when he laid aside his rights and privileges as God
to become human. He poured out his life to pay the penalty we deserve. Laying aside self-interest is essential to all our relationships.
IMPORTANCE: We are to take Christ's attitude in serving others. We must renounce personal recognition and merit. When we give up our self-interest, we can serve with joy, love, and kindness.
EXPLANATION: Christ suffered and died so we might have eternal life. With courage and faithfulness, Paul sacrificed himself for the ministry. He preached the gospel even while he was in prison
IMPORTANCE: Christ gives us power to lay aside our personal needs and concerns. To utilize his power, we must imitate those leaders who show self-denying concern for others. We dare not be self-centered.
IMPORTANCE: As believers, we should contend against a common enemy, not against one another. When we are unified in love, Christ's strength is most abundant. Keep before you the ideals of teamwork, consideration of others, and unselfishness.
EXPLANATION: Paul shows us how to live a successful life as a follower of Christ. We can become mature by being so identified with Christ that his attitude of humility and sacrifice rules us. Christ is both our source of power and our guide.
IMPORTANCE: Developing our character begins with God's work in us. But growth also requires discipline, obedience, and relentless concentration on our part.
IMPORTANCE: We can have joy, even in hardship. Joy does not come from outward circumstances but from inward strength. As followers of Christ, we must not rely on what we have or what we experience to give us joy, but on Christ within us.