Philippians 2:12-18

Do you love the church?

It is easy to answer yes, however what does love look like?

When we say “I love my church” we are not saying we love the building, nor are we in love with the programs or even the weekly gatherings. It sounds simple, however have you noticed how we often react to changes to these areas of “our church?”

It is Jesus who loves the church and gives us the grace to love our church. Ephesians 5:25b “…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”

To say “I love my church” sounds simple, but love costs us. It cost God His son and his son his life. To love the church Jesus gave his everything.

Wanting the Christians in Philippi to be unified, Paul urges the church to be humble servants who look not to self-centered ambitions but to others interests first.

Paul starts Verse 12 with “Therefore”, which tells us that he was connecting his previous point with our section of Scripture here.

When we read versus 1-11 we see Paul calling the church to unity through humility. Jesus is our example, as we look at his life we see that he choose to lay his life down. This was the ultimate act of humility in which Jesus emptied himself…

What is the result?

When we show love we shine love to the world. Verse 15b “shine as lights in the world.” In other words, as we look more like Jesus by emptying ourselves of ourselves, we shine the light of Jesus in a dark and broken world”.

Light does not need to flood areas already lit. Instead the light shines where there is darkness. Does love in our church and of our church result in an outpour to our neighbors and our city?

The first question we asked was, “Do you love the church?” Have you given of your time, talents, gifts, and finances?

This passage is wrapped in humility. The example of Christ’s humility is not about being put low, but about the intentional lowering of yourself. It is the choice to put others first, to redirect your power in service of others.

If humility will be a mark in you life then it will be the mark of our church life. If that is a mark in our church then we will shine as lights to the world!

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Will we choose to deploy our resources for the good of others?
What would our church look like if we followed Phil. 2:3-4?
How can we “shine as lights” to our neighbors around us?

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