My (very slow) study of the book of Philippians continues!
I just love what he wrote in verses 8-11:
I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him,.. that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.Philippians 3:8-11
There is a lot in those verses but I focused more on Paul’s pursuit of Christ. We should also want to live in pursuit of knowing Him and becoming like Him; in growing to have a heart of obedience, servitude and humility. To do this, we should renounce anything that competes with Him being what we treasure the most. He is everything!
But we won’t know Christ as we should until we have shared in His suffering.
We have to take up our cross daily. It’s hard to imagine that Paul would write about joy and rejoicing while imprisoned, but this is how we rejoice in the Lord. He is our joy! He is the object and basis of our joy. He is why we have joy, because of our saving faith, which He graciously granted.
In the second part of this chapter, verses 12-24, Paul continues to talk about his focus which is one of knowing christ and pressing on forward in the faith.
one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.Philippians 3:13-14
Scripture tells us that we have assurance of faith, yet we’re also encouraged to persist in the process of sanctification. Always straining forward, forgetting what we left behind us and focusing on those things that serve growing in faith and obedience. This is a race that we can run confidently because we know that He’s got us!
Pauls tells us that those who are mature in the faith should have this mindset – of desiring to know and become like Christ – and living that way. But if we don’t, God will reveal that to us.
We’re all growing in the faith; none of us has arrived. Each of us should live by whatever truth we’ve attained so far. Knowing, and understanding, this should help us to show grace to our brothers and sisters in the faith, because we are all at different places in our growth.
Paul wraps us this passage with encouraging the Philippians to imitate him in his imitation of Christ. Imitate his passion, his walk, and his mindset which is one that is set on heavenly things. He also tells them to keep their eyes also on other people who are doing the same, because their example will inspire and encourage them to live the same way. Again, who and what we focus on is so very important!
The passage wraps up with a reminder that we are not of this world. We are citizens of Heaven, that is our home. Our way of life, our customs, traditions, beliefs, values, etc. should be defined by our citizenship, not by the world we are currently living in.
That wraps up this portion of Philippians. Check out the commentary by John Piper on DesiringGod.org for Philippians which I’ve found very helpful in my study. The planner spreads were created using the Color Story 2 (no longer available) and Detailed Florals sticker books by The Happy Planner. See the video below for how it all comes together.
I hope you’re encouraged to live to know Christ and to dig into His word yourself.
Joy & Peace, Sister!