On Philippians

Dave Black writes:

Why Philippians? The Philippian church was riddled with factions and rent by cliques. Unable to get along with each other, they took refuge in the alibi that unity was not really all that important. The fact is, their priority system was faulty. During WW II, our national leaders had a lot to say about “hyphenated Americans,” German-Americans, for example, whose loyalty was divided between Germany and the U.S. Too many churches today have become hyphenated because their loyalty is divided between the Gospel and something else. We talk glibly about “God and country.” Or else our loyalty is first of all to “our church” and then to the universal kingdom of God. We place temporal value on eternal things and eternal value on temporal things, like padded pews and lush carpets. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not calling for perfect Christians. Neither is the apostle Paul (see Phil. 3:12 ff.). There are no perfect Christians, but there can be undivided loyalty. The real message of Philippians is not about joy. It’s about priorities, about what comes first and foremost in our lives. “The only thing that matters,” says Paul, “is that you live together as good citizens of heaven in a way that the Gospel of Christ requires” (1:27).

I agree completely that the oft piped theme of joy isn’t really the theme of Philippians but rather the need for unity in the body for the sake of the gospel!  Thanks Dr Black for sharing!

Happy New Year! 2013

Hope you have a Happy and Blessed New Year!

I wanted to share a FB post from Frank Macchia (I hope he won’t mind):

Okay, I couldn’t resist. My seven words of wisdom for the new year:

1) Doing your best varies from circumstance to circumstance, so learn to celebrate small successes.
2) Failures reveal something about you but will kill you if you cling to them, so throw them away once they’ve divulged their hidden treasures.
3) Generosity is the most underrated and neglected joy in life; hoarding the most overrated pleasure.
4) What you say to someone is often filtered through that person’s past experience, so a hostile response rarely has much to do with you.
5) Take each task on your plate every day as an opportunity to show gratitude for all that you’ve received so freely. The daily grind will flow much more smoothly.
6) Resting, dreaming, enjoying, and contemplating is not a waste of time if you value your creativity. Resist the tyranny of production.
7) Put to death in you that which cannot be improved in your goal of following Christ. Real change depends on this.

I think these are wise words and well worth your consideration!