Text: Philippians 2

A major theme of the messages in the church camp was the need for Christians to serve the Lord with all humility of mind (c.f. Acts 20:19). Four examples were given from Philippians 2 for us to emulate:

The Example of Christ
The perfect example of humility is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as evidenced in His self-humiliation. Though He was fully God from time eternal, yet He emptied Himself of His outward glory and willingly became man to save us from our sins. He left his throne above to become a slave upon the earth. He patiently suffered, keeping the law of God, and was obedient all the way to the cross at Calvary so that He may die on our behalf.

During this Christmas season, let us meditate on the humility of Christ, and strive to put on the mind of Christ in everything that we do.

The Example of Paul
Paul exemplified this same selfless spirit in his service for God towards the saints. Though he was under house arrest, yet he cared for the Philippian Christians and regularly prayed for them. In v.17, Paul remarked how he was most joyful and willing to be poured out like a drink sacrifice (spendomai) before  the Lord in order that the Philippian Christians may advance in the faith. Are we willing to do the same?

The Example of Timothy
The humility of Timothy is reflected in his genuine and selfless spirit in caring for the churches. He had the same sincere love for God’s people just like the Apostle Paul. He was not interested in self-promotion, but only for God’s work to progress. Paul was so pleased with the humble service of Timothy that he called him his equal soul (isopsuchos) in caring for the flock of God. May the Lord grant us such “equal souls” who are willing to serve with such humility of mind!

The Example of Epaphroditus
Epaphroditus was commissioned by the church at Philippi to bring their aid to Paul in his time of need. However, upon arrival in Rome, he realised Paul’s needs are far greater than the Philippian church had imagined. Therefore, he stayed to minister to the needs of Paul. He was so fervent in his service to Paul that he fell sick and was nigh unto death. Thankfully, the Lord had mercy upon him and he recovered.

Just like Jesus was most willing to minister till His death on Calvary, Epaphroditus was also most willing to give of himself in humble service till the point of death. Are we willing to give our lives fully to the Lord and our fellow saints?

Members in the body of Christ need one another in the service of the Lord. They must serve humbly and esteem others better than themselves. On the other hand, the Lord hates pride. He resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble (James 4:6). Failure to serve humbly will lead to murmurings and disputings in the church. We will end up no different than the Corinthian church which was splintered into several factions vying for their self-glory. Therefore, let us learn from the godly examples in Philippians 2 and serve the Lord with all humility of mind! “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matt. 20:27-28)

Lovingly in Christ,
Preacher Clement Chew

By Rev. Prabhudas Koshy
(Taken from 365 Daily Exhortations from God’s Word, January 31st)
Text: Philippians 2:14

We are dissuaded from engaging in two evils, namely murmuring and disputing. Interestingly, the apostle is concerned that some engage in spiritual activities with murmuring and disputing. In other words, they practise religion without sincerity and joy. When God-given duties are done with murmuring and a disgruntled spirit, such service will be unacceptable. So, all Christians must guard themselves against such evil conduct. Both of those sins must be abhorred or avoided, if our services are to be effective and helpful.

True religion is never merely external observances of duties. Hence, Paul admonished, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings”. All our activities must be rendered cheerfully and willingly. Everything God has given us to do must be carried out with enthusiasm and readiness. Whether one does God’s work alone or with others, he must perform it with a genuine spirit of compliance to His will, coupled with diligence.

Some murmur against God and His servants, like the Israelites in the wilderness when experiencing a time of scarcity. In Numbers chapter 11, we read about them: “And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.” (vv. 4-6; cf. Exodus 15:24; 16:7-9).

Others murmur because they are disconnected with and envious of the godly men and women whom God uses (cf. Numbers 14:1-4; 16:41; Mark 14:5). There are also some others who murmur because of their unbelief and their bigoted desired to spread sedition (cf. Luke 15:2; Jude 1:16).

The spirit of murmuring is perilous. The Word of God cautions us, “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.” (1 Corinthians 10:10) Murmuring is often the result of envy, discontentment, bitterness, pride and unbelief. It results in numerous evil deeds, such as gossip, backbiting, slander, usurping of authority, defiance, sedition, dissension and schism. Murmuring is not just a dispute with man, but also with God! So, serve the Lord without any murmur or dispute.