"But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel..." Philippians 1:12.
Well I look at that passage this way, for me personally: I can trust God that my past mistakes and suffering help me to proclaim the gospel. This verse tells us to view the junk in life that has "fallen out" in a hopeful way. No wallowing, just triumphing.
"Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ..." Philippians 1:27
When you read the King James version of the Bible, do you ever feel like you have a lisp? "As it becometh." Lisp or not, we ladies need to seriously dwell on this passage and take it as a command because we are sometimes guilty of not having very nice conversation about other people. Otherwise known as, "gossip." And gothip doth not becometh the gothpel of Chrithst. Tho thtop it.
"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." Philippians 2:3
There's just something irresistible about being right. Am I right?
The Bible is telling us to chill on the strife. God desires for us to not bask in our own vanity, which stirs up strife with people. It's handy that He tells us what He does want us to do after He tells us what He doesn't want us to do: Esteem others as better than ourselves. That'll take care of that right there. Esteeming others as better than yourself, otherwise known as: Jennifer don't get too big for your britches, is not just for ourselves. As Christians if we walk around thinking we're all that, it disgraces the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It's famous Christians in the public eye who ignore passages like this and have no humility, who end up making us all look goofy. Speaking of humble:
I'm his: "...he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death..." Philippians 2:8
Kinda makes you want to be obedient to God's Word. If Christ could willingly die for my sins, I'm up for doing what He asks of me. Whatever it ends up being, isn't gonna be quite as bad as getting nailed to a cross most likely.
"For it is God which worketh in you..." Philippians 2:13
Sometimes as a Mom I feel extremely incapable and inadequate. Then I remember this whole parenting situation is God working in me. He can handle it.
"Do all things without murmurings and disputings" Philippians 2:14.
Also translated: "grumbling or questioning." This reminds me to watch the 'tude. Now we can get vaingloried out and think, Oh please I've got this one covered all day long. I don't murmur or dispute. Enter squinty-eyed facial expression and creepy voice: "Or do I....?" That all depends on how badly I want to get my way about something, and how much it clashes with God's plan. The easy solution to that is, boom, just decide His plans were what I wanted all along. And my big ideas were fruity-tooty.
"Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and serve of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all." Philippians 2:17
Am I that committed to do whatever it takes to serve someone else's faith? Yea. Hoping so. We love big, dramatic sacrifices. Ones that make headlines. Well that's not much of a sacrifice now is it. A real sacrifice would be something that is done quietly and no one ever knows about it but God. It would be pretty cool to be up for that and to find joy in that. Mothers are doing that every day.
"That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings..." Philippians 3:10.
Paul wants to know God above all. So should we. And there's that fellowship of suffering action there, which kind of comes with the territory in being a born-again Christian.
"...but I follow after" Philippians 3:12,
In the margin of my Bible I wrote another translation which is "press on." Let's get cheesy for a moment and seriously compare this "follow after" to the other things we follow after in life. Do we follow after the things of God as much or more than we stare at the accounts we follow on Twitter or Instagram? Do we spend as much time with Him and reading His Word as we do the TV shows we follow, the hobbies we follow, the news we follow?
"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication which thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8
I have made my children write this puppy down on paper when they get all negatah-crazy. I love how the Bible tells us exactly how to have a joyful life. It's right there, the Bible bursting at the seams with wisdom. This is not just airheaded, "Ew just look on the bright side! OMG be chipperrrrrr." It is more than that, it is God telling us how to give Him control of our minds and hearts, rather than our thoughts controlling us. And that's a good thing too because if my thoughts were in control, there would be a whole lot of Oreo cookie eating going on in my world.
"...for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11.
O those who readeth, if we would only pay attention to that bit of wisdom on a regular basis, I think we would all avoid a lot of heartache and drama. I try to look at it like rebellion to God, to resist my circumstances. Here is my life, here is what God has for me, it's time to be content and stop waiting for everything to be the way we want it. It's hard to do, it can take a lifetime to finally reach the point where, whatever's dragging us down or not going our way, we are in the habit of releasing right away and saying: Not controlling me sistah.