Digging in Deeper: Philippians 1:20

“…as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Here, Paul is talking about his current physical situation and how some folks are responding to it.  Just before v. 20 here, he talks about people who are sharing the Gospel out of both pure and selfish motives.  Either way, Paul says, the Gospel is proclaimed, which brings him joy.  Verse 20 is followed by his much more famous declaration that to live is Christ, but to die is gain. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Philippians 3:8-11

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith–that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

What would you be willing to do to get the thing you want most?  That kind of question appears in many different contexts.  But, its focus nearly every time is aimed at discovering the lengths to which someone is willing to go to achieve some highly desired end.  And most often, the kinds of things that are imagined for the person to do fall outside and even well beyond the borders of what was previously considered morally acceptable.  But, the goal is sufficiently desirable that violating previously held moral and ethical boundaries is seen as a worthy price to pay.  Consider the basic plot of a story like the Taken trilogy.  A man’s daughter is kidnapped and he makes clear to her kidnappers that he will stop at literally nothing to get her back safely.  The ends in this case justify the means deemed necessary to reach them. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Philippians 1:6

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

This is one of my favorite verses.  It speaks of God’s long term intentions with us.  When He starts something, He doesn’t ever leave it unfinished.  When we give ourselves to Christ, the Holy Spirit begins in us a process by which we will eventually become fully reflective of the image of God in Christ Jesus.  Everything He allows to happen to us from that point forward is aimed at that goal.  They are aimed at growing in us the character of Christ.  They are designed to prune out the dead branches in us in order to make room for the new, live, fruitful branches He has set to growing. Read the rest…