This week will be a simpler devotion, to ponder, apply, and make applicable. The book of Philippians is not very long, only four chapters. Yet, Paul (as usual) dives deep into the very heart and soul of the spiritual communities he’s encouraging. Here’s just a quick rundown of Philippians:
- He gives thanks and prays for the church (1:3-11). Specifically praying a blessing that their love will overflow MORE and MORE, to understand what REALLY matters, to live a pure and blameless life until Jesus returns, being filled with the fruit of salvation, righteous character produced by Jesus in them. – character matters.
- Joy that Christ is preached (1:12-19). Regardless of how, the circumstances, or even the motivation! Out of jealousy and rivalry, Pau rejoices that the message about Christ is preached! WOW. – the message is all that matters, we can not take offense.
- Paul’s boldness for Christ (1:20-26). He expects and hopes that he will always be bold for Christ, not ashamed. Trusting that his life brings honor to Christ. To live is to live for Christ, and dying brings him to Christ himself! Longing for the day to be with Christ in the physical and longing to continue to preach the news of Jesus. – Life is for Christ alone.
- Live as Citizens of Heaven (1:27-30). Conducting ourselves in a way to live the Good News of Jesus. Stand together with on spirit and one purpose – fighting for the faith of all in the Good News of Jesus. Don’t be intimidated by our enemies (those that stand against and oppose the message of Jesus).
- Have the Attitude of Christ (2:1-11). Is there encouragement, comfort from His Love, fellowship together in the Spirit? These things should be among us. Love one another, work together in one mind and purpose. Dont’ be selfish, don’t try to impress, be humble thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others. You must have the same attitude that Jesus had. – be humble and work together.
- Shine brightly for Christ (2:12-18). For God works in us, giving us the desire and power to do what pleases Him. Do everything without complaining and arguing! – Be bright in other’s lives and more importantly among each other.
- Paul praises Timothy and Epaphroditus (2:19-30). Points out that Timothy genuinely cares for them, not the others (it is good and OK to note this of leaders). He points out Epaphroditus’ heart and desire to be among them, and that he risked his life for the work of Christ.
- The priceless value of knowing Christ (3:1-11). Everything else is worthless when compared to the value of knowing Christ. To know Him is to know your identity, and be free in who you are truly created to be.
- Pressing toward the goal (3:12-4:1). Press on to achieve the things of Christ, forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. Press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize. Hold onto the progress you’ve already made. Be aware there are many whose conduct shows they are actually enemies of the Cross of Christ, their God is their appetite, bragging about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. – We are citizens of heaven.
- Words of encouragement (4:2-9). Asking believers to settle their disagreement, and asking everyone else to help them. Be full of joy, rejoice for his work in us! Do not worry about anything, thank Him for all He has done. – THEN we will experience God’s peace beyond anything we can understand (peace in spite of any circumstances, issues, fear).
- Paul’s final thanks and greetings (4:10-23). Thanking them for their financial gifts, providing everything, sending more when they did not need to. Commending them for their character and heart. Giving God the glory for all of it, for the sake of the Good News.
For your journey…
‘And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.’Philippians 4:8-9
- How do you fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable?
- What things can you think about that are excellent and worthy of praise?
- How do you put into practice all that we can learn from Philippians?
- What does God’s peace look like when it is “with you”?