Read Philippians Chapter 3. What is Paul warning the church to watch out for? Paul writes that he places no “confidence in the flesh.” What does that mean? Do we do that today with certain practices or criteria? Paul was focused on his goal – the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Reaching a goal means saying “no” to some things in order to say “yes” to others. Where have you had to do this in your life? What is your goal?
Verse 18 refers to those who walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Who are these people and what are they doing?
I have always felt convicted where Paul writes in verse 17 “Join in following my example.” I did not feel I could say that about my life because it is too untidy with doubts, sin and self with many questionable choices. Here is a quote from the Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson that fits right in with what Paul is saying and my concern that I do not perfectly reflect Jesus. “We can’t model perfection because we’re not perfect; we can only model growth. The people around us need to know we are real people who are in the process of becoming like Christ. They need to know how we handle failure as well as how we handle success.” (page 168)
I heard this song for the first time on the radio and wanted to share.
5 thoughts on “Follow me….”
One of my goals….
To know the Living Word (Jesus) through his written word (the Bible) so I can be his word lived out and to encourage and equip others to do the same.
Those are inspiring thoughts you shared, Lynn. Along that same line is the bumper sticker “not perfect, just forgiven” or something like that. We can’t really attain that state of perfection until we go to live with Jesus…in the meantime we’ve got that assurance of being accepted as we are and given that chance in our weakness to live fully for our savior.
Paul warns about those who want to “snuff out Truth” and silence Christians. I recently saw the movie God’s Not Dead 2, and there was a prosecuting attorney who represented one of those who want to silence Christians. Although this story is fiction, it depicted reality today.
Those who scrutinize pastors about what they preach in the pulpit also represent the dogs and evil workers mentioned in Philippians 3:2.
I pray that people would see Christ in me, as I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. What does Christ in me look like? Often there are non believers who do many of the same things Christians do…………..cook a meal for someone in need or who is sick, help the aged, have compassion on the poor, give to charitable organizations, are honest, etc. Am I seen as another person doing a good deed, or is Christ visible in me? What makes Christ stand out in a vessel of God? Am I closely in tune with Jesus that He is shining through this vessel as He is battling against the rulers, the powers, the world forces, darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness….(Eph. 6:12)
I think how you wrote” He is shining through this vessel as He is battling against the powers of darkness” places the emphasis on the proper subject Jesus doing the work through us. I tend to put myself as the subject thinking what does God want me to do rather than what does God want to do in or through me.
Earlier I entered 2 paragraphs commenting on “Follow Me” when poof! the post disappeared. Here is my second try at this.
Paul is writing in Philippians 3 about what can substitute for the real thing, and that is laws, rules and actions which may detract from the simple truth of regarding Jesus Christ as the one way to salvation. He paid the price for our sin once and for all with his redeeming blood. Paul further considers as “rubbish” his own status, learning and achievements. To him, it is far more fulfilling to live knowing Christ as saviour.
In our modern age, the things we do, the goals we have usually preoccupy us far more than needed. Consider that anything which takes Jesus away from front and center shortchanges our worship and knowledge of him, and it provides an idea of how easily we can get off track. Substituting church, Christian service or experience, a list of rules, or even the Bible for the person of Christ are ways of perverting Christianity.
In application, I am guilty of displacing Christ from center and having other pursuits as priority. It is an ultimate goal that Christ lives and shines through me by my thoughts, words, and actions. But I stumble time and again, feel remorseful, ask forgiveness. It is reassuring knowing how Christ still gives second chances, and third, and fourth ones when needed.
Verse 18 refers to people who claimed to be Christians but didn’t live it. Like me.
When there is a chance to live out my faith following Christ’s example of serving others, I have overlooked or let the occasion pass many times. All because other “priorities” take precedence. I hope the insignificant but genuine outreaches that I did extend, do matter.