Paul’s letter to the Philippians is one hundred and four verses filled with encouragement and joy. Paul didn’t write this letter to explain deep theology or to deal with any particular sin. Rather, his purpose was to express love for his friends and to encourage them (and us) to live a joy-filled Christian life.
In chapter one, Paul encourages us that God’s work in us WILL continue; “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (1:6). In chapter two, we are encouraged to “do everything without complaining or arguing” (2:14).
In chapter three, Paul inspires us to be forward-looking in our walk with Christ; “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal” (3:13-14). Finally, in chapter four, Paul writes some of my personal favorites; “Rejoice in the Lord always!” (4:4); “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (4:12); and, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (4:13).
But buried within these wonderful words of encouragement is probably the most valuable and applicable message for our daily journey with Christ.
“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Paul had the gospel message living in him and shining through him every moment of every day. But he never would have learned “the secret” of rejoicing and being content in all situations if he had just learned “about” the gospel. Although it’s wise, and very useful, to study and even memorize God’s Word, His peace and contentment – His joy – will never be real until we actually apply His Word to our life on a daily basis: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).
We must NEVER be just hearers of the Word who become puffed up with Bible knowledge. We must never preach Biblical truths yet fail to apply these truths in our own life and draw ever closer to our Heavenly Father. Jesus accused many of the Jews around Him of making this same mistake: “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life” (John 5:39-40).
Let’s never stop with just loving His Word or His “activities.” Let’s love HIM with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And let’s express our love by obediently following the leading of His Spirit out into the world, as we take what we daily receive and put it into practice.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries