You read that right, and no I don't mean move to Galilee, preach, get a robe, and nice leather sandals (unless you're called to). When Jesus died, He did not do so to make us the best versions of ourselves. He did so to give us New life in HIM. We are, therefore, to be made new in His image. Take a look at your life, and compare it to Him (hint, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the epistles give us a clear picture). How do you measure up? Are you loving God only, and therefore serving and loving those God loves (hint, it's everyone, a lot of hints today). Are your thoughts, actions, words, and everything about you becoming a reflection of Jesus Christ? If not, then it's time to consider a few things: -Jesus left His throne where He was worshiped day and night to walk around in the mud with us.
-Jesus did not count his equality with God something to be grasped, but instead taught and did His father's will, even unto death (Philippians 2:5-11).
-Helped, healed, and served those who could not help, heal or serve themselves.
-Touched the untouchable, loved the unlovable, and cured the incurable.
-Taught His Father's will and Kingdom, no matter who hated Him for it.
-died for His Father's purpose and plan. Does your life compare? Are you focused on God and all others, and die to yourself daily? Are you, as Romans 12 cites, living as a living sacrifice, or are you conforming to the pattern of this world? In that case, evaluate yourself, not to better yourself, but in comparison to Scripture, and seek to let go of yourself, submitting to God and the work of the Holy Spirit.
Philippians 2 English Standard Version (ESV)
Christ's Example of Humility
2 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,[b] 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[c] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Lights in the World
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy's[d] proven worth, how as a son[e] with a father he has served with me in the gospel.23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.
25 I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, 26 for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29 So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, 30 for he nearly died[f] for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.
a. Philippians 2:5 Or which was also in Christ Jesus
b. Philippians 2:6 Or a thing to be held on to for advantage
c. Philippians 2:7 Or slave (for the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface)
d. Philippians 2:22 Greek his
e. Philippians 2:22 Greek child