READ: Philippians 2:1-18
THINK: The term “Christian” literally implies being like Christ. As His follower, that should be your aim–to consistently become more like Jesus in thought, behavior and character. Perhaps more than any passage in the Bible, this one tells what that means in the most practical terms. Having the mind of Christ (v. 5) means living with humility and putting others ahead of yourself (vv. 3-4). That’s how Jesus gave us hope (v. 6ff). If you follow Jesus’ example, He can use you to bring hope to others who need to see what Jesus is like so they too can follow Him.
RESPOND: In light of the benefits of a relationship with Christ, why is it important for Christians to be unified in love and purpose? Why is humility vital for Jesus’ followers? (See 2:3 note.) In what way does humility make us more like Jesus? (See 2:5 note.) How did Jesus demonstrate ultimate humility and how did that benefit us? What does verse 6 indicate about the nature and character of Jesus Christ? (See 2:6 note.) What does it mean that Christ “made himself nothing” and how did this impact us? (See 2:7 first note.) What is the contrast between Jesus as human (vv. 7-8) and Jesus as God (vv. 9-11)? What does it mean to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling”? What does this process involve? (See 2:12 notes.) According to verse 13, how does God enable us to fulfill His purposes? (See 2:13 note.) According to verses 14-16, why should God’s people avoid complaining and arguing? In what ways should your attitude and lifestyle stand out from those who do not follow Jesus? What does Paul mean that he was “being poured out like a drink offering,” and what example does that set for you? (See 2:17 note.)
PRAY: Ask Jesus to help you demonstrate humility and to put others’ interests ahead of your own. Thank Him for prioritizing your need for spiritual salvation and laying His life down for you. Ask God to help you avoid complaining and to keep a positive outlook on life as an example to everyone of the hope God has given you.
ACT: All day, practice putting others before yourself. Let them go ahead of you. Give them the best choices. Allow them to have their way. Meet their needs. If anyone asks why you do this, point out how Jesus did the same for us.