“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind” (Philippians 2:1-2, NIV).
The phrase from Philippians,
“make my joy complete”, is on my mind this morning, and I want to
explore what it means for me. Being complete is being fulfilled. The
Lord wants to experience His fulfillment in me. More than anything, He
wishes me to discover fulfillment in my Christian life. My fulfillment
brings Him joy. So how can I “make His joy complete”and bring
fulfillment to Him? In these verses in Philippians, I find my answer. If
I share the love He has given me with my brothers and sisters in
Christ, then I bring Him joy by comforting and encouraging with His
love, and by being unified in spirit and purpose.
absolutely necessary for good spiritual health in the body of Christ.
However, it is so hard to find, and then it can be so hard to keep. We
are all so different. We come from different backgrounds. We are
different ages. We have different likes and interests, ideas, and
preferences. But it absolutely possible to be united without everyone
being unanimous in a vote or in a decision. Being like-minded doesn't
mean having the same opinion, but it does mean having the same attitude
and the same purpose. We need a team-attitude. A team works together to
accomplish the same goal. We work together to accomplish the Great
Commission. Having the same love and being one in spirit and purpose
brings unity. Even if we aren't always one in our opinions, being one in
Christ means means we seek His will instead of our own. It means that
we lay down any agenda, and seek to come together in His purpose.
Kate, my artist friend in Greece, creates mosaics. She uses different
materials to create a work of art―colored glass, stones, ceramics, and
many other things. The materials she uses are of all different sizes,
colors, shapes, and of different substances. From all these unique
materials with different consistencies she creates a beautiful
masterpiece. Just as she creates a beautiful unified work of art , Jesus
Christ can take our unique differences and create something beautiful
in the church. Our unity can only come from being unified with Jesus. He
is the cornerstone and our anchor. As long as we regard Jesus Christ as
our anchor and our reason for being―as long as we realize that our
treatment of each other is the way that we treat Christ―as long as we
put Him and His love first before any of our own ideas or opinions, we
can discover this unity of spirit that binds us together in His love.
“We will speak the truth in love,” Paul writes, “growing in every way
more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He
makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own
special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is
healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:15-16, NLT).