Lesson 5 – Introduction – July 15 – 22 Philippians 2: 1 – 11

There is an old hymn which was written in the late 1800’s by a prolific songwriter, Fanny Crosby.  Blind from birth, her grandmother, who raised her, purposed to become her eyes. She filled her imagination with colorful descriptions of her environment and filled her mind with the truths of God’s amazing love for her. Because of Fanny’s fantastic memory, she was able to memorize the first four books of both the Old and the New Testaments and many other long passages of Scripture.  Out of her deep love for Jesus and through her life experiences, she was able to share her poetry through songs which have blessed and moved believers for decades.

That old song simply says,  “Tell me the story of Jesus. Write on my heart every word.  Tell me the story of Jesus.  Sweetest that ever was heard”.

When Paul wrote to the Philippians, he knew that it was the “story of Jesus” that would continue to stir the hearts and minds of the people. They needed to hear it over and over and so do we.  He could have repeated just the facts of His birth, His life, and His death, but instead he gave them insight in to Jesus’ attitudes and His Father’s response.  It’s a facet of the story that we need to hear repeatedly.

There must have been some things that Paul knew about the church in Philippi, some attitudes and behavior that were a serious concern to him.  No doubt he had pondered carefully various ways to help his friends understand that some thoughtful adjustments needed to be made.  There has to be a very strong motivation for any of us to be willing to move from an attitude of selfishness to a position of unselfishness.  It isn’t the way of human nature or our culture.  It often does not make immediate sense to let go of our self-centered desires, opinion and concerns.  He knew that Jesus’ example would be the one and only way to make clear to them what needed to change.

In what ways has the story of Jesus impacted your life?  Perhaps some of the truths that Paul shared with those friends of his in Philippi are the same ones that he would want to share with you and me.  You’ll have to decide that for yourself, won’t you?

4 Responses to Lesson 5 – Introduction – July 15 – 22 Philippians 2: 1 – 11

  1. Thank you for bringing up the story of Fanny Crosby. It has inspired me to write more poetry. In the last couple of years, I have been writing poetry about Jesus. It is one of the ways I can worship Him. The Holy Spirit brings the words to my heart, and I pour them out on paper. It is so fun and exhilerating to praise Him through poetry.

  2. The story of Jesus has impacted my life that I am new everyday. I don’t need to allow what I did yesterday, influence what I do today. In other words, I falls short each and every day – it is part of my sinful nature. However, Lord willing, I have the next day to make better choices, be kind, etc. and do not have to dwell on the past. Because I’ll tell you, I can dwell on the past, on my short comings, and moments I messed up for a very long time and it takes my focus off of Jesus and puts it on myself.

    Thank you to all of you who continue to share your thoughts, prayers, and meditations. It’s wonderful to read them.

  3. I love Marilyn’s, Denise’s and Sue’s comments. Thank you, Marilyn for challenging us to examine our attitudes in the light of Jesus’ example. Love using the old hymn. It would be wonderful to hear one of your poems, Denise. And Sue, I can completely relate with you when you talk about dwelling on negative things. You all inspire me to try to do better.

    In the NIV Study Bible notes I’m reading that the church in Philipi was made up of a “cosmopolitan group” reflecting “great diversity with people from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life”….such as a wealthy Jewish convert from Asia, a Greek slave girl, a Roman jailer. To safeguard their unity Paul encourages the church (and us) to have the same attitude as Christ Jesus. To have a servant’s nature and to put others needs before our own.
    As far back as I can remember as a child, this was the first thing I was taught in Sunday School….the great commandment to love others as ourselves and God with all our might. As an adult I still struggle to have a servant’s attitude and try to keep Jesus’ example before me.

  4. The attitude of Jesus is one of the things that has impacted my life.

    As I look around, I see a generation that is self-focused. It’s a ‘me me me’ attitude. We see it everywhere we go. The impatient driver that is in a hurry; the unhappy customers who have to wait in line at the post office and/or grocery store; or the ungrateful individual that is never content with their working condition. I look at each of these situations and I think what would be the attitude of Jesus?

    This week Philippians 2:5 has stood out to me, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. . .”

    Instead of cutting people off and running red lights, I think Jesus would probably be a polite driver – letting people merge into his lane and obeying traffic laws.

    Instead of being unhappy about waiting in a post office or grocery line, Jesus would probably take this opportunity to make new friends!

    And finally instead of being an ungrateful individual, I think Jesus would probably be thankful for even having a job – especially in this economy.

    These are just three examples of the ‘me me me’ attitude that surround us everyday. It’s our human nature to be self-focused. The question that keeps coming to my mind is, “How would Jesus act or react in each situation that comes my way?” My hope and prayer is that my attitude is the same “. . . as that of Christ Jesus. . . ” Philippians 2:5.

Leave a reply