#DailyDevotion Follow Paul’s Example
.Php 3:17-19 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. (18) For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. (19) Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
Paul enjoins the Philippians to imitate him and those he walk according the example he gave them. One might wonder what was that example and how we might imitate Paul. In chapter two he gives a number of ways. Verses 1-2 he reminds them to be of the same mind. They are to believe and teach the same things. Then he tells them, (3) “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (4) Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” He invokes the humility of Christ as the example of this as Jesus thought more of us than himself. He calls them to work out their salvation without grumbling and disputing. Paul continues to admonish them to live for the people around them and not selfishly. In chapter three he talks of how he presses on toward the goal of our salvation as it if depended upon our works but always remembering it is the gift of God in Christ Jesus.
On the other hand we warns against those who bear the name of Christian but are the enemies of the cross of Christ. Humility, self-sacrifice, denying oneself, hating the suffering that cross of Christ brings us marks their actions and their speech. They are of the health, wealth and prosperity preachers of the day. They are those who seek their own good first. They want others to honor them and to serve them. Their goal is their best life now and forget the upward call of God in Christ Jesus for the world to come. They only look to feed their bellies at your expense. The things that would bring shame to Christians they believe are the things they should get glory for. Their concerns is for worldly things and not the world to come. You are called to avoid such people.
Paul further tells us how to imitate him and those he believes who walk as the example he gave. He reminds them to rejoice always. We are called not to be anxious but by prayer, petitions and thanksgiving present our request to God. He calls us to think on excellent things and to be content with what we have and what we are going through. He calls us to rely upon our Lord Jesus Christ to provide us strength for the day that presents itself to us. Such is the example of Paul. Shall we be examples of this to our fellow Christians to follow?
Heavenly Father, grant us your grace always to follow Jesus’ and Paul’s examples in our own lives that we may be examples to others you call to the faith of Christ Jesus and to avoid the ways of those who are enemies of Christ’s cross. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.