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Philippians 2:1-4Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ,

Lord Jesus, what encouragement do we have through our union with you? What a blessed rhetorical question. Because we’re united to you, all our sins are forgiven, and your righteousness has been declared to be ours. We’ll never be condemned for our sin again, God delight’s in us as much as he delights in you, and we’re co-heirs of the new heavens and new earth with you. Let’s start there.

if any comfort from his love,

How does your love comfort us? In more ways than we can measure. Only your love is better than life and will never let go of us. Only your love satisfies the longings of our souls, heals the brokenness of our stories, and breaks the chains of our foolishness.

if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,

     The Holy Spirit mediates your tenderness and compassion to us every hour of every day—even when we ignore him or fail to take advantage of such riches. Jesus, your tenderness and kindness lead us to repentance, and your compassion frees us to own our weakness before you and others. 

2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

Loving others as you love us is easy towards some people, Jesus; difficult towards others and seemingly impossible with some.  Help us Jesus. You never said loving is less than demanding and messy.

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.

Do nothing from the motivations of selfishness and vanity?  Jesus, one Day we will do this perfectly, but right now, we’ll just concentrate on the challenges of this one day. Grant us other-centered grace for today, Jesus—in our marriages, parenting, “friending,” with co-workers and neighbors—even for our enemies.

Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Jesus, the gospel is the clearest expression of your humility, and the boldest demonstration of how much you value us. Thank you! Because of your great love for us, help us die to our self-preoccupation, and truly think of others more highly and more often than ourselves. So very Amen I pray, in your glorious and grace-full name.

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