Tag Archives: the book of Philippians

“Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.”  (Philippians 3:17, NIV)

Every person is a “model.”  Some people are examples of what to do; and others are examples of what not to do.

Paul encouraged the disciples in Philippi to follow his own example, and to follow others in the community who live similarly.

Righteous living needs to be encouraged because it often requires making choices that are contrary to the culture; such as, eschewing the love of money, loving our enemies, and being kind to the poor.

If you are discouraged because it seems that you’re alone on the narrow path of righteous living, look around!  When you find a fellow-traveler, keep your eyes on him or her, even if from afar.  – Luther

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“But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Philippians 3:20, NIV)

Today’s verse is taken from a larger scripture passage (Philippians 3:1-21) where Paul addresses the challenges — and the frustrations — in aspiring to live a holy life in the midst of corruption.

We tend to think of “corruption” as a synonym for “evil.”  It is not.

Corruption occurs in any instance where some thing’s (or someone’s) true form or function is shaped or used for a lesser purpose. For example, using a kitchen knife as a screwdriver is a corruption of the design and purpose of the knife. The knife will do the job of driving a screw, but often with permanent damage to the knife tip.  Better to just use the correct tool for the job, right?

We bear the signs of “corruption” in our body and mind.  We are in physical decline, although we are eternal beings.  We dream of heaven’s glories while toiling for the trinkets of earth.  We are citizens of heaven living under the laws of earth.  We were not created for this!

The solution to our corruption is the Savior.  His advent will end our exile.  In the meantime, wait — and work — in faithfulness toward that day.  – Luther

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“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:”.  (Philippians 2:5, NIV)

The thought in today’s verse doesn’t end with the “:”.  Paul goes on to specify the attitudes that reflect the mind of Christ, which are:

a. Regarding gifts as opportunities. . . (Verse 6)  Some gifts you have, and some gifts you are!  Each are given to us for service, not for status!

b. . . . in servitude. . . (Verse 7) “Service” is an act.  On the other hand, “servitude” is a condition.  Do you and I maintain an attitude of servitude in our interactions with others?

c. . . . through humble obedience. (Verse 8)   A star athlete falls short of his or her potential when the coach is not obeyed.  Likewise, we must do, go, and be as the Holy Spirit directs; not for our own glory, but for the glory of God.

Are you cultivating “the same mindset as Christ Jesus” in your relationships with others?  – Luther

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