Friday, November 4, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Annunciation to Zechariah – Festival of Unity of Communion of Churches 


Mathew Samuel
St. Paul’s MTC, Texas
“Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” –Philippians 2:3b-4
In his book, To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain, Pastor Matt Chandler of the Village Church in Dallas wrote, “Always, always, always seek the cross. It is there that we see our example for service and sacrifice to others. It is there that we get the power to serve and sacrifice for others. And it is there that we receive forgiveness when we fail in serving and sacrificing for others.”
Paul tells them to be of one mind, take action not from ambition and vain glory, but out of care and consideration of others. When Paul says to be “…like-minded…” he is not telling them to become intellectually uniformed, but to maintain unity, because unity in the midst of diversity is possible. We can observe this in sports. For example, if we looked at a basketball team, the starting five play five different positions. The point guard cannot play center, because what differentiates them may be the size, as well as, their likelihood of scoring. A point guard might be better shooting longer distances than a center, and the center has a higher chance of getting the rebound by standing closer to the basket. The best team is a group of people who are able to work through difference of opinions with one common purpose, regardless of their race, gender, socioeconomic status, etc.
Paul targets that issue within the church at Philippi, and that is an issue that should be targeted in many of our churches as well. In fact, I would argue that the reason for over 30,000 Christian denominations around the world is because we did not heed to Paul’s words found in Philippians 2. Jesus knew that His love for humanity was far too great that He was willing to come to earth to save us, “…becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross!” We can build our churches by, “…having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” Can we die to ourselves, so we live in Christ with one another?

PRAYER

Jesus, You are the greatest example of serving and sacrificing for others. Enable us to work through our differences, so we may work for Your glory, not for our own gain. Amen.
  

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Best conflict resolution method is seeing the other person as Christ would see them.