A Church of One Mind
|A Church of One Mind Matt Mantooth|
| Philippians 2:1-5Make my joy complete by being likeminded. |
When I was in college I had the opportunity to go to Northern Ireland on a mission trip. In the weeks leading up to our departure, a few of us became extremely discouraged. We noticed that there was quite a bit of tension between a few friends who were going. As we searched to find out what the problem was, we discovered that the group was divided in purpose. Different people had different reasons for wanting to go to Northern Ireland, some wanted to go and share the gospel with lost people, while others wanted to go and act like lost people.
The tension continued until one night the whole team met and we prayed and worshipped together until God gave us one mind.
In Philippians 2:1-5, Paul urges the church of Philippi to be like-minded, or to be a church with one mind.
Paul begins this chapter of Philippians by connecting with us at the very place we now stand as a church.
He appeals to the very hearts of these Christians. He says if you have ever even in the least bit been encouraged or comforted because you are a Christian.
If you have ever enjoyed his fellowship,
or if you have ever felt God’s tenderness or his compassion,
then please make my joy complete by being like-minded.
Over the past couple of weeks, I believe that God has encouraged and comforted us all. I believe that he has poured out his love and his compassion. In the past weeks we have come face to face with a loving God. The God of all comfort and the God of all hope.
So, today, I urge you, as Paul does, please make my joy complete by being like-minded. I encourage you to come together under one mind, the mind of Christ.
What exactly does this mean? To have one mind.
Vs. 2 says we should have the same love and that we should have one spirit and one purpose.
Allow me to tell you a story about how one church came together for a purpose.
It is the story of a young man named Howard. When Howard was in High School, he wasn’t the greatest student. At one point during an open house, the guidance counselor had pulled his parents aside. He told them with a bit of arrogance that Howard would never make it to college. He told them that there was no point in even trying to help him go, even if he got in that he would just flunk out in the first year.
However, completing college was very important for Howard and his family.
The writer of the story says from this point on, when you here the word family think of Howard’s church family. Because Howard thought of his church as family, and the church thought the same. Neither, Howard, nor his parents could separate the two. Howard’s church was his family. Throughout the rest of high school Howard’s family got behind him, they encouraged him and supported him.
Howard made it into college and his family continued to support him. When school got difficult he would begin receiving notes and letters, phone calls and visitors all from his church family, all to encourage him.
Finally, Howard made it, he graduated, and at graduation, to his amazement, his whole family was present. His mom and dad, brothers and sisters, and his church came to show Howard their love.
Howard’s church is a beautiful example of what a church is supposed to be.
A family united in one mind.
Now I am not saying that helping a student go to college is a legitimate purpose or vision for a church. However, this church did exactly what Paul encourages us to do in verses 3-5.
He says be of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others more important than yourself. For this is the mind of Christ.
Today I hope that you will remember that our church is one family. We are all one family in Christ.
I urge you all make my joy complete by being like minded, and I believe that the best way to do this is by all of us to continually come together and pray and worship together as one family.