gave up His life and desires on the cross for our redemption. Jesus is our example.
In order to have a servant heart and bring joy to our Father, we must fight against the Spirit of “selfish ambition.” Our agenda is not what having a life in Christ is all about – our desires, social status and goals should not take precedence over our Father’s Divine Plan. As my mother so eloquently stated, we must ask our Father to help us to see beyond ourselves and to cultivate a servants heart as a servant attitude is the key to unity, joy and the finest most dignified expression of our love. Let’s pray today that the Father transforms us into servants that dares to love like Him.
Contributed by: Pastor Yolanda Douthit
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