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About-Him.Com Devotional 07-19-2014

Paul’s Plea for Christian Unity

Philippians 2:1 ¶  If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,  

Note that the apostle begins this new paragraph in his discourse with the word Therefore, and of course we have to back up and see what Therefore is there for.  Chapter one ends with the statement that the Philippians were http://about-him.com/devotion/dev14-0712.html">Ordained for Suffering. (Last week‘s devotional.)  

The Philippian church was beginning to suffer hardship and persecution. They are now going through the same conflicts that they had witnessed in the apostle Paul (Php. 1:30). The apostle gives himself as a holy example of how to handle these troubles in perfect Christian grace.  

Paul used the word if four times to emphasize that no one could claim that there was no consolation, comfort of love, fellowship of the Spirit and bowels of mercy in the Lord Jesus Christ . Paul had followed the Lord’s example in his sufferings and he urges the Philippians to do likewise.  

Philippians 2:2  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.  

When times are tough and people are suffering, the fleshly instinct is for self preservation. Aren’t you glad that Jesus didn’t feel that way? He urges these saints to be likeminded and to work in one mind and one accord.  

In the book of Acts we see what unity can produce. On the day of Pentecost, the disciples were all together in one accord as they waited for the promised gift of the Spirit. They had walked with the risen Lord for forty days after His resurrection and had heard Him give commandments pertaining to the kingdom of God (Ac. 1:3). Nothing else mattered.  In Acts five, they are once again in one place and one accord witnessing the signs and wonders that the apostles were performing among the people.  

Acts 2:1 ¶ And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  

Acts 5:12 ¶ And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.  

Philippians 2:3  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

I wonder how the apostle would size up the state of today’s church. I think he would be heartbroken. Do we have any strife and vain glory? Yes we do, big time!  How about our lowliness of mind? Do we esteem others better than ourselves? We should, if we take the time to take an honest look at ourselves. As the song says, “Take a look at yourself and you will look at others differently, Put your hand in the hand of the man of Galilee.”    

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.   So, do we want unity? Do we want to be perfect in God’s sight? Of course we do and Ephesians 4:13 tells us how to obtain these things .  

Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  

Our goal is to obtain, The measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:  More of Him and a lot less of us will lead us to this goal rather quickly. He’s a pretty big God, isn’t He?  

Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the Excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ,  

Song: To Be Like Jesus

Somebody Has Said

 Is it not enough that all the world is against us, but we must also be against one another? O happy days of persecution, which drove us together in love, whom the sunshine of liberty and prosperity crumbles into dust by our contentions! - Richard Baxter

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Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries

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