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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Philippians 3:20

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

For further study - Philippians 3:10-21

The book of Philippians is one of the richest New Testament books you can read. I have a Bible study series that I teach which I have entitled, "Personal Power for Practical People from Philippians". As you may notice, I love alliteration. However, my series title does describe this great little book. I recommend it to you for your own personal Bible study.

To prove my point, just read our extended reading for today and you will see that Paul is looking for the Rapture to happen. This is found in verses 11,20 and 21Verse 11 is the statement of his desire to be called out of the grave if he should die before the Rapture, to then be caught up into the heavens.

The preceding verse reveals how Paul wants to live until the Rapture does happen. Paul's focus is to "know Him" which means to really come to a deep knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Paul also repeats a principle that is available to each of us which he wrote about in his letter to the Ephesians, Ephesians 1:19-20. He wrote the Ephesians that we can know the "power of the Resurrection", this is the power to live today, which we can receive from the Lord, by faith.

Paul knows that there has been much suffering in his life and ministry by the time he writes Philippians and he acknowledges that he wants to be able to understand the "fellowship with Christ" in that suffering.

The bottom line in verse 10 is that he, and we, must be ready to conform to the will of the Lord even as Jesus conformed to His Father's will and died for us on the cross.

Now that is only the first verse of our extended reading. I told you this book was rich. Look atverses 13-14. Paul states that he is focused on the future and what it might hold for us. He says, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." In this verse he refers to the "prize" that he hopes to get at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Therefore, verse 13, he has "one thing" he does. He forgets the past failures and looks to the future and how he can live so that he does get that "prize" at the judgment seat.

Again, I must remind you this is all in the context of Paul's awareness of what he considers, at the time of the writing of Philippians, to be the nearness of the Rapture. Paul reminds us all that our "conversation", our citizenship is not here on earth but is in heaven from where we look for Jesus to call us to be with Him.

It is when the Rapture happens and we go to be with Jesus that these old bodies of ours are changed to be like "His glorious body". What a day that will be, and it could be today that the Rapture happens. Keep looking up!

PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for such a rich passage of Scripture that You have given us through your dear servant Paul. Help me to appropriate all the truths of this passage for my own daily living.