Morning Musing: Philippians 4:6-7

“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

A week of peace isn’t a bad thing to have. My hope and prayer is that as we have explored the idea of biblical peace this week you have been encouraged and even inspired to do the things necessary to experience more of it in your life. Last week ended on the high note of the video of Meredith Andrews’ wonderful version of Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus. This week, we’ll try that again. If you’ll suffer me a couple of comments on one of my favorite passages of Scripture, we’ll end this week with another song that I think ably captures our virtues of the week. Thanks for being with me this week.

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Good Habits

Last week we confronted the uncomfortable reality that we are often not fine in this life. This week we start to explore a solution. How can we keep the hard emotions that so often bring us down at bay before they have a chance to do their dirty work? We learn the secret from something Paul wrote when he was in some pretty dark times himself. Check this out with me.

Good Habits

I am a man of habits. It’s just part of my personality. I operate best in conditions that are customary and repetitive. Maybe you’re the same, maybe you’re different, but that’s simply my personality type. And when it comes to personality types, there’s no one type that’s particularly right or particularly wrong. At least…that’s what I keep telling myself. No, each personality type comes with advantages and disadvantages. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses. For me, when something is a habit, I’m dependable. Now, I’m sometimes forgetful, but once something is locked into a habit, you can count on my doing it. On the other hand, I can be boring; especially if you have the kind of personality that prefers a bit more variety.

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Morning Musing: Philippians 3:8

“More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ…”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

What are you most proud of in this life? What is your prized possession? Those may or may not be the same thing, but that doesn’t matter right now. What is it that gets you the most excited? What if you lost all of that? Is there anything that could salve the wound and make it better? Would you ever be okay again without it? Paul here gives us the assurance that you could be. In fact, if you would count yourself a follower of Jesus, you should be.

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Morning Musing: Philippians 2:5-8

“Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death–even to death on a cross.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Yesterday, we talked about something that could completely changed the world if we put it into practice: Putting others first and ourselves second. If we just took that one idea and ignored the rest of the Scriptures, our world would never be the same and infinitely better than it is now. But doing that kind of thing seems extreme beyond the pale. I mean, who really has done that kind of thing in a way that mattered? And besides, as we finished up asking, what if the interests of the people around us are contrary to our own? Paul realizes these instructions were pretty big to try and follow and so he goes on to offer an example. It’s a pretty good example. Let’s look at it.

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Digging in Deeper: Philippians 2:3-4

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

When was the last time you came across someone who was truly humble? That’s not a virtue we see very often nowadays, especially from people who spend their lives in the spotlight. More than that, it’s not a virtue that’s taught as something worth striving for in the first place. Instead, the message we have preached at us from every direction is that we need to look out for ourselves. We need to work to advance our own interests. We need to toot our own horn because if we don’t, no one else is going to do it for us. We are told that we are the most important person in the world and should behave accordingly. This trend was all sold to us as something positive. So…what have the results been?

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