When I was reading Paul’s letter to the Philippians today, there were quite a few verses that stood out to me. Indeed, there are some verses in this letter that should be familiar to you. Therefore, I’m going to go through the verses that stood out to me and comment on each as the Lord leads me.

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

When we’re feeling discouraged about ourselves and our walk with the Lord, this is a good verse to remember. It’s also important to note that Paul doesn’t say the work that God started in us will be finished within our lifetime. Paul says this work will go on “until the day of Christ Jesus.” This tells me that the Lord’s work in me won’t be done until He calls me home. If you’re like me, then you might look at yourself sometimes, and not like everything you see. This verse tells me I’m never going to like everything I see when I look in the mirror. It’s when I look in the mirror and think I’m perfect that I have to be careful.

As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

Philippians 1:13-14 (NIV)

Paul’s behavior, while he was in prison, wasn’t atypical of someone in prison. He never stopped preaching about Christ while he was in chains for preaching about Christ. This testimony showed those who didn’t know Jesus that He was worthy to be praised. Even if the one doing the praising was in chains for Him. Those Believers who saw Paul’s faith were encouraged and not afraid to preach the Gospel.

How we suffer in our circumstances is noticed by those around us. This is why we don’t want to profess our salvation and faith in Christ and then be found whining and complaining when bad things happen. It sends a mixed message, not about our faith, but about Christ. People don’t look at a Christian behaving hypocritically and think the hypocrisy doesn’t go any further. No, instead, they think all Christians behave that way. Conversely, when we suffer with dignity and faith, we can bolster the faith of those around us who also believe.

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Philippians 1:21 (NIV)

While we’re alive, we ought to live for Jesus. Everything we do ought to be Christ-centered. There’s nothing to gain from this world that we’re taking with us when we leave. Therefore, we ought to live in such a way that Christ is glorified in and through us. When we die, we gain our real reward. To be with the Lord for eternity.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)

I don’t know about you, but the biggest problem in my life is the guy looking at me in the mirror. It’s not my job, my car, or any of the things I might try and assign blame to. Part of the problem is how much I focus on myself. However, when I stop thinking about myself and start serving other people, my problems melt away. Oh sure, they’re still there, but they don’t seem as big in the light of helping other people.

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.

Philippians 3;13 (NIV)

The only time we should be looking at the things in our past is when we’re looking at how far God has brought us. Think about this, when you’re walking, running, or driving somewhere, do you look at where you just came from? Of course not, if you did, you’d fall down, run into something, or be in an accident! Why then, are there times when we’re paying more attention to what happened yesterday instead of focusing on today? We can’t change yesterday nor anything else we’ve already lived through. On the other hand, we don’t worry about tomorrow either. We can look forward to tomorrow by doing what God has for us today!

I enjoy reading the epistles of Paul because within them are found many of the doctrinal beliefs we follow as Christians. While we can, and should, grab hold of individual Scripture, it’s much better to read the letters Paul wrote to better understand why he wrote them. When we do so, we’ll find that we have a lot in common with our brothers and sisters of old.

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.