From Handbook to Scripture, Day 299
READING: PHILIPPIANS 2
Paul exhorts his readers in Philippi to maintain a spirit of love and unity by pursuing the mind of Christ Jesus, who served others through His incarnation and death (2:1–11). He calls them to cultivate this attitude (2:12–18), and illustrates it through the sacrificial service of Timothy and Epaphroditus (2:19–30).
While Philippians contains little doctrinal teaching, Paul’s use of Christ’s self-emptying in 2:5–11 as a model of other-centered humility is one of the most significant passages on the person and work of Christ in the Bible. This is known as the kenosis passage, from the Greek word that speaks of the emptying that was involved in the incarnation; Christ did not empty Himself of His deity, but divested Himself of the full manifestation of His divine rights and attributes during His earthly life.
Prayer: Lord, may I do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind may I regard others as more important than myself. May I have the attitude of Christ Jesus and look out for the interests of others.
Meditation passage: verses 3–13
From Transforming Prayers, vol. 1
The Great Story
Dear God, I know that the stories, prophecies, and wisdom of the Hebrew Bible are critical for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of Scripture we might have hope. You have made it evident that we cannot understand Your great Story without the witness of inspired Scripture prior to the coming of the Lord Jesus. May I regularly expose myself to the full counsel of Your Word and drink deeply from the well of both Testaments. I give thanks for the profound wisdom and marvels of Your revelation through the people You inspired, and ask that I would make the time to read, meditate, pray, and rest in Your Word so that I will walk in the path of righteousness, trust, and obedience. May the life-giving seed of Your truth bear much fruit in and through me.
From Handbook to Renewal
Focus: The Character I Want to Cultivate—Godliness and Reverence
The righteousness of the blameless makes a straight way for them, but the wicked will fall by their own wickedness. (Proverbs 11:5)
He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf. (Proverbs 11:28)
In the way of righteousness there is life, and in that pathway there is no death. (Proverbs 12:28)
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. (Proverbs 14:34)
The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29)
All a man’s ways are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the motives. (Proverbs 16:2)