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Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Painting a Portrait - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotional 8 March Wednesday
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5
The National Portrait Gallery in London, England, houses a treasure of paintings from across the centuries, including 166 images of Winston Churchill, 94 of William Shakespeare, and 20 of George Washington. With the older portraits, we may wonder: Is that what these individuals really looked like?
For instance, there are eight paintings of Scottish patriot William Wallace (c. 1270–1305), but we obviously don’t have photographs to compare them to. How do we know if the artists accurately represented Wallace?
Something similar might be happening with the likeness of Jesus. Without realizing it, those who believe in Him are leaving an impression of Him on others. Not with brushes and oils, but with attitudes, actions, and relationships.
Are we painting a portrait that represents the likeness of His heart? This was the concern of the apostle Paul. “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus,” he wrote (Phil. 2:5). With a desire to accurately represent our Lord, he urged His followers to reflect the humility, self-sacrifice, and compassion of Jesus for others.
It has been said, “We are the only Jesus some people will ever see.” As we “in humility value others above [ourselves]” (v. 3), we will show the world the heart and attitude of Jesus Himself.
Father, please build the heart of Christ into my heart that those around me will see Him clearly and desire to know Him too.
Christ’s sacrifice of Himself motivates us to sacrifice ourselves for others.
The church at Philippi, established by Paul during his second missionary journey, was a growing and faithful community that had actively supported Paul’s ministry (Phil. 1:5; 4:15–18). In this thank-you letter, Paul encouraged the Philippians to continue to grow and mature in their faith, even in the midst of persecution. He exhorted them, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (1:27), so that they would “shine . . . like stars in the sky” (2:15). He urged them to imitate Christ in sacrificial love, unity, humility, and service.