This leader is always pleading for maturity and integrity and serving responsibly and each of these characteristics is so needed in today society and environment.
He is pleading with us all. No matter how far you have come, live up to what you have received from, and be open to receive whatever He has for you.
Having been reading and studying carefully and prayerfully this outstanding letter to the Philippians these are some of my discoveries and finding and conclusions. Do take time and make time to read it through.
In Chapter 3 and at verse 17, Paul says a very courageous thing, but that was his nature in Christ. I have given you an example. I have presented before you a pattern for living. How many would be wiling to say that type of thing.
Other brothers are following that pattern.
We give the pattern and ask those around us to follow that. These are indeed brave bold courageous words, but that is what is involved in dynamic leadership.
And then he speaks about what was breaking his heart, and causing him to weep.
That was his nature too in Christ! Many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.
They are denying the reason or reasons for why Jesus died on the cross.
They are denying the need to be washed in the blood of Christ and to be forgiven and to walk in the light, and today people even deny the necessity of being 'born again'.
They are not against Jesus. Jesus feeds and heals and comforts and gives light. Very few people are against Jesus, but the Cross! Ah, that is different.
Paul identifies their destiny and destruction, and Paul then identifies their god which is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame!
Their way of life has become a way of death. It will kill them.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of Jesus Christ should produce life and regeneration, and not degeneration and destruction!
Bodily appetites came before spiritual desires. It is what comes first that we worship. Gluttony is a real sin. The body is a good servant but a bad master.
Which is in control? Their mind was on earthly things.
It is possible for those in Christ to get locked into this planet, and to the fridge or the cupboard, or to the house or the car.
We need to remember that all these are going to pass away. They are temporal and temporary.
Their end is destruction and they glory in their sin.
Paul links all of this to the cross of Christ.
When we take our eyes off the cross of Christ all kinds of values and standards and priorities are turned upside down. This leader knew all about the psychology of sin too. He was aware of all the subtle dangers.
Our citizenship is in heaven. Paul is saying something very meaningful here.
They were also Roman citizens. Their name was registered with Rome, but because you belong to Jesus Christ, your name is also registered in heaven.
Roman colonies always wanted and liked when the Emperor visited them.
From around 48 B.C. the Roman emperor was called "the saviour of mankind".
People hailed Caesar, and they welcomed him. Compare it to what our society will do if there is a Royal Visit in the United Kingdom.
We eagerly await our Saviour to visit us, and just in case there is any doubt as to whom Paul is meaning, he names Him and that name is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu