Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection or mercy, complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose. Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, who
though he existed in the form of God
did not regard equality with God
as something to be grasped,
but emptied himself
by taking on the form of a slave,
by looking like other men,
and by sharing in human nature.
He humbled himself,
by becoming obedient to the point of death
— even death on a cross!
As a result God exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow
— in heaven and on earth and under the earth —
and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord
to the glory of God the Father.
so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish though you live in a crooked and perverse society, in which you shine as lights in the world by holding on to the word of life so that on the day of Christ I will have a reason to boast that I did not run in vain nor labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice together with all of you. And in the same way you also should be glad and rejoice together with me.
Daddy, I live in a crooked and perverse society. One that rewards the rich and ignores the poor. One whose god is commerce and capitalism, greed and selfless desires. Even as the sin of our nations is coming home to roost, your heart is to bless and not to curse. And what a blessing you have, that even as we lose all our worldly wealth, though our economy dries up, though industry packs it in and leaves us high and dry, even in this you will dwell with us and daily you meet our needs.
I pray that you will help me, and those that walk with me, to understand your love beyond measure. That though Jesus was clothed with glory, he emptied himself and met us where we lived. So, as his body, help us empty ourselves of our selfish ambition and vanity, those privileges rightfully ours as sons and heirs of the living God. I don’t pray for worldly blessings but ‘to be content in all circumstance’ and to be your incarnational blessing to the world around me.