“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, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”


  • Philippians 2:1-2


I don’t know how many times I have read the passage above found in Philippians 2 and even preached on it a few times but never quite read it the way I did today. The key word that struck me is a little one but often repeated; that word is “any”. If you have “any” encouragement. If you have “any” comfort. If you have “any” fellowship. If you have “any” tenderness and compassion. We might interpret it to say “if you have even just a little bit of encouragement, comfort, fellowship tenderness or compassion” then there is a divine imperative. That imperative is to be like-minded, have the same love (Christ) and be one in spirit and purpose.


In this passage Paul is speaking with the new Christian and the mature alike and reminds them that with just the smallest, little bit of the touch of God upon their life, God can bring about something contrary to their human nature. After all, the most natural thing in the world is to be disagreeable, mean spirited and divisive. That type of behaviour doesn’t take any effort at all, it comes quite naturally to most of us but to think of others first? To think the best of someone and deny self and work for the common good, that is not natural! Paul is reminding the people that with just a tiny, itsy-bitsy bit of the presence of God in a person’s life, huge changes can be made, and when made the world will sit up and take notice.


I am reminded of Jesus’ words in John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” What a revolutionary thought in a world of self-centeredness!


If we have “any” encouragement from Christ, if we have been comforted by his presence or felt the sweet fellowship of the Spirit then we have the power to break free from the mold of the world and be re-cast in the image of God…..and make His joy complete by following his example.


Here is a little reminder of that from 1966.





Mike Hoeft
Area Commander
Prairie Division