Today we started reading Paul’s letter to the Philippians; it is the most positive of all his letters, he tells them that “I  hold you in my heart” and that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” [1 v.7,6]

How warm hearted is his attitude toward them, he tells them, ” I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.   And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment …” [v.8,9]

What a positive and encouraging prayer – may we be able to pray for each other with the same words and in the same spirit!  If that is genuinely the case then we will take to heart Paul’s next words as a particular example to usof how we should pray for one another!

Paul prays “that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” [v.10] – and – as a result befilled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” [v.11]

We should let this commendation of Paul ‘dwelland then sink into our hearts – how wonderful if we can be found to be “pure and blameless” when our Master returns.

Some talk so much about “grace” and how much they need it, that one wonders whether they make any serious effort to live so that they develop a character that is more and more like Christ? When we come to v.27 we see how Paul exhorts them to “let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ” that “whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,  and not frightened in anything…”

If we are truly “standing firmand so be pure and blameless” we will not be “frightened in anything” as our world falls more and more into disarray and godlessness – as the return of our Lord reaches a point where we sense he is really “at the door.”  This prompts us to think of James’ warning in his epistle, ” Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.” [5 v.9]

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