Paul’s great passion was to live as a citizen of heaven in a manner that was worthy of the gospel, and he sought to live that way in every part of his life. His heart of contentment, joy, and unselfishness even in times of great need show us the heart of Christ.
No matter how difficult life becomes, those of us who believe in Jesus can find exultant joy and unfathomable peace as we bring our fears, desires and passions to the Lord in prayer and as we remember who Jesus is and what He has done, is doing, will do.
What is your idea of “The Good Life”? What way of life, or standard of living are you working toward? What end result are you running after? What is your goal? Another way of asking it: what would be the most disappointing thing that you could face? What thing are you trying to gain, or hold on to right now, that if you missed it, or it was taken away from you, would ruin your life. Would crush your hopes…
We humans love to make classes of people: economic, ethnic, intellectual, and social classes. Such classes attempt to make us better or worse than others, depending where we land. The Apostle Paul makes it clear that the way to God is not by any such heritage, accomplishment, or classification, but only by Christ. The pursuit of knowing Christ and living for him was Paul’s great passion. Rather than glorying in his own merit, Paul gloried in Christ. As we stand firm in such a message, our lives will be changed and God’s name will be held high.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
We often enjoy hearing the message, “You deserve this good thing.” Politicians and advertising specialists trumpet this message. However, God’s Scriptures and the gospel message take us in another direction. Through God’s mercy and grace to us in the gospel of Christ, the question we must answer is, “What does God deserve? What is he worthy of?” In our passage today, the Apostle Paul reveals the surprising but beautiful answer.
Think of a time when you were filled with joy. Cheerful. Happy. Deep down inside. I’m guessing it was a very exciting occasion. The day the Lord saved you. Graduation. A new job. Wedding day. Baby born. Your sports team won a championship. Did any of you think of your joy during a time of suffering? If you read in Acts 16, you can read the very beginning of a new church in a Roman city called Philippi. The Apostle…
In his letter to the Christians in Philippi, Paul thanks them for their partnership with him in the work of preaching God’s word, and exhorts them to continue their faithful walk in following Christ, as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, who live a remarkably different life from the rest of the world. In this first section, Paul greets and encourages the church and prays they would be full of love and unity that stems from a knowledge of the truth and discernment of error, so that God may be glorified and praised by the watching world.