Lately I have been loving Philippians 2:1-4 because encouragement is so important in the Christian life. To give encouragement and receive it is such a blessing. Sincere, heartfelt encouragement. The Bible charges believers to help, to come alongside, to counsel, to exhort and to encourage one another.
This is what Jesus does for His own, like what happens in John 14:22-26 when Jesus answers Judas Iscariot’s question, “Lord, what then has happened that you are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” He answers, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
So, we can give encouragement, affection and mercy to others through the Holy Spirit in us.
I have found this encouragement doesn’t look like trying to BE the Holy Spirit in someone else’s life. We can encourage and love them, with a little less confrontation and judgment and a whole lot more loving them through their difficulties.
God has everything under control through His plan for each of us. What can be hard about that, though, is that He may want to get us where He wants us to be in a different way or through a set of circumstances than we wouldn’t pick for ourselves.
Back to the passage in Philippians 2, Paul asks his readers to “make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Did you get that? Unity through humility. WOW… I do love this passage! I pray that I will do this, knowing it is already in me through the Holy Spirit… I just need to obey God’s Word.