Thursday, March 29,2018
Philippians 2:3-5 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
Several years ago, I coached boys basketball for the local Christian high school. During the first three weeks of practice I was constantly urged by the team members to let them scrimmage. They wanted to play the game all the time, but I knew they had so much to learn. I didn’t give in very often at first, because I knew that what they needed most was instruction. They needed to practice the fundamentals and walk through the offensive and defensive sets to become so familiar with them that when they did get into the game, it would be their nature to perform according to the coach’s design.
So far this week we have been walking through the Coach’s design for unity, and today it’s time to get into the game. We have the head knowledge of what God expects from His church in regards to unity, but now it’s time to make it happen.
In Philippians 2:1-2 Paul described the Coach’s game plan for spiritual unity in the church. Now in verses 3-5, Paul becomes the play-by-play announcer describing the game action. He notices five specific plays that have been designed by the Coach and are being run by the members of the team:
- They surrender their personal ambitions for the sake of the team. Do nothing out of selfish ambition. Not one of the team members is ever seen begging for the ball and demanding to take the shot. And we certainly never see any team member choosing plays not designed and approved by the Coach.
- They sacrifice personal recognition for the sake of the team. Do nothing out of…vain conceit. When a play works and a basket is made, there is no special attention drawn to the one who scored. In fact, the one who scored usually gives recognition to the one who made the perfect pass or screen to set them up to score.
- They stipulate the significance of other team members. In humility count others more significant than yourselves. Every team member, no matter what their skill level, understands that they cannot be a one-person team. Every member of the team is significant and is encouraged to do their best.
- They support the individual styles of other team members. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Some of them dribble and shoot right-handed, and others use their left hand. Some of them are better built and equipped to play near the basket, and others are more speedy and able to cover more territory away from the basket. Each team member is strategically positioned by the Coach to best utilize his individual skills and talents.
- They shape their attitudes to honor and reflect their Coach. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. The Coach volunteered all His time and energy to bring out the best in the team, so the members of the team do the same. He gave up everything that He had to make it possible for us to experience what we could never have without Him. Team members do the same as servants of one another.
Practice is over. It’s game time. Put on your uniforms that identify you as a member of Christ’s team, and come together in unity to run the Coach’s plays. When we do, victory is guaranteed.