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Friday, May 5, 2017

Philippians 2:16

Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

For further study - Philippians 2:1-16

For a number of years I was in a ministry that used our key verse as its theme verse, "holding forth the word of life", Philippians 2:16. I will get back to that great Biblical directive in a moment.

Our extended reading for today is packed with "practical principles" for Christians in a world like ours for today. Remember, Paul is in jail in the household of the Roman Emperor Caesar, Philippians 4:22, and the apostle writes to those he led to the Lord in Philippi how to live this new life.

Let's look at the list of directives Paul passed along to the Philippian Christians and to us for today. Philippians 2:3 reveals to us how to do the work not for our own glory, vainglory, but in lowliness of mind as we look to lift up others.

In fact, Philippians 2:4 tells us not to look out for ourselves but to look to help others. The truth of the matter is that this type of lifestyle can be accomplished only by having a Christ-like mind for thinking right, Philippians 2:5.

Often we have opportunity to learn how to be a leader and fail to look at the one true leader, Jesus Christ, who thought himself of no reputation, and became a servant. Serving others is the true path to leadership. This insight is in Philippians 2:7 which also talks about the "God-man" who came to leadership that way. Obedience, even in the hard task, is the best way to accomplish the ultimate plan.

Philippians 2:8, a passage that shows us that Jesus followed that pattern, is an exhortation for each of us. Philippians 2:14 is one of the hardest verses to appropriate for our daily lives, or at least it is for me.

Paul tells us to do all things, which means "all" things without murmuring and disputing. To follow this profound principle will make us blameless, harmless, and a shining light in our very dark world, Philippians 2:15.

Now we come back to our key verse, Philippians 2:16, which tells us how we must be at the return of our Lord, the day of Christ. We can rejoice in that day and know that we did not run the race of life in vain.

We are prepared for His return as we "hold forth the word of life". It is His word on how to get saved, live our daily lives, and anticipate His return.

Philippians is a great book with personal power for practical people.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to learn practical principles from Your word, dear Lord, and then let Your word produce Your life within me.