How to Stop Looking Backward

One of the challenges and privileges of the Christian life is the opportunity to “look ahead” or to “look forward”.  Here is what Paul writes in verse 12-14 of chapter 3:  “12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  In serving […]

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If Only We Would Do This…

There are passages in the Bible that would really impact society if they were followed.  I often think about how different the world would be if sexual activity was confined to a husband and wife in marriage. The “cost” of this sin is unbelievable. What would it look like if we always spoke the truth?  Think about how the world would be a far different place if everyone did this…or if even those who claimed to follow Jesus would do this?  The words from Paul in Philippians 4:8-9 fall in this category for me.  Here they are:  “8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, […]

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When Loss Leads to Gain

In this amazing paragraph in Paul’s letter to the Philippians we have already read that Paul has “suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish that he may gain Christ”.  It’s interesting that he puts the “gaining” of Christ in the context of losing all the other things.  There is another important statement that Paul makes in verses 10-11.  Here is what he writes:  “10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”  Notice the word […]

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The Source of Righteousness

Though the focus today is on verse 9, here are verses 7-9: “7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;” Paul talks about righteousness. As he wrote earlier in this chapter, Paul had a great religious […]

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What Do You Value?

If you will allow this section of Paul’s letter to the Philippians to rattle around in your mind and soul, you will have something to think about. These words drive us to self-examination in many ways.  Yesterday, Paul mentioned that he could have had great confidence in his worldly accomplishments, but that he would not do that.  With that in mind, let’s read verses 7-8 of chapter 3: “ 7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom […]

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What Gives You Confidence?

For some strange reason as I began to write this post the words from the old Sure deodorant commercial came into my mind:  “Confidence, confidence, dry and secure…raise your hand, raise your hand if you’re sure”. What gives you confidence?  What do you rely on in your life?  For some it can be their health or their wealth.  For others it might be their job or their position/status.  As Paul begins this section of his letter, he asks his reader to not put confidence in his “flesh”, his worldly life.  Let’s read what he writes in the first six verses of […]

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Another Selfless Servant

One of my favorite New Testament names is “Epaphroditus”.  I just like the way it rolls off the tongue.  Perhaps our younger readers could consider it for their next born son?  Probably not!  Anyway, here is what Paul has to say about this man in Philippians 2:25-30: “25 Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need; 26 since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27 For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, […]

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The Character of Timothy

As Paul writes this letter to the Philippians he is in prison.  The communication process of the day was pretty primitive.  Paul wanted to know how the Philippians (that he cared so much about) were doing; so much so that he is willing to send his dear friend Timothy to the Philippians so Paul can know their situation.  Here are verses 19-24:  “19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. 20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not […]

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The Importance of Behavior

Yesterday I asked you to consider seven words that could change the world.  Those words were from verse 14 of Philippians chapter 2:  “Do all things without complaining and disputing”.  Imagine if just the genuine followers of Jesus would do this? The next two verses illustrate the impact this kind of behavior might have: “ 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run […]

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Seven Words to Change the World

Verse 14 of Philippians chapter 2 contains seven words that if followed would change the world. Here they are:  “Do all things without complaining and disputing”.  Think about how this would change our world and perhaps your world. I admit that there are not any great theological words in there…the words can apply to any particular religious philosophy but these words are so important.  Imagine if everyone did all things without complaining and disputing. What I think is assumed here is that you are going to “do it”…whatever “it” is.  This verse makes no judgment as to the validity or necessity of what […]

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