Living begins with joy and ends in peace
Scripture: Philippians 2:1-11; 4:4-9
1. Self effacement, humility, is required of Christians.
Having the same mind in full accord means doing nothing in selfishness. Christians should be modest people working together to further God’s kingdom. Paul doesn’t want us to get caught up in petty arguments or pride, it interferes with God’s business.
2. The mind of the Christian as far as possible should be the mind of Christ.
Paul turns to the model -- Jesus. Kenosis who empty Himself to become human. Dedicate your mind to God. Take on the form of a servant like Christ. “Became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess” one day. Can ignore Christ in life but not in death. Don’t mess with Christ!
3. The operative life style of Christian begins with joy and ends in peace.
“Rejoice in the Lord always, again rejoice,” Paul declared from jail. He speaks to joyful faith in difficult times. We rejoice because we know God, let our gentleness be known to everyone. Lord is near, have no anxiety. Sometimes it is hard. When we are anxious we should pray with thanksgiving. Peace with God keeps heart and mind.
4. There are merit badges in the Christian walk.
Be true, just, honorable, lovely, pure like Christ, graceful and elegant. If lovely, not ugly, someone might think we are a Christian! From Melville’s Moby Dick “be a patriot to heaven and eternal delight will be his who says I have striven to be thine.”