1Finally, my friends, rejoice in the Lord. I am not being repetitive but I know it is imperative to continually remind you of these truths.
If Paul thought it was imperative to continually review the specific truths presented in this chapter, we must endeavor to study the truths of this chapter in greater depth and frequency.
2Guard yourself against religious watchdogs whose minds are so obsessed with meaningless religious traditions they have lost sight of Christ and do not have a personal relationship with God.
3 Outward circumcision, church attendance or religious devotion will not make you a follower of God. To follow God you must allow Him to circumcise our hearts, enabling you to worship God in spirit and rejoice in the freedom found in Jesus Christ.
Religion is restrictive but discovering a relationship with God leads an individual to complete freedom.
4If anyone could depend on religious traditions to please God it would be me. I was the most law abiding, zealous religious person in all the land.
5My ancestors were Israelites from the tribe of Benjamin. As a true Jew, I was circumcised eight days after birth and joined the elite group of Pharisees who required strict obedience to the Jewish law.
6I was such a passionate Jew, I ruthlessly persecuted the church and perfectly followed the Jewish law.
Religious people always try to preserve traditions and as a result often are in direct opposition to the plans and purposes of God.
7I used to take pride in all my qualifications, but all my accomplishments are worthless compared to Christ.
Compared to Christ every earthly accolade has no value whatsoever.
8Everything else in life is worthless compared to the infinite value of personally knowing my Lord Jesus Christ. Compared to Christ, everything else is useless garbage that I would gladly throw away to gain a deeper relationship with Him.
Though God desires to bless you, like Abraham you must be willing to leave everything behind to follow your Father and pursue a deeper relationship with Him. When you recognize everything in this world is worthless compared to the infinite value of Jesus Christ, then God can abundantly bless you because He knows the blessings will not distract you from following Him. Though God longs to bless us with the infinite wealth of heaven, as a wise Father He will not bless us with earthly wealth if He knows that will distract us from walking in relationship with Him.
9 I long to live every waking moment lost in infinite depths of relationship with Christ. I can not earn this relationship by my own good works but only through a relationship with and complete dependence on Christ. Through my faith in Christ, every area of my life is being conformed to the divine will of my heavenly Father.
Your purpose in life is to spend every waking moment exploring greater depths and heights of relationship with Christ. As you journey deeper into His love, your life will progressively become more conformed to the divine scripted for your life. The deeper your relationship with someone the more you become like them. As you develop a deeper relationship with Jesus you are becoming more like Him with each passing day.
10My sole ambition is to personally know Jesus and daily walk in the power of His resurrection. I want to experience the companionship of suffering with Christ, walking in his shoes to become more like Him.
11 I want to do whatever it takes to experience the resurrection of the dead while in this body.
Paul possessed such a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ, nothing else mattered in life. Paul was so obsessed and in love with Jesus, his every thought was fueled and consumed by developing a closer relationship with His Lord. The sole ambition of Paul’s life was to become more like Jesus and walk in the full power Jesus did when He walked the earth. Paul had such a desperate yearning to know Christ, he refused to settle for anything less than experiencing the full power of the resurrection of the dead while still in his mortal body. Allow Paul’s passion to inspire and compel your heart to walk in unexplored depths of relationship with Christ far beyond what any human being has ever known. Like Paul daily pursue and settle for nothing less than walking in the fullness of Christ’s resurrection power.
12As I am not yet perfect or attained this, I press on to completely fulfill the script God wrote for my life and Jesus has enabled me to fulfill when He rescued me .
This life is a journey to your eternal home. You must refuse to stop anywhere along the way but keep going until you have completed your earthly mission and fully apprehended Christ.
13 My friends, I have not reached the finish line. To reach the finish line fastest, I keep my eyes fixed on the road ahead, completely forgetting and refusing to look back to the past.
As any marathon runner knows the key to winning the race is focusing on the finish line and refusing to look back because it wastes precious time and energy. To live the greatest eternal life you must forget the past and intentionally live every moment focused on completing the earthly mission God has assigned you.
14I devote my entire life, every breath and ounce of strength to pursue the greatest eternal reward that is Christ Jesus himself.
Is your existence completely devoted to pursuing Jesus Christ? What life changes do you need to make to remove all distractions to enable you to live for this sole purpose?
15Those who are spiritually mature possess this clear vision. If you are focusing on anything else, God will make this vision clear to you.
Ask God reveal any areas of your life where you have lost sight of this vision. How can you orchestrate areas of your life such as occupation, friendships and family life to encourage yourself and others to live for the sole purpose of pursuing Jesus Christ.
16You must be faithful to walk in the truth that God has personally revealed to you.
Following God is very easy. You must simply be faithful to follow and walk in the truth He has personally revealed to you. If God tells you to do something, do it. If The Holy Spirit convicts an area of your life be quick to repent and change your ways.
17My friends follow my example and look for others who you can pattern your life after.
Finding wise godly mentors to speak into your life is a catalyst for exponential growth. Think of the wisest most passionate Christians you know and contact the today to request their mentorship.
18 As you already know and I share again with great sorrow, many “believers” lifestyles are in complete opposition and defame the cross of Christ.
19Their god is their own selfish desires and for this reason they are headed to destruction. They always brag about themselves and only think about earthly things.
It is a tragedy in today’s world there are many so called Christians who have defamed the cross of Christ and are misrepresenting God.
20But we are living now as citizens of heaven; always looking for our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Are you living as a citizen of heaven today? Are you aware that you are already seated with Christ in heavenly places? To live as a citizen of heaven today means Christ has become everything to you. All earthy things have become worthless and unimportant and your only purpose is to please Christ and fulfill your earthly mission. Heavenly minded individuals are more focused and determined to compete their earthly missions because they are not distracted by earthly treasures and more aware of the eternal reward that awaits them.
