In reading one of Paul’s letters to the church of Philippi, I was inspired by the charge that Paul gave to its church members. In the book of Philippians, I recognized the challenge to inspire the people in the church to be greater and to develop into better people. Here are some summary thoughts on the insights that I found from this charge and wanted to share this same challenge with you. I hope that you can take this as your Philippians plan of action and put it into practice this next week.
1. Be humble by putting others first. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
2. Do not complain. “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.” Philippians 2:14-16
3. Know Christ because He is everything you need. “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish 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 through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” Philippians 3: 7-9
4. Forget the past, and develop your future. “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
5. Instead of worrying, ask God for help. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
6. Extend gratitude to those who have helped you on your journey. “I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me…Yet it was good for of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need.” Philippians 4:10, 4:14-16
Growing in our relationship with God requires action, and putting His love for us into action to those around us. Growing spiritually means that it asks us to push ourselves outside our comfort zone and discover those places that cause weakness or discomfort. It is then our responsibility to not only be self-aware, but to find opportunities to challenge ourselves to grow in those areas. Whether it is putting the Philippians Action Plan into practice or finding your inspiration of challenge within the Bible, it is important to do something and not remain stagnant in your growth. I think that was the intent behind Paul’s letters. He wanted to help others become better people, better doers of the word, and better leaders of their community.
What’s your action plan?