If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
18 For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.
19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.
20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.
22 But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.
23 Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.
24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.
25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.
26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.
27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.
29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:
30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.
The attitude of Christ is before me as an example of a submissive mind.
In grace He came and humbled Himself to take the place of hopeless men.
To the death of the cross from heaven’s highest place, He came in humility,
And has every right to expect that same mind to be found in me.
He was the Highest of the high, to Him all seraphim and angels bow.
For Him to leave such glory and be found in fashion as a man here below,
Was an act of such unparalleled grace, that my soul is ever amazed –
The Lord of glory humbled so low that upon the cross He was raised.
Not one person can ever say He never experienced pain like mine.
Such a lowly stoop was a choice He made from His own submissive mind.
How much more should I, a sinner, who on God had no claim at all –
Humble myself to meet needs of God’s people even when they fall.
The apostle Paul is an example to me of a brother, who though in jail,
Was willing to make that sacrifice even when some saints had failed;
He was aware of their danger of falling into some snare and lose their identity.
So he sent some other men to learn their state and set his mind at ease.
Timothy, though a younger man, was blessed with a servant’s mind.
He had submitted himself to Paul’s leadership, not sure what he would find.
When a man has had servant training, he is man that you can trust.
He will not be one high-minded, but seeing God at work, will rejoice.
A brother like Epaphroditus who is faithful, and has experiences to prove,
He knows what it is to labor and be a soldier in the army of the Lord –
Is a man who can help the Lord’s people to keep a balance ‘cause he cares,
And will not be demanding, and their burdens he will gladly share.
An attitude of submission, like the Lord had should be seen on everyone.
The servant-hood of the saints should be taught as the assembly is moving on.
Depth of character is a gradual thing learned from God as in life we move ahead.
As these things are seen there is joy in the Lord, and the hearts of the saints are glad.