Summing Up

TLP

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9

There is a principle in these two verses that I think people tend to miss, one that is critical to healthy and happy living.  These two verses are quoted often, I’ve even heard them quoted to “prove” that we shouldn’t use bad language, but to me, that sort of thing really misses the point. Let’s see if we can find a little more than meets the eye here.

Notice that verse 8 begins with the word “finally.” This should clue us in to the fact that Paul is summing up everything he’s…

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Amazing Admonitions

TLP

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. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Philippians 3:17-21

Here is the exhortation− Paul is urging the people to follow his example, and the example of others who live as he does.  Because of this, it…

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A Living Faith

TLP

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. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Philippians 3:17-21

Here is the exhortation− Paul is urging the people to follow his example, and the example of others who live as he does.  Because of this, it…

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Press On!

TLP

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14

Thus, Paul ties this together for us with a rallying cry that has spanned two millennia, thrilling the followers of Jesus, encouraging all of us to strive to take the gospel to the nations, and moving us to minister to one another in His love.  This is where Paul takes his stand, and this is where we stand with him for the cause of Christ.

All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us…

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The Goal Before Us

TLP

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14

In the verses we covered in the last section, Paul was telling us about giving up his past to follow Christ to salvation and eternal life, and you will recall that he called all of his past accomplishments “garbage” in comparison to what he would gain as a follower of Jesus. Now, in some of the most memorable verses in the whole New Testament, Paul tells…

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You know you’re not going to make it, right?

Meg Sorick, Author/Artist

A writer’s life…

I’ve got a five year plan.

Lately, I’ve become more and more realistic about writing and publishing in this brave new world of authorship. I read a great deal about the self-publishing world and the immense effort it takes for an indie author to stay afloat in this vast sea of writers and self publishers. I watch my fellow writers blog about their Amazon marketing strategies, their Twitter blitzes, their visits to independent bookshops, courting their email subscribers, and writing up monthly or biweekly newsletters. Imagine all the time and energy that takes and it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Frankly, it’s discouraging. Gone are the days when a writer could concentrate on their craft. Poring over their manuscripts by the light of a candle or an oil lamp, gaslight, even. I want to be F. Scott Fitzgerald banging away on the typewriter at the beach…

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Rubbish!

TLP

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

Philippians 3:7-11

We need to be mindful of our context as we begin this text.  Paul, in the preceding verses has been discussing his Jewish resume, his accomplishments, and his former…

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