July 17, 2019

The Rewards of an Unselfish Relationship - Philippians 2:1-8

"You too can expect rewards of love beyond your wildest dreams."

Family Discussion:

  • Why is putting others needs before your own so difficult to accomplish?
  • Why does unselfishness bring so much joy to a relationship?
  • How can you begin today to prepare for the most important relationship in your life?

Transcription:

00:06 As you can probably tell, I'm not much of getting dressed up. I live in the hills here in the Ozark mountains and we don't have to dress up very much, but every once in a while, I'm asked by some dear bride-to-be or some groom-to-be to put on this old tacky robe and to do a wedding. And you know what? I really don't mind getting dressed up for a wedding because it's just awesome. I'll tell you the devotional today is the deal for weddings that stay alive forever. Listen to this. We're in Philippians 2 and we're in verse 1. It says this: "Therefore, if there's any encouragement in Christ, if there's any constellation of love, if there's any fellowship in the spirit, if there's any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in Spirit, intent on one purpose." And then it goes on and it, and it gives the key to happiness. It says: "do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind. Let each of you regard one another as more important than yourselves. Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interest of others. Have this attitude in yourself which was also in Christ Jesus, who although he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but he emptied himself by taking the form of a bondservant and being found in appearance as a man and being humbled as appearance as a man, He became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."

01:44 Man for almost, I guess, the past 30-something years, I've had the indescribable privilege to get a 50 yard line ticket on the most amazing arena where talent, charm, and character are displayed like no other place on earth. The players were both male and female. The male team is all dressed in well tailored Tuxedo uniforms. The female team is in exquisite evening gowns. The star of the show is dressed in a pure dazzling white gown. Her beauty is beyond my ability to write. By now, I'm sure you've guessed that the event is a wedding. You know my 50 yard line seat as the guy who gazes with envy into the bride and groom's misty eyes. It gets to hold their hands together and invites them to say two words: I do. These moments have been too numerous to count over the past two decades, and here's the most amazing part of all. Almost all of the weddings I have officiated for featuring a bride and a groom that marry each other because they met on our summer staff, our Christian sports camps and fallen in love here, every single one of those are still not just married, but they're happily married. Nationally, about half of our marriages end in divorce, and a good number of those that stay married aren't truly happy. The difference between those that I've been blessed to closely witness, and the rest, is the daily reality of these few simple verses of scripture. If you'll study them, if you'll apply them diligently and daily in your life, if you'll sacrifice for 'em between now and your wedding day, or if you're already married for the rest of your life, and you too can expect rewards of love beyond your wildest dreams. Have this attitude in yourself, which was also in Christ Jesus.

03:42 Here's the questions for today. Why is putting others needs before your own so difficult to accomplish? And then the second question is: Why does unselfishness bring so much joy to a relationship? And then the other question is this: How can you begin today to prepare for the most important relationship in your life? And here's the thought for the day. It is in giving that we receive and it is in dying to ourselves that love can truly live. Start today.

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