In Paul’s closing statement to the Philippian Church three statements stand out: I accept all, (4:11-12), “I can do all,” (13 KJV), and “I have all,” (18 KJV). How can we emulate such faith? Here are some suggestions:
1. Surrender each day. “I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices …” (Rom 12:1 NIV). Begin your day by surrendering to God.
2. Pray each day. Get alone with God and pray the acronym: Praise, Repent, Ask and Yield.
3. Renew your mind each day. “… Be transformed by the renewing of your mind …” (Rom 12:2 NIV). Do this through a systematic reading of the Bible.
4. Guard your day. “Whatever is true … noble … right … pure … lovely … admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think on these things,” (Phil 4:8 NIV). Deal with impure thoughts instantly; don’t cultivate them.If they take root and grow they will rob you of your joy. Deal with impure thoughts by memorizing the Word of God.
5. Remember this as you go through your day: Jesus first, others second, yourself last!
It’s a Battle,
Someone said, “Somewhere, somehow, man has business with God, and that man fulfills his highest destiny only as he submits himself to the call of God.” Well said, but here’s the rub: The one taboo subject in refined society is God; except in a profane way.
The reason for this taboo is sin. Show me someone who is afraid of talking about God, and I will show you someone who is in broken fellowship with God because of sin. Sin manifests itself in hundreds of ways in life, but it is the sole reason for the lack of discussion about God.
You doubt my statement? Look at the chaos in the world. It’s because man is out of harmony with the creator, and man out of harmony with the creator is at odds with everything in creation. The Bible points this out, “The carnal mind is enmity against God,” and “Natural man does not know the things of God.”
In God things hold together, and Christ is the image of God. Therefore, in Christ things harmonize. As a person submits to Christ piece comes to piece, joint comes to joint, life fits together, and a person’s destiny is reached.
Paul often used the word citizenship in his letters. In the 1st century citizenship meant being a good citizen of a nation. Even if a person lived hundreds of miles away from Rome, they were expected to act as a good Roman citizen.
The Christian has citizenship in heaven and earth. Our citizenship in heaven ought to make us a better citizen on earth. As a heavenly citizen we should not be attracted to things of this world, for our focus should be on eternal values and not passing fads.
When Jesus returns he will, “subdue all things unto himself,” (Phil 3:21b KJV). This word subdue means, “to arrange in ranks.” Isn’t that our problem today? We do not arrange things in their proper order. Consequently we waste our life on useless activities that cloud our vision so that the return of Christ is not a real motivating power in our lives.
A citizen of heaven lets Christ Jesus arrange the things in their life according to their proper rank. This means we live with eternity’s values in view, and dare to believe God’s promise that “He that does the will of God abides forever” (1John 2:17).
Everyone seems to agree that all we have to do to reach God is fly a little straighter, pray a little harder, live more nobly, become more religious, and perform more charitable deeds. What is the idea behind this thinking? It simply is the thought that we are piling up enough positive things in our lifetime that in the end of our life we will somehow be entitled to live in the presence of a Holy God.
What an eye opener are the words of the prophet that point out the foolishness of such an idea, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isa 64:6).
I must be candid, at one time I too was absolutely certain that the way to gain God’s favor was to perform, achieve, and strive. Then one day I met the Son of God in a powerful way and learned that the only way to gain his favor was to accept his gift of grace. Upon accepting his grace my soul was overwhelmed by His peace and love. On that day He put an end to my useless striving, and changed my entire world.