Verse 3-4 have been a text that I have memorized and kept near. However, I memorized it in the NIV a year ago, and I would like to share with you the way NIV writes these verses out.
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others."
This was a really challenging verse for me, and still is. I tend to be the type that forgets that world doesn't revolve around me, and that everyone else has a life that is just as important; my issues aren't bigger than theirs, and my news isn't more exciting than my friends'. I truly had to pray through the reality of this text as God revealed to me the insignificance of my life on this earth. He showed me humility- something that needed MUCH work. Through a couple of broken relationships, he showed me that the lives of people around me needed to be more important to me and I needed to sincerely care about my friends' interests above my own. This is still a work in progress.
I loved the example of Jesus' humility that is given in verse 5-8. Jesus who is God, humbled himself to human form, experiencing all that this world burdens us with- temptations, suffering, etc., and sacrificed His life. He obeyed His Father to the fullest by dying on the cross for our sins, which is the ultimate death. Because of His humility and obedience, God exalted Him above every name! When I read the next couple verses, I dropped a couple tears, as the words stung me with power and truth. At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. What's amazing, and sad at the same time, is that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord! It's amazing because these verses just exalt Jesus to the fullest, and the whole world will realize who Jesus is and bow down to Him as their King. What's sad is that too many people will be doing it when He returns- and will do because they have to, not because they chose to.
"Do everything without grumbling or questioning." Another thing I know needs work. There are times when I just have a bad attitude when asked to do something, or when I don't feel like doing something. This verse needs to be reflected in my life. Even if I don't vocally grumble or question, or complain- as the NIV says, God sees my heart. I want to be blameless and innocent before God. How about you?