Friday, July 5, 2013

a study in Philippians 4: practice makes perfect (part 11)

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. (Philippians 4:9)

And the God of peace will be with you. For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11b-13)

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)


We've reached the end of our study in Philippians 4. Paul has charged every Christian to rejoice in the Lord always, allowing His love and gentleness to be evidently seen through us. He has called us to relax in the Savior... to not be anxious or worry about our future, but rather spend our days focusing on the unique and kingdom-building blessings of our eternal hope in the Lord. He shows us why we must always glorify God's presence and acknowledge His truth, nobility, righteousness, purity, loveliness, admiralty, excellence, and praiseworthiness.

But now, the most important lesson of all is about to be laid out. Here, the apostle will teach us that the consideration of these evidences, and the worship of our Savior, will indeed guarantee us peace... will certainly give us strength... and will definitively meet all our needs. But here's the thing... we must put our faith into practice. We must not only think about such things, but we must live them. We must believe that this is our new Way of life -- the new path that Jesus has given us to follow. There is no more room for excusing sin. There is not a place where grumbling is acceptable. No, we are to always... ALWAYS... rejoice!!!! We are to always be gentle as we showcase God's holy house within us and be pleased to meditate on and share His majesty with anyone we meet. We are to live as ambassadors, representing His throne... representing a new economy... a new people.

Even when faced with every brokenness produced from the sin of this corrupt world, we must still choose to stand firm in Christ. Yes, we are to cling to the security of our Redeemer and know that we can surely rejoice in His newness, no matter what happens in our day-to-day. Why? Because Jesus abides closely in us. He has given us what we need when we live in practice of seeking Him. He strengthens us as we remain strong in His characteristics. And He graciously provides moment-by-moment glimpses of His perfect glory that yes... one day we will fully see and know completely in His presence! Read Paul's words from earlier chapters and consider his only focus...

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. (Philippians 3:7-9)

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. 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 live up to what we have already attained. 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 3:13b-21)

Ladies, we are to "take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5) We are to always rejoice in the Lord and love love love love LOVE because His Way guarantees us a full and peaceful LIFE! Let us take to heart Paul's instruction and put into practice a life that honors Jesus' Name. After all, practice makes perfect, right?

So, forget the old way... put it behind you. Let's press on toward the goal and win that prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. For as Peter so eloquently agreed later in scripture, "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:3-8)

Yes, today is the day to be an active participant in God's divine nature! Jesus is our beloved, and we are His! So, let's allow the Master to build our faith strong as we obediently and deliberately put into practice His goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, affection, and love. Let us rejoice and think about ALL HE IS while allowing His gentle, transforming grace to change all we once were! For, ladies... to live is Christ! There can be nothing else. There can be no one else.

Come... let us unite and fully know His complete and satisfying perfection, shall we? Come... let us put into practice our adoration and complete devotion only to Jesus, the King of kings!!!!

Blessings!

~Victoria

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