Outward-focused

Read: Philippians 2:1-11

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (v. 3)

There are a variety of reasons people “choose” a church, and I’ve heard a lot of them. Whatever it is, the reason people come often becomes the reason they leave. When our basis for participation in a church is what we want, we are approaching a Christ-centered operation with self-centeredness. To approach church with the desire to please God demands sacrifice, but it also rewards us with a fulfilling joy that blesses others.

The most important thing to remember is that the command to be outwardly focused comes from the example of Christ who gave everything for us. The path to glory went through the cross. Our path to satisfaction goes through sacrifice. A community filled with people looking out for each other will change lives faster than any talented pastor, worship leader, or program. In a world built on the values of self-promotion, the ability to look outside of ourselves to the needs of others gives life and shines brightly. It is one of the best ways to point the world to Christ’s saving work.

I’ve had people come to my office for many reasons, in need of help or counsel. But not once have I had a person come to me disappointed because they’ve been too busy helping other people. Those who seek their own satisfaction rarely find it, but those who seek the well-being of others are almost always the most satisfied. —Joel Plantinga

As you pray, confess any selfishness and commit to the well-being of others.

About the Author

Rev. Joel Plantinga has now been in full-time pastoral ministry for more than 20 years. He serves as the Lead Pastor of Desert Winds Community Church (RCA) in Palmdale, California, and is married to Teresa with children Noah, Eden, and Rachel.

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