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Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

The Interests of Others

Philippians 2:1-11   Ezekiel 20   Isaiah 49

“That my salvation may reach to the end of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6). This is the goal of God, as stated by the prophet Isaiah. The apostle Paul says it this way: “so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend . . .” (Philippians 2:10).  And for his part, Ezekiel repeats no less than three times that God’s faithfulness to a continually rebellious Israel is about something far greater than them; it is about demonstrating the character of God to the nations (Ezekiel 20:9,14,22). In these ways, today’s readings witness to God’s mindfulness of — and interest in — all people. They also call us to have the same mind and interest . . .

“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5), who “emptied” and “humbled” himself, becoming “obedient to the point of death” (v.7,8). And for what purpose? In order to be the “light” of which Isaiah speaks; the servant of God who brings salvation to all, assuring that “every knee shall bow” and “every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Isaiah 45:6, Philippians 2:11. See also Isaiah 45:23). Said another way, in his selfless service to God and others, Jesus incarnated the heart and mind of God, opening the door of salvation to all and providing the model for every servant of God to follow:

“Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). In this way we reflect the character (“name”) of God and follow Jesus. In this way we align ourselves with God, who desires that all people receive the light of salvation and confess Jesus as Lord. And in this way we live in the name and to the glory of God. May we be God’s servant people, emptying and humbling ourselves in obedience to God for the sake of God’s saving purpose and glorious name. Amen.

“So that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and
under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
— Philippians 2:10,11

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