Join us now as we begin an encouraging and edifying walk through the book of Philippians. Paul knew the incomparable treasure, unsurpassed power and joy found in knowing Christ. To compromise the focus of worship to anything than Jesus was not an option for Paul, nor should it be for us. Nothing compares to the immeasurable joy in knowing the love of Christ. Paul reminds us that as Christ-followers, we should rejoice in the knowledge that our citizenship is not here on earth, but we are indeed Citizens of Heaven!
Today, we come to the concluding verses of this amazing letter. Here, Paul ends by giving thanks to the Lord for his provision and for the church's support. He highlights to the church, the importance of embracing an attitude of gratitude, contentment, generosity and giving. Paul points out that contentment is not dependant upon our circumstance but it stems from our relationship with Christ, which produces good fruit!
In today's passage, Paul addresses the Christian's thought life. In order to grow more and more in our Christ-likeness, we are called to have a renewed mind. Romans 12:2 tells us this - the renewal of our minds - is key to true transformation and the ability to discern the will of God. He calls us to think upon and consider those things that are admirable and to avoid that which is not. And then, we are to practice these things - to act - for that is where we find the God of Peace, and that is the place of true rest!
Have you ever experienced anxiety? God's word promises that in the life of every Christian there will be trials. When anxiety and stress threatens, Paul encourages us to take heart and rejoice in the Lord, and to replace anxiety with God's peace through the power of prayer. In the face of uncertainty and chaos, we are called to remember our joy in Christ can never be destroyed or revoked. He guarantees his loved ones that by prayer and supplication, his peace will truly be with us.
Who are the heroes you admire and follow? Paul cautions today that as Christ followers, we are called to pattern our lives after those who are godly, heavenly minded and Christ-centred. We are warned to avoid the earthly minded, deceivers and pretenders among us, and instead emulate those who pursue Christ and live lives that are devoted to and centred on Him. As we mature in faith, we will recognize the authentically broken men and women who know and follow hard after Jesus. Listen as Pastor Craig encourages us to live not as citizens of this world, but faithfully as Citizens of Heaven.
As we continue our examination of Paul's letter to the Philippians, we are reminded of the need to stay focused on the true gospel of Jesus. Worship is not about doing things in the hope that we will earn acceptance before Jesus. This practice results in counterfeit worship and precludes us from developing an authentic worship of and relationship with Christ. Authentic worship in spirit will only come from a heart that has been changed by grace, and a true understanding all Jesus has done for us,
In today's message, we are told to honour those in our midst who are Christ-like examples to us. We do this so that they will be encouraged to continue! Paul calls us to recognize, thank and care for men and women who love Jesus, working humbly and sacrificially for the gospel. Let us today consider who among us we might choose to honour and bless!
Obedience is the manifestation of our faith. As we abide in Christ, he promises to abide in us. God takes great pleasure by working in and through us to produce fruit, and in turn we are blessed! What a comfort to know that we cannot work out our salvation by our own effort, but by God's enabling grace and power alone. He is our strength, our help and our salvation and will shine his light through those who trust and follow him with authentic and humble hearts.
Imitating Christ is one of several themes found in Philippians. Society often will lift up and celebrate individuals, praising them as the 'Greatest of all time' in their particular sport, profession or field. Though we may choose to emulate them as 'role models' , the only one we are called to imitate is Jesus Christ. Our King of kings who left his throne in glory and came down to walk this earth as a man, live a perfect life, humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross then was raised from the dead and is now highly exalted by the Father in glory! All because of His amazing love for us. What kind of king would do this? The one and only true King - Jesus Christ: the Greatest of All Time.
Did you know the word 'Joy' in some form or another, is mentioned 16 times in the book of Philippians? 'Christ' is mentioned 50 times! It is no surprise then that Paul tells us real, everlasting joy is found only in Christ. In response to all that Christ has done for us - how he loves us, how he purchased our salvation and established for us the promise of eternal life through his death and resurrection - we are now called to live our lives in pursuit of unity, humility and generosity. Join us today as we learn how to turn away from living a life of emptiness and begin living a life that is filled with joy!