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Philippians 2:2: Complete My Joy (Part 1)

Philippians 2:2
[2] complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. (ESV)

The Apostle Paul was a man who was responsible for many people. He had traveled much of the known world declaring the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was an adventure. It was exciting. God did many miraculous works through Paul. Yet, there was much stress involved as well. Paul was concerned about every church that he had helped into existence. In his letter to the church at Corinth Paul alludes to this holy concern:

2 Corinthians 11:28
[28] And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. (ESV)

Let's bring it back to our verse today. Paul has just said in Philippians 2:1, "If there be any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy." This "IF" is a rhetorical posing about all of the benefits that come from belonging to Christ. We have all these benefits. So, in light of all of these benefits, Paul asks the Philippian believers to act in such a way that will bring Paul joy, and not add to his anxiety.

Paul desires that the church demonstrate total and complete unity. It is not just because they should desire to alleviate Paul's anxiety over them, but rather, it should be in grateful response to the tremendous blessings poured out upon them by Christ himself. As an additional benefit, Paul would be relieved by a unified church.

In tomorrow's devotional we will look in greater detail at the specific unifying behaviors that Paul lists in Philippians 2:2. But, I want you to think for a moment about the spiritual leaders who oversee your life (your pastor, elders, deacons). They are responsible for your and seek to help you and the other members of the body of Christ grow and prosper. How can you make their joy complete by working toward unity?

Evaluate your behavior towards others in the body of Christ. Would you be known as a unifier or a divider? Consider calling your pastor/spiritual leader and asking them how you can be a better support to them and make their joy complete.