21 He will transform our fragmented earthly bodies to be just like His own glorious body. By His infinite power everything in the universe is under his reign and authority.
This verse awakens within the believer full assurance of complete transformation. The Father’s eternal plan is to completely transform us spirit, soul and body into His nature and likeness. As believers we must endeavor to enter into a greater depth of transformation every day. Daily entreat the Father to awaken your heart to walk in closer relationship and a more complete measure of Jesus’ resurrection power.
Patience – a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings
1 Fully aware you will undergo complete transformation remain permanently fixed in God. My dear friends whom I passionately love, you are my joy and my most precious treasure in this life.
What is most precious to you in life? Every person is willing to die for what is most precious to them. The grace and love of Christ had such an effect on Paul’s heart the only precious to Paul was other believers. Other believers were so precious to Paul, He proclaims many times he would willingly die for them. Ask the Father to awaken a sincere passion for Christians that we would be willing to die for them.
2I am begging you Euodias and Syntyche end your conflict and work together in the Lord.
3And I plead with all the fellow workers in the faith, to help the women who supported me in sharing the gospel. Clement and many other coworkers who assisted me also have their names written in the book of life.
4Continually rejoice in the Lord every moment of your life. This is so important I will repeated it again, always rejoice.
Do you spend every waking moment rejoicing in the Lord? Many take this command far too lightly but it was so important Paul had to repeat it. God is not telling is to put a smile on and pretend to be happy despite unfavorable circumstances. Don’t allow your circumstances determine your joy. Do not search for joy and fulfillment in your earthly life. Instead find joy in walking in relatios
5Let your life be a living testimony of moderation because the Lord is very near.
If you knew the Lord was returning tomorrow how would it change how you live today? When you wake up in the morning ask yourself how would I live knowing this is the final day in the history of the world. Since the Lord is near and may arrive at any time we should live every day like this.
6Do not worry about anything. Instead surrender and ask for God’s help in every detail of your life. When you pray always remember to thank God for his continued faithfulness.
Remembering God’s past faithfulness affirms the goodness of the Father who will always answer the prayers of His children.
7As you surrender your life to God in prayer and rest in Christ, God’s peace which transcends all the problems of life will keep your heart and mind in complete tranquility.
Do you believe God’s peace can keep your heart in complete tranquility in any situation? If you don’t believe this then you need to pray for a greater revelation of God. Since Jesus knew His Father at such a profound depth, He could rest sound asleep on the waves of a ferocious storm that terrified the disciples. Your Father desire to keep your heart in perfect peace so you never have to worry again. Will you surrender all areas of worry and abide resting in the presence of your Father’s perfect peace.
8Guard the doors to your thought life. Only permit thoughts that are glorifying to God, true, honorable, just, pure, uplifting, morally good, and acceptable to God.
What thoughts do you allow through the door of your mind? Unless they fit the criteria offered in this verse then you must not tolerate any rouge thought.
9Put into practice what I have taught you and the God of peace will be permanently take up residence in your hearts.
How desperately do you desire the abiding presence of God. When you truly desire His presence morning than anything in life, then you will avoid anything that might offend or inhibit the Father from living in your heart.
10I am so thankful to God for the love and support you have given me. I know you have always cared for me but did you did not have the chance to express how deeply you care for me.
11 I am not saying this so you will give me more. For I have learned to be content in all circumstances.
12I have lived both in poor and rich circumstances. I have learned to the secret of living a content life in any situation whether I am in poverty or riches.
The key to experience joy and happiness in life is learning to be content in every situation. As circumstances will arise that will make us sad, the only way to be happy in every situation is to avoid basing our joy on our life circumstances. Instead of deriving your joy and happiness from earthly experiences base your joy on your relationship with and salvation in Jesus Christ. When Jesus is the source of your joy, you will never experience a moment or circumstance where you cannot help but rejoice. Deriving your joy from Jesus is essential to experiencing fulfillment in life. If your joy is based on any other source you spend the majority of your life disappointed and depressed.
13With Christ empowering me, I supersede human ability and am able to do anything.
If Jesus is empowering you, there are mo limitations to what you can accomplish. Your Father desires to awaken your heart and raise your expectations to realize as His child He is daily empowering you to supersede and live far beyond your human capabilities. Your Father is yearning, when will you wake up and realize the unlimited divine potential you possess as a child of God.
14However, I am also thankful for your support in my challenging circumstances.
15Since I began sharing the gospel no church has financially support me except for you in Philippi.
16Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent me help multiple times.
17I am not saying this because I want you to give more but I am excited about the eternal reward God will give you for your generosity.
God will reward our lives based on our ability to most efficiently use our earthly resources to build His kingdom. Many individuals are hesitant give too much because they have other investment opportunities. However, in light of all earthly investments are poor decisions because they provide zero eternal return. Investing in eternity is the only investment yielding eternal returns.
18For I have more than I need after receiving the gifts you sent me through Epaphroditus. Your gifts are like fragrant incense and a sacrifice that makes your heavenly Father smile.
19Beause of your faithfulness God has already provided for all your needs from the infinite wealth of heaven which you have access to through Jesus Christ.
When you use our resources to further God’s kingdom, you can know with full assurance your heavenly Father with take care of and provide for your every need.
20All honor and glory to God our heavenly Father for all eternity. Amen.
21Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus and all the believers with me wish you well.
22The rest of God’s children also send greetings salute you, especially those of Caesar’s household.
23The divine empowerment of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.