Friday, May 13, 2016

many things, in a few short verses

There's just so much in the short 4 chapters of Paul's letter to the followers of Jesus in the city of Philippi.

Here's some selected verses that stood out from where I read this morning in chapter 3.

Philippians 3

7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.

(dan note: Paul was a Pharisee, the macdaddy holy & conformers to the law – you couldn't get any higher in the echelons of Jewish life than a Pharisee.)

8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

For his sake I have discarded everything else,

(dan note: Paul's talking about his strict observance of Jewish religious law),

counting it all as garbage,

so that I could gain Christ

9 and become one with him.

I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law;

rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.

For God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith.

10 I want to know Christ

and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.

I want to suffer with him,

sharing in his death,

11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

(dan note: Paul wanted to suffer for Jesus – today we feel just the opposite – sometimes it feels like we're so busy guarding our “religious freedoms” of privilege that we miss what we're supposed to be all about – loving God & loving others)

12 I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection.

But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.

13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing:

Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,

14 I press on to reach the end of the race

and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

(dan note: let's remember that Paul had a LOT to forget from his past – he approved the stoning of Stephen & persecuting followers of Jesus, throwing them in prison, & having them executed – Paul as Saul was NOT a nice guy!)

  17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.

18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ.

19 They are headed for destruction.

Their god is their appetite,

they brag about shameful things,

and they think only about this life here on earth.

(dan note: do you know anyone like that today? Yeah... so do I. I know so many people who are doing so many things, people who give in totally to their “appetites” & truly do “shameful things.”)

20 But we are citizens of heaven,

where the Lord Jesus Christ lives.

And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.

21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own,

using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

SO MANY power things in those few verses – read them again – there's a lot of things we'l miss with just one read through - read it again.

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