Consider Others More Important Than Yourselves

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Philippians 2:1-18

Christian Humility
If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal. 3 Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. 4 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

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Christ’s Humility and Exaltation
5 Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, 6 who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.
7 Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men.  And when He had come as a man in His external form, 8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross.
9 For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name
that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow— of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth—
11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. 

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Lights in the World
12 So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world. 16 Hold firmly to the message of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run or labor for nothing. 17 But even if I am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 In the same way you should also be glad and rejoice with me.

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Luke 14:11  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Proverbs 11

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1 Dishonest scales are detestable to the Lord, but an accurate weight is His delight.
2 When pride comes, disgrace follows, but with humility comes wisdom.
3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the perversity of the treacherous destroys them.

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4 Wealth is not profitable on a day of wrath, but righteousness rescues from death.
5 The righteousness of the blameless clears his path, but the wicked person will fall because of his wickedness.
6 The righteousness of the upright rescues them, but the treacherous are trapped by their own desires.
7 When the wicked man dies, his expectation comes to nothing,
and hope placed in wealth vanishes.
8 The righteous one is rescued from trouble; in his place, the wicked one goes in.
9 With his mouth the ungodly destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous are rescued.
10 When the righteous thrive, a city rejoices, and when the wicked die, there is joyful shouting.
11 A city is built up by the blessing of the upright, but it is torn down by the mouth of the wicked.
12 Whoever shows contempt for his neighbor lacks sense, but a man with understanding keeps silent.

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13 A gossip goes around revealing a secret, but a trustworthy person keeps a confidence.
14 Without guidance, people fall, but with many counselors there is deliverance.
15 If someone puts up security for a stranger, he will suffer for it,
but the one who hates such agreements is protected.
16 A gracious woman gains honor, but violent men gain only riches.

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17 A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings disaster on himself.
18 The wicked man earns an empty wage, but the one who sows righteousness, a true reward.
19 Genuine righteousness leads to life, but pursuing evil leads to death.
20 Those with twisted minds are detestable to the Lord, but those with blameless conduct are His delight.
21 Be assured that the wicked will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will escape.

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22 A beautiful woman who rejects good sense is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.
23 The desire of the righteous turns out well, but the hope of the wicked leads to wrath.
24 One person gives freely, yet gains more; another withholds what is right,
only to become poor.

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25 A generous person will be enriched, and the one who gives a drink of water
will receive water.
26 People will curse anyone who hoards grain, but a blessing will come to the one who sells it.
27 The one who searches for what is good finds favor, but if someone looks for trouble, it will come to him.

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28 Anyone trusting in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage.
29 The one who brings ruin on his household will inherit the wind,
and a fool will be a slave to someone whose heart is wise.
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, but violence takes lives.
31 If the righteous will be repaid on earth, how much more the wicked and sinful.


 “This Is The Day That The Lord Has Made”

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13 thoughts on “Consider Others More Important Than Yourselves

  1. Daily Devotional — 09/18/16

    TURNING THE OTHER CHEEK
    If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Luke 6:29

    An Open Doors colleague shares the following incident from an SSTS seminar in Indonesia:

    I remember standing in front of nearly 800 pastors on the island of Timor facing a serious dilemma. Most of the pastors were victims of attacks by Muslims on the island of Ambon. They had lost homes, churches and even family members during these attacks. They were hurt, devastated and needed answers to the challenges they faced.

    As soon as I started preaching, one pastor stood up and interrupted me: “Must we accept the persecution from the Muslims or must we retaliate? We are tired of forgiving just to be attacked again. We believe it is time to defend the honor of God and retaliate. What must we do?”

    I understood perfectly the challenges. I had met those who were attacked and I have seen the scars on the bodies of those who simply accepted it. I understood there was no easy answer. Then another pastor interrupted: “No, pastor, tell this brother he is wrong. The Bible tells us to accept our suffering. We will dishonor God if we retaliate. Seventy times seven we need to forgive. Isn’t this true?”

    I looked at the pastors and replied, “The Bible is clear. You MUST retaliate!”

    There was silence. I sensed the division. I could see the smiles on the faces of those who agreed and saw those who disagreed getting ready to leave the hall.

    “Wait, brothers!” I intervened. “Before you leave, let me finish my sentence. Luke 6 teaches us clearly to retaliate, but in doing so, we need to choose our weapons. When someone curses you, you don’t just accept it. You retaliate by blessing him. When someone mistreats you and persecute you, you don’t just accept it. You retaliate by praying for him. When someone takes your cloak you retaliate by giving your undercoat. When someone slaps you in the face, don’t stand for it. Retaliate! Turn your other cheek.”

