June 21, 2015.
Daily Reading: Philippians 3-4.
Background: Philippians 1-2.
Concepts and Connections.
1. Counting everything as loss: Here Paul talks to the Philippians about the bigger picture in life. Before Paul became a Christian, he tried to base his righteousness on works that he had done. He was a Pharisee of Pharisees, zealous for the law and a persecutor of the church. His righteousness was based on the flesh and physical works for God that he had done. However, when he put on Christ, he learned that it was not by works of the flesh that one was justified, for no man can do enough good works to earn salvation. Thus, Paul counted all the things that he was once so proud of, such as his circumcision and position as a phrases (and on the path to be one of the top rabbi’s of his day at that), as nothing for the sake of Christ. He gave it all up and put on Christ, for He was the only one that mattered. He was no longer focused on his own righteousness, but rather the righteousness that came from faith Christ. His perception had changed, shifted towards God. We should too focus our attention on the Lord.
2. Eyes on the prize: Paul had not obtained perfection, just as we are not perfect in everything that we do, but he was striving towards perfection. To do this, he put off everything that was behind him, not letting the past drag him down, and set his eyes on Christ and His salvation. Paul knew what his goal was and he was completely focused on the goal, not allowing anything to distract him from the goal. His eyes were fixed on the upward calling of Christ, and he called the brethren to imitate him in this, just as we should. He calls the Philippians to walk in his example, for there were many who did not follow his example, but rather were walking as enemies of the cross, with their minds set on earthly things. However, the Philippians were to set their minds on heavenly things, awaiting the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
1. Exhortation and encouragement: Finishing off the letter to the Philippians, Paul give some final exhortations and encouragement here. First he addresses to sisters who seem to be fighting, imploring them to put whatever it was that they were fighting about behind them and agree in the Lord. He also encourages others to help in the situation (as opposed to what we so often do, loving gossip and drama). Then he encourages them all to rejoice in the Lord, and to develop their prayer life with Him. Anything they were anxious about, any need they had, Paul told them to take it to the Lord, and with praise and thanksgiving, let their request be made known to God, for in this prayer, the peace of God which surpasses understanding would guard their heart. Paul continues on with the things that we should meditate upon: whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent or worthy of praise. These things are what we should dwell on at all times, not letting out minds dwell in filth. Let us live and practice these things.
2. In everything content: Paul here reveals the secret to his joy in the Lord, the joy that he wants the Philippian church to take part in. His secret was that no matter what his situation was, he had learned to be content. He had learned how to have abundance, and how to be in need. He had learned how to have plenty of food, and how to go hungry. His secret was Christ, the One who gave him strength. He had learned contentment in Christ. This is a beautiful concept that we seem to have a hard time obtaining. It is Him that we should find our all in all. He should be our satisfaction and joy, and no situation should be able to take that away from us. To God be the glory, who will supply us our every need according to His rich glory.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 4-6.
To God be the glory.