Finding Fruit

Finding Fruit in Philippians

an SK Bible Study

Week 3: His Perspective and Purpose

Philippians 2:1-11 (NIV)
(1) If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, (2) then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. (3) Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (4) Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
(5) Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, (7) but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (8) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! (9) Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, (10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, (11) and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Manger Throne song

ALBUM: Come Let Us Adore Him
ARTIST: Third Day with Derri Daugherty & Julie Miller
SONG: Manger Throne

What kind of King would leave His throne
In Heaven to make this earth His home?
While men seek fame and great renown
In loneliness our King comes down

Jesus, Jesus, precious One
How we thank You that You’ve come
Jesus, Jesus, precious One
A manger throne for God’s own Son

You left the sound of angels’ praise
To come for men with unkind ways
And by this Baby’s helplessness
The power of nations is laid to rest

What kind of King would come so small
From glory to a humble stall?
That dirty manger is my heart, too
I’ll make it a royal throne for You

My heart is a throne
My heart is a throne for God’s own Son

Perspective. What was His perspective? He “left the sound of angels’ praise” to come and be ridiculed. He left perfection to come to an imperfect world. He left true love to come to a love that seems contigent only on needs being met. He chose inequality with the God of the universe (vs.6) to come and be a human in this world(vs.7). He left a place of spiritual bodies (1 Corin.15:35-49) to come and wear an earthly body (vs.8). He left a place that has something even better than the intimate union between a man and a woman that we have in this place (Luke 20:34-35). He left a place where there are no tears and came to a place of despair and pain. Why?

What was His purpose? “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matt.26:39b) He always had His purpose in the forefront of His mind. He spent thirty-three years here on earth to give us an example of how we are to live during our time in this world.

The example of our Lord Jesus Christ is set before us. We must resemble him in his life, if we would have the benefit of his death….Christ not only took upon him the likeness and fashion, or form of a man, but of one in a low state; not appearing in splendor. His whole life was a life of poverty and suffering. But the lowest step was his dying the death of the cross, the death of a malefactor and a slave; exposed to public hatred and scorn. (commentary)

How does that compute with our natural, human thinking of how we are to live here on earth? It just doesn’t – that is the point. We cannot be thinking in our mindset – our small, finite picture of all eternity. No, we should “…fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb.12:2)

If we read about this in the Bible, learn about this in church sermons, and say these words from our own mouths, why do we still cling so tightly to the things of this world? Is it because so much of eternity is unknown? Is it because we are like Thomas, who needed to see in order to believe?

John 20:26-31 (NIV)
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

To trust and follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ as portrayed in this passage of Scripture as well as throughout the Gospels…well, that’s what faith must be.

Joy in the Journey

ALBUM: Joy in the Journey
ARTIST: Michael Card
SONG: That’s What Faith Must Be

To hear with my heart
To see with my soul
To be guided by a hand I cannot hold
To trust in a way that I cannot see
That’s what faith must be

Now I understand that there is a key
It’s Jesus in me, a reality
That God is in Christ and that Christ’s in me
That with faith I see what is unseen

That’s what faith must be

My prayer is that we are women of this kind of faith!

2 Corinthians 4:8 (NIV) So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


(When answering, please be sure to put the number of the question in your comment box.)

  1. Verses 3 and 4 talk about humility and looking to others before yourself. In what relationship(s) are you living out those characteristics?
  2. In what relationship(s) are you finding it difficult to live in humility?
  3. The fruit of the Spirit can be seen and tasted throughout this entire passage. Please give one specific example.


Remember to pray for the things that are listed on our Prayer page.

‘See ya’ next week!


4 Responses to “Wk.3: HIS Perspective and Purpose”

  1. Wendy D' Says:

    (1&2)Crazy, but I have been ‘humbled’ a lot this week in many different ways and I have to say I did not respond to it very well most of the time. (Feeling sorry for myself) I am trying to be careful with the things that I say and wouldn’t you know it, in the most unsuspecting ways, I was brought low. Something as simple as not trying to answer someone when I don’t have enough information to give them. It is humbling to realize that we don’t have to have all the answers. It is ok to just say, “I don’t know.”
    Occasionally, in even the most innocent ways, things are said that can be damaging. By this morning, I was pretty upset about some things that had occurred over the week and I cried out to the Lord. In that quiet time, He gave me some ideas of how to handle a situation that had occurred the day before…
    I had said something to a child the day before that I wish I had not. It was not meant for harm, but it could have been hurtful…to my surprise, this same child took my hand today while walking to an assembly and very sweetly said, “We all make mistakes sometimes…and it’s ok”  It is amazing that she would offer this grace to me. I nearly cried because she didn’t know it, but today she was the voice of God.
    In all of this I am hopeful that I will be more conscious that Jesus’ words were carefully chosen and mine should be as well.
    (3) Self control..
    v.8..he humbled himself and was fully obedient to God.

  2. Carissa Vincent Says:

    1. It is so easy for me to sit back and say that I want to do what I want to do. My time is precious especially with my family. I meet with a few different people during the week besides working full time and going to school part time. I have found that their spiritual health is important – so much ore important than lounging on the couch.I still get to spend quality time with my family. I pray that my children will learn from my example and put others needs before their own.

    2.I love my job. I am good at what I do and sometimes it is hard for me to remember that it takes others longer to learn things.God is definitley teaching me in this area.

    3. vs.4 – love

  3. Bev Says:

    1&2: I have discovered that it is relatively easy for me to put my patients and their families before myself—to go the extra mile for those I am professionally serving, many of whom are very needy. God has given me a real desire to make my work a ministry of love and service. In contrast, I find it very difficult at times to serve my co-workers–to go the extra mile for them, and to take on extra work when I feel they are not pulling their weight on the job. I find that I am expecting them to live out the golden rule, when in reality they are not serving the same Lord. So, on the one hand I willingly extend grace and love and service, and on the other, I struggle to behave lovingly and graciously and unselfishly. This passage makes it clear that Jesus found JOY in serving and giving and always kept that eternal perspective before him. Kristen, I have never connected this eternal perspective with faith before—that perhaps my inability to humbly serve and give my life away without worrying about those who don’t/won’t do that and seem to still get rewarded on the job really just reflects a lack of faith in God’s ability and promise to one day make it all right. I often silently chastise Thomas for his lack of faith without ever connecting my own need to have my own service rewarded IN THE HERE AND NOW—VISIBLY, as representative of a lack of faith, a need to SEE what is really intended to be eternal. Thank you for really “connecting the dots” for me in this study!
    3. The fruit I see here most vividly is patience—the ability to wait for the promise of what is unseen, by faith.

  4. Rindy Says:

    1/2:The study notes in my Bible make a great point about being humble…”being humble involves having a true perspective about ourselves”. We need to see who we really are–no better….but also no worse than others. It’s about taking an honest perspective.

    In reading this, I think my toughest place to be “humble” is in my relationship with myself. I am only now recognizing that God (THE God, THE one who created it all) can actually use little ol’ me…and will. THAT is incredibly humbling!!!

    In experiencing that, it is much easier to now turn and humble myself before others—and in turn relate and connect because they are no different than me…

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