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Daily Devotional Philippians 2: 1-11

What do you look for in a leader? For generations, God’s people hoped for a leader to take them into battle. They wanted a problem-solver, winner-take-all, charismatic leader. Instead, God gave someone they did not expect...His Son Jesus. In direct contrast to the characteristics of popular leaders then (and now), Jesus was known for humility.

He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant.


In Philippians 2, Paul focuses on the need for the Philippians to complete his joy by being united. Paul knew that if Christians were to live a worthy life (1:27–30), they had to turn from “selfish ambition or vain conceit” (2:3) and be unified through having the same mind, same love, and being one in spirit and purpose (v. 2). This is a leadership task easier said than done! Ask any coach, CEO, or mother about the challenges of getting everyone on the same page and united with one another. Paul’s solution was learned from Jesus: Lead through humility. We know that humility means considering others above ourselves (v. 4). But humility is easier to define than to do.

Paul points to the ultimate example of humility, the Lord Jesus Himself (vv. 5–11). Many scholars label these verses as the “Hymn of Christ.” Experts believe early Christians sang or recited these words during worship gatherings. The poem touches on Christ’s preexistence, incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension. These verses are rich in theology, but we should not miss Paul’s purpose in penning these words. He wants the Philippians to be united, and the only way they will ever accomplish that is to model their lives after Jesus.

As we examine the lives of unlikely leaders in Scripture, you will find that they all exhibit humility. As we put interests of others before ourselves, we too can be an influential leader for Christ.

>> You may not realize it, but you are a leader. God wants you to be His representative as you unite the people you work with and live alongside them. Lead like Jesus through humility.

Pray with Us

Before pursuing any vision, may we come in prayer to You, Lord. It is because of You and for You that we live and work. Grant us wisdom to fulfill our roles— leading or following—in a manner pleasing to You.

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