Being Servant of All

KEY VERSE: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 2:5

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Philippians 2:1-11

THE LETTER TO the Philippians is a wonderfully affectionate letter. Paul wrote lovingly to this congregation which he established. This was Paul’s first European church, and it was the place where the apostle and his companions found a group of women worshipping by a riverside. Among them was “a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple … which worshiped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened.”—Acts 16:14

After Lydia and her household were baptized, she encouraged Paul and his companions to abide in her home. And so they did. Here we find a good example of Lydia “being a servant of all,” as the title of this lesson invites us to do.

The very best example that we have of being a servant of all, is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”—Phil. 2:7

The Master’s disciples raised the question as to which one of them would be the greatest in the kingdom. The Lord’s answer was that it would be he that was servant of all. (Matt. 20:27) At the time of the Lord’s Last Supper, just one day before he would give up his life, the Master girded himself with a towel, took a basin with water, and washed the feet of the disciples. They were all bewildered. But the Lord had a lesson for them on humility and love for each other. He said, as recorded in John 13:12-17, “Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”

As we read the letter written to the Philippian church, we note how the Apostle Paul reveals a great deal of the general character of the brethren there. It is a letter that is beautiful and loving, and shows a very close and sympathetic bond between the apostle and this particular church.

On at least four different occasions, that we know of, the brethren at Philippi sent Paul gifts. While the apostle was in Thessalonica he received two presents from them. Again, while in Corinth the brethren ministered to him, in a special way. Additionally, when he was a prisoner in Rome they did not forget him. The love of the Philippian brethren for Paul indicated that they, as a group, were mindful of the apostle’s admonition, recorded in our key verse, Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Truly, the brethren at Philippi were servants, even as was the Lord during his earthly ministry.

It was Epaphroditus who served as the messenger for the Philippian brethren. During his stay in Rome he became “sick unto death.” Upon his recovery the Apostle Paul sent back with him this beautiful letter, known to us as the epistle to the Philippians.

Our Heavenly Father is always pleased when those who serve him, also serve others. Jesus set the example; Epaphroditus and the brethren at Philippi followed that example; and as a result “an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God” rose up as incense to glorify and praise the Heavenly Father.—Phil. 4:18

Dawn Bible Students Association
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