    The burden of just accepting suffering was broken. They were satisfied.

    RESPONSE: Today I will retaliate against attacks upon me using the spiritual weapons of Jesus.

    PRAYER: Lord, may I always remember how You want me to respond when others treat me badly.

    Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

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  2. Great post James! It reminds me of the song “Who Am I?” I think by Casting Crowns……..

    The “who am I” goes from Gods mercy and love for us, then flows out to others. The amazing part is how sneaky this world can be on “rights” in every area. It can creep in the most subtle areas, of “how dare you treat me this way” in marriages, on a job, the world screams “give us our rights!” The Lord says, lay down our lives, serve those in our lives. There’s so much more peace during the times we are treated unfairly……. to just shove out that little critter that wants to rear it’s ugly head, recognize where it’s coming from……. pray, then go on with what the Lord has us do. Many times I have recognized it afterwards, especially when new in the Lord or going through extreme times of testing. Amazing how He uses every single thing in life to mold us!

    I feel bad for the people who demand rights at every turn. Usually it’s from fear and pain (speaking of those who say they know the Lord) but seriously, it’s been a prayer burden. What happens when all rights are suddenly gone during persecution……… when there hasn’t been the training in the Word, the trials, or even an awareness of these experiences being trials to grow in………

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  3. The Kurds have an old saying…….when telling the truth keep one foot in the stirrup. A Christian can add a blessing before he/she goes with the horse 👀 😇

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  4. A Watchman on the Wall — Posted: 18 Sep 2016 10:13 PM PDT

    “Weary days for My children – coming upon you and you are not prepared. Your lamps are dim, your spirit hungry, your body weak from the things of the world.”

    Psalm 42:11 (KJV) Why art thou cast down , O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

    “The temptations of the world have taken you far from Me. Your desire no longer to serve Me, but the god of mammon, position and power, you grab for more of that which does not satisfy.

    Your churches are filled with warm bodies; warm bodies but cold, hard hearts. Repent My children, repent of the sin of doubt and unbelief. Gain strength from My Word.

    What you will see will shock – dooms day, dooms day. Approaching wickedness. Lives hang in the balance. Truth shattered as men cleave to the familiar, the profane. Deception on all sides. The lost seeking shelter find none.

    Be on guard, see behind the veil. Things are not as they seem to be. Pray for clarity, pray for discernment. Pray for My peace for great upheaval coming upon the comfortable and the proud.”

    “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 10:22
    “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…” Hebrews 12:1
    ‘If we spend our lives so afraid of suffering, so averse to sacrifice, that we avoid even the risk of persecution or crucifixion, then we might never discover the true wonder, joy and power of a resurrection faith.’ ‘The Insanity of God’ Written by Nik Ripken

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  5. Daily Devotional — 09/19/16

    WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT TO DO GOD’S WILL
    But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

    Our Open Doors colleague, Ron Boyd-MacMillan, shares the following insight from his teaching, “Why I Need to Encounter the Persecuted Church.”

    While living in Hong Kong, I used to make a point of having dinner with many of the Open Doors supporters worldwide that gave up some holiday time to courier Bibles into China. Often in the course of their travels some of them would meet famous house church leaders and say, “To be truthful, I was a bit disappointed in meeting.” They would add something like, “I thought these people would be remarkable saints, and of course they were, but they were also quite prejudiced, or rude, or had some other feature that I did not think worthy of a very spiritual leader.” They assumed that the persecuted were “super-saints.” But they are not.

    It is a very unfortunate trend to idolize the persecuted. We assume that if a Christian survives twenty years in a stinking prison cell they are in a completely different spiritual category from ourselves. They are of course different in what they have experienced, but that does not necessarily make them more spiritual. As J.C. Ryle once put it, “Even the best of men are only men at the best.” They often retain the blind spots and prejudices of their culture.

    On one occasion I was taking a distinguished Bible teacher to meet a revival leader in Lanzhou, Gansu province. This Chinese leader had seen over 50,000 people come to know the Lord through his ministry over a ten-year period, but to our amazement he taught that “you can only come to faith on a Sunday.” He had been taught Christianity by his beloved grandmother, who believed the Lord would only listen to pleas for repentance on a Sunday. We talked and argued about this, and eventually he threw us out shouting, “You just hate my Granny.” I hear now, years later, that he has extended the “repentance period” to Saturday as well. Yet he is still an extremely effective evangelist despite this chronic, man-made obstacle he has erected to the grace of God!

