Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
During the message at Stonepoint today, I was reminded of passage of scripture that I hadn’t thought about for some time. It’s Philippians 2:3-4:
“3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” NASB
I first learned of this passage early after my conversion to Christ. I memorized it, reviewed it, forgot about it and re-memorized it many times. Today was one of those mornings at Stonepoint that spoke to my heart once again. Pastor Brian mentioned that when we become aware of things in our lives that we need to clean up, we usually try to fix our lives by doing external things. That is certainly true of me concerning this passage. I thought by memorizing the passage, it would just come to me when i needed it. But that didn’t really happen. While I became more aware of my sin of self-centeredness, I certainly did not have victory over it.
Today I was reminded that changing our behavior is not enough. This is what psychology tries to do through what is known as “Behavior Modification.” Part of that theory says that if we make the environment better the person will be better. The problem is, that only changes the outside, not the heart. We need to be changed from the inside out and only God can do that. That part of the equation is brought out in Philippians 2:6-8:
“5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” NASB
The New King James version starts this passage with, “Let this mind be in you….” How do our lives get changed. By having the mind of Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to make the necessary changes. We do have a part. We need to make the right choices, or better put, we need to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus (Luke 9:23). Only in this way will God work lasting and permanent change in our lives. We need to humble ourselves as Christ did that is talked about in this passage. Jesus became a man and never used his divinity to change the purposes of the Father. Through all the pain and agony of the cross, Jesus bore it all for our behalf so that we could be saved. He gave up his own safety and life for our benefit. The passage says that he humbled himself to the point of death. Through His humility and death on the cross we have been redeemed.
Pastor Brandon tied it all together with the following statement: “You can’t have redemption and safety. To have redemption you have to give up your safety.” That is what Christ did for us.
I pray that we will take this message to heart and allow the Holy Spirit to change us from the inside. It will take a change from the inside for us to be the people that God calls us to be. It will change us as individuals, change our families and change the church. There will be challenges and failures but ultimately victories. And most of all, God will be glorified!!! Amen!!