I’m Third!

I’m Third
From the June 12th reading
What is the biggest hurdle in your relationships with others? Your marriage? Church?
READ: Philippians 2:1-11
Philippians 2:3
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves (NIV)
  • Don’t be selfish or self-centered (selfish ambition)
  • “Vain conceit” – worried about your appearance
    • Don’t be stuck up!
  • “But in humility” – put others first!
  • 1 Cor. 6:1-11 Put others first. Willing to be wronged for the sake of unity



  • Don’t be selfish or self-centered
  • Don’t be overly concerned about your looks or how you dress
  • Don’t think too highly of yourself!
  • Be humble
    • Not false humility
    • Not a doormat
  • Put others above yourself
  • Love your wife as you do yourself (Eph. 5:33)
  • Submit to one another (Eph. 5:21)
  • “I’m third!”
It was after nine in the morning of June 7, 1958, and the Air National Guard’s jet precision team, the “Minute Men” were flying at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, just outside Dayton, Ohio. For the Minute Men this was just another show, and they were happy the skies were clear, the air was morning-smooth, and thousands of viewers would see the show. Former Kanakuk Kamper, Captain John Ferrier flew an F-86 for this Denver-based jet team. And after a routine maneuver, Ferrier’s plane was rolling out of control, and he was in trouble. Seeing him headed right for a neighborhood, Colonel Williams gave the command over the microphone. “Bail out, Johnny, bail out!” From the Feature Section of the Denver Post: “There was still plenty of time, still plenty of room for him to bail out. The Colonel even issued the command twice more. Each time he was answered by a blip of smoke. He grasped the sense of it immediately. John Ferrier couldn’t reach the mike button on the throttle because he had both hands tugging on a control stick that was locked full-throw right. But the smoke button was on the stick, and he was answering the only way he could–squeezing it to tell Williams he thought he could pull out…that he couldn’t let his airplane go into the houses of the neighborhood. Captain Ferrier’s Sabre jet hit the ground equidistant from four houses. There was hardly any place other than that one backyard garden where he could have hit without killing people.” We met and knew Johnny when he was a Kamper and an honor Kamper. We knew him as a junior counselor and as a young counselor. He learned the I’m Third way of life and one of his years as a Kamper he was given an I’m Third card that he carried in his wallet wherever he went. God First, Others Second, I’m Third. [i]
Even to this day campers at Kanakuk Kamps learn the concept of “I’m Third”; It is one of their root foundations that has carried on from generation to generation.
This is the same concept that is found in Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves”. I’m third! It is taken from Matthew 22:37-39 where Jesus answers the question from the expert in law on what is the greatest commandment. Jesus’ answer can be summed up in this order: 1) Love God; 2) Love others; and 3) Love yourself. In other words, I’m third!
Most of the problems found in relationships, marriages, and in church begin with selfishness or self-centeredness. “I want it my way!” The same was true in Paul’s day. Like most churches there were problems in the church in Philippi. There was false teaching coming from outside the church, and there was disunity inside the church.
When it comes to the “selfish ambition” found in Philippians 2, one author had this to say: “Nothing was to be done out of selfish ambition (v. 3). The same word (eritheian) appears in 1:17 to describe the attitude of those who opposed Paul. Without question such behavior is of the flesh and not the Spirit (cf. Gal. 5:20, which uses the same word). Vain conceit, meaning “empty glory,” was probably the root cause of their selfish ambition.”[ii] When we are acting selfishly, the flesh and not the Spirit is controlling us.
When the Spirit is controlling us, then we respond with humility. Warren Wiersbe explains humility like this: “It is important that we understand what the Bible means by ‘humility.’ The humble person is not one who thinks meanly of himself; he simply does not think of himself at all!”[iii] The person who says, “I am the most humble person I know”, isn’t!
“Others” is the main idea in this chapter. We should not be focused on what we want and ourselves, but on the needs of others. If more of us could take on the motto of “I’m third” we could turn this town upside down. We could truly Transform Chino!
Pray that God would show you where you have any “selfish ambition” in your life. Where do you need humility?
Each week’s Monday Motivation is taken from the reading schedule found in the Life Journal. If you are ready for the next step in your discipleship, then order yours today or see me for a copy.
If you would like help in growing in your faith, or if you would like to know how to have faith in Him, then please contact us at (928)636-2949 or email me at pastorguy@cvgrace.com
[i] Camp Kanakuk’s website: www.kanakuk.com; Article: I’m third: A Way of Life
[ii] Lightner, R. P. (1985). Philippians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 653). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
[iii] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 73). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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