    Surely the great point is this: flawed as some Chinese leaders were, they did the will of God mightily. They labored in a country that has seen the number of Christians grow from less than one million in 1949 to over eighty millions today—the largest revival in the history of Christendom. God didn’t stop pouring out his Spirit because his saints were imperfect.

    If the persecuted teach us anything, it is that God will work through us even despite our prejudices, blind spots and eccentricities. If we offer ourselves, we will be used…as we are.

    We do not have to be perfect to do God’s will. Otherwise, no one could.

    RESPONSE: Today I will walk in faith thankful that I do not have to be perfect to do God’s will.

    PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, that You can still use me with all my imperfections and blind spots.

    Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

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  6. If we don’t humble ourselves now, God will humble us later (and that most likely translates to “the very near future,” maybe even coming weeks and months)!
    Best to do it now.

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  7. EXCELLENT post, James and TRUTH. If all who claim to be a Christian truly do that. . . . How AMAZING and AWESOME it would be. I believe that is how the 1st century church was like, when they all came together and shared what they had with one another. . . . BUT. . . That need is going to happen in our day, in order for some to survive the rise of the Beast System.

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    1. We are all commanded to Love each other, no matter what happens. This includes our enemies, people that stress us out, everyone from our past and present, above all we should aim to display the Characteristics of Christ. None of us are perfect, but we can ask for forgiveness along with additional strength to overcome whatever else we may face in the future.

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  8. Now this one here is an interesting piece of news! A stone from the Urim&Thummim is supposedly authentic. That is the breasplate of the high priest of God which was used to commune with God in ancient Israel!

    Maybe more will be revealed soon and the high priest will have full gear, or as prayer in the Nt is free to all this might be a deception geared toward Israel!

    http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/75645/bin-exclusive-lost-stone-high-priests-prophetic-breastplate-thought-found-incredible-journey/#UAmMYgp7q8OI8A0i.97

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  9. Daily Devotional — 09/20/16

    SINGING IN THE SPIRIT
    Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians 3:16

    Our Open Doors colleague, Ron Boyd-MacMillan, shares the following insight from his teaching, “Why I Need to Encounter the Persecuted Church.”

    Once I spent a week in the company of a famous female Chinese evangelist. Many characteristics that made her stand out; her courage, her long hours on her knees, her carefully cultivated simplicity of faith. But at the time, these were not the features that stuck with me and ended up transforming my faith. What actually impressed me about her was the same thing that impressed me about everyone else around her too. They were always singing. Singing hymns!

    Three features of the singing were striking. First, the hymns themselves were not in the least profound. In terms of content, they lacked theological depth and poetic phrasing. Wesley or Newton would not have been proud of these offerings.

    Second, they couldn’t sing very well. Chinese are not renowned for their harmonic skills in any case. They warbled, croaked, and droned and screeched…all with a complete disregard for the tune.

    Third, they sang primarily to themselves. Oh sure, they sang in groups and to each other, but the most of their singing was done by themselves, to themselves. But all this did not matter. The songs worked.

    Travelling around with these persecuted believers made me realize I had forgotten how much Christians sing praises. For me, the only time I sang was in church or an occasional chorus at a home group. I had never really sung hymns to myself, or seen singing to another as a ministry. I didn’t have a terribly good singing voice, and felt like I should leave it to those who were good at it. But after hearing everyone in the persecuted church of China singing virtually all the time, and seeing the difference it made to them spiritually, I wondered, Why do I not sing by myself, to my own spirit, or see singing as a ministry of encouragement?

    So when I came back, I picked my seven favorite hymns. Ones like, “We rest on thee, Our Shield and Our Defender,” and, “Breathe on Me Breath of God.” I learned them, and during my quiet times, I sang to my spirit. And I found it to be true. A song lifts the spirit like nothing else. And as I read the Bible, I saw how central singing was to the practice of faith. The Israelites sing all the time in the temple; prisoners Paul and Silas sing in the cell; the early house churches sing to each other, and the scriptures climax in the great throne visions of John in Revelation, and what is going on in that most hallowed place but the singing of a “new song”.

    Thank you persecuted church, for restoring a lost but key component of my quiet time.

    RESPONSE: Today I will sing to the Lord in my spirit and gain encouragement for service to Him.

    PRAYER: Lord, I ask You to help me be one who is always singing Your praises with my spirit.

    Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

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