Philippians 2:4 “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (NIV)
It is easy in today’s world to be focused inwardly instead of outwardly. I often hear comments such as, “When I visited that church, it was so unfriendly. No one approached me and made me feel welcome.” This type of comment assumes that, because you are visiting, you are relieved of the Biblical responsibility of looking after others’ interests more than your own. This example illustrates the core problem of putting others before yourself — your “rights.” I am a visitor and therefore I am to be catered to. Instead of looking for how others can meet your needs, you should be available for God to use you in the life of another person. What divine encounter does God have for you today? How often do you miss a divine encounter by being concerned about your needs and rights instead of God’s work in and through your life? When you approach every encounter with another as an opportunity for God to use you, your focus changes from your rights and expectations to how you can be used by God. Colossians 3:23 gives the secret to this lifestyle, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” We must live not for ourselves, but for Christ! Today we celebrate Christmas. Christmas represents the ultimate example of God Himself putting YOU before Himself by being born a human child. As you go forward into the New Year, keep Jesus in front of you as the ultimate example of humility.
Philippians 2:5-8 “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature 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!” (NIV)