Scripture: Philippians 2:14-16
Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.
Insights: After God has done a work IN us, we are now able, in His power, to let God work OUT OF us in this world. Paul starts off with some negative issues that were a part of the Philippian church. They had a group of grumblers and disputers in their midst. These individuals ran in vain seeking to have their own will and way. So, Paul instructs us to not live that sort of life and proceeds to give us a fivefold method to live life out of joy. Paul often times uses the technique found in these verses today. He starts with the end product and leads us to the beginning point. So, let me reverse the order and start where it begins and bring it to the proper conclusion. Step one, hold fast to the world of life. I know I sound like a broken record when it comes to this issue, but it is because the Bible itself is so dogmatic regarding it. We absolutely must have time EVERY DAY in God’s Word. If we don’t spend time in His Word, we are not able to do the rest of these four steps. We need a hunger for God’s Word. After we have received instruction from the Bible, we are able to do step two, live a life above reproach. In other words, our actions, even when we are by ourselves match what we claim to believe. Because we are living lives above reproach, we are then identified with the third step, which is our innocence. We don’t have to experience sin first hand to know that something is sinful. Because God’s Word tells us it is sinful and because we are living a life above reproach we can remain innocent of the sin by drawing near to God and refusing to sin. When we do that we are living an innocent life, which leads to the fourth step, our blamelessness. In other words, we are now, because of God’s work IN us, blameless before God. From that standpoint we are now equipped to do the last step, living as lights in the world.
- Is your life characterized by the negative aspects of these verses?
- Does your life follow the cyclical pattern Paul described that leads to joy?
Prayer: Father, forgive me for the times in which I am a grumbler, disputer and one running in vain for the pleasures of my heart. May my life be characterized by Your attributes and let me know perfect joy. Amen.