"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to cling to, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross. Therefor...e God exalted Him to the highest place, and gave Him the name above all names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Paul, The Apostle of Grace
Some in the Philippian church had developed a "me-first, my-way" mentality.
They were selfishly focusing on themselves, rather than on serving others.
Consequently, this led to complaining and arguing among them; thus limiting their effectiveness in sharing the good news of God's grace with those in Philippi.
To correct this selfish "me-first, my way" mentality that was infecting the church in Philippi and affecting their ability to share God's grace in their city, Paul held Jesus up as the model of a servant, encouraging the believers in the Philippian church to have the mindset of Jesus, the mindset of a servant.
Even though Jesus was a King, he was a servant at heart.
He came to serve, not to be served.
He came to serve by giving his life as a ransom for us all.
He spent much of his time trying to convince his disciples that true greatness was in serving others, not being served by others.
His disciples were fixated on holding positions of power over people.
They wanted to be seen...to have their say, rather than to simply serve others.
Jesus' final acts upon this earth before his crucifixion were acts of service.
In one of his final acts of service, Jesus, the one who possessed the most power on the earth and who held the greatest position on the earth as King, took the lowest place on earth, washing his disciples' feet as a servant.
Then, in his final act as a servant, in grace, he gave his life for us all by paying the price for our sin penalty.
As modeled by Jesus, being a servant is not easy.
It requires giving up our own wants and desires to meet the needs of others.
Serving others can be painful, as were the nails in the hands and feet of Jesus, and the crown of thorns embedded into his head.
It can be costly, as the cross cost him his reputation and his life.
But serving others is always worth it to those being served, as Jesus' death was of great value to us.
Paul, in writing to the Galatians, taught them not to use their freedom from the law to indulge the sinful desires of the flesh, but, as those under grace, to serve others in love (Galatians 5:13).
That is what Jesus did while he was on earth and even in his death.
Through grace, he served others in love.
God then exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name above all names.
Serving others as Jesus did was what Paul was encouraging the Philippian church to do.
He was encouraging them not to exalt themselves above others and to make a name for themselves by having a "me-first-my way" mentality, but, like Jesus, in humility, to become servants, seeking not to be served, but to serve.
He was encouraging them to think like Jesus thinks...to think like a servant.
Even though we are sons and daughters of the King, living in the Kingdom of Grace, we are most like our King when we serve the citizens of the Kingdom, and even serve those outside the Kingdom, rather than seeking to be served by them.
That is what grace does...grace serves.
Today, as a children of the King living in the Kingdom of Grace, let's break free from the me-first, my-way mentality, and in humility, let's have the mind of Jesus...the mind of a servant, looking not to be served, but finding someone to serve.
To read Brad's other teachings on Philippians, click below.