Paul found joy in purpose and partnership. Listen to how he begins his letter to the church in Philippi, "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now" (Philippians 1:3-5).
There was never a better coach in NCAA basketball than John Wooden. He had the stars, but that's not why he won. He understood the team and the game. "No UCLA basketball player's number was retired while I was coach. Later on, certain numbers were retired, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's number (33), and Bill Walton's number (32). I was against it in both those cases (and any other case) not because Kareem and Bill weren't outstanding players, but because other fellows who played on our team also wore those numbers. Some of those other players gave me close to everything they had, even though they weren't as famous and perhaps didn't have the natural gifts."
"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others," wrote Paul (Philippians 2:3-4), but the words sound like Wooden. "The jersey and the number on it never belong to just one single player, no matter how great or how big a 'star' that particular player is. It goes against the whole concept of what a team is."
Partnership, "being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind" (Philippians 2:2); and purpose, "to the glory and praise of God" (Philippians 1:11).
"Have this attitude in yourselves which is also in Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 2:5 (NASB)
God, Your ways are so beyond me. You are holy and good and just and righteous. I am a sinner, yet You come for me. My world does not work that way. Yours does. In my world I chase what matters to me. In Your world, You chase... me! You came to seek me and to save me, and You left everything to do it.
What kind of love is that? It's a love I want more than anything in the world. It's that love that compels me to leave everything and follow You. I can truly love others now, because You first loved me.