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Bible Book: Philippians

Scrabble tiles that say "THANK YOU" next to a vase with white flowers

Sharing Your Gratitude with Others Makes a Big Difference

Yes, it’s right and good to thank God for the people who mean so much to us. But it’s also right and good to let them know of our gratitude. May this season of thanksgiving be a time for you to thank the people in your life who have been a blessing to you, whether at work or home, in partnership or friendship.

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A sticker on a UK mailbox reading "Stay Humble"

Work Out Your Own Salvation?

As we live a humble life of self-giving for others, we don’t have to do it on our own; God will be at work in us, enabling us both to will and to work.

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Gains and Losses, Part 2

What a profound change to my perspective and the way that I carry out my work, status, choosing a neighborhood, relationship to others, etc. when Jesus is becoming absolutely sufficient for me.

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A black and white picture of a man walking up a deserted staircase

Gains and Losses, Part 1

We might be closer to the best accomplishment when we learn that the whole of who we are is rubbish when the whole is compared to Christ.

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A mailbox on a street in Philadelphia with a bumper sticker on it reading "STAY HUMBLE"

Work Freedom – Part 2

Being a servant to God grants us freedom to simply do the work for the sake of the good of us doing the work. And it frees us to see the values of others’ service also.

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A Bible spread open to Matthew 23 with an illustration of Jesus teaching

Work Freedom – Part 1

There is a lot to think about while processing someone’s paperwork, sweeping floors, selling vacuums, or teaching calculus. Paul distilled it into one clause: think about how Jesus thinks about things. Think about his humility.

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Scrabble tiles spelling out "IN LIFTING OTHERS WE RISE"

If…Then Love (Part 2)

It is possible to accomplish great strides in life; to receive great rewards. But there is something intrinsically good in a life that finds complete joy in being in the same disposition as others.

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A small green plant growing up between rusty pipes

If…Then Love (Part 1)

If Paul’s “if” is conditional but not likely, then comfort in Christ, consolation, partnership, affection and sympathy are rooted in stipulations. And the good life we are hoping to live is predicated on favorable circumstances or the right people in our lives. But when if is better understood as since, it opens the door to a good life irrespective of what may come our way.

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The Danger of Idealizing Christian Community

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once observed that idealism about church can actually hurt real churches. When we value our ideal of Christian community more than Christian community itself, we can miss the gift God wants to give to us. The New Testament reveals many times how hard it can be to get along with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Yet, God intends for us to live the Christian life in a genuine, committed relationship with others. Often this takes work!

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A woman leaning against a fence looking sad

It is Far Better to Go Be With The Lord (Part 2)

It is far better to go. That is not only biblically accurate, it just makes good sense. Streets of gold versus potholes; better to go. Christ as the light in a city or rising gas and electrical bills; better to go. No more tears versus tear ducts and allergies; better to go. There are plenty of reasons to contemplate longing and planning for a renewed heaven and a renewed earth. Death would yield something better. But then again, there is a reason to stay.

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It is Far Better to Go Be With The Lord (Part 1)

We often forget how frail and fragmented everything is. Inside the tension and fragmentation we do not only find doom, but rather we find Christ himself and his bidding us to follow—never asking us to atone but instead teaching us that he has atoned for all of it. Christ is really all in all, isn’t He?

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A man sitting in a train station by empty tracks

What Good is Any Of It? (Part 2)

Whether there was a letter sent to Paul with questions, or Paul was simply thinking about how his situation affected those in Philippi, it is clear what Paul wanted them to know. It is what we need to become intimately clear about also: dire circumstances can actually bring about redemptive hope.

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A girl standing sadly in a hallway on Alcatraz Island

What Good is Any Of It? (Part 1)

Whether there is despair, uncertainty, success, or setback, Paul’s first clause affirms a strong reminder: there is always some good to come in every circumstance.

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People standing in a doorway of a room; the room is lit in dark blue, but the space beyond the door looks like a beautiful sunrise

What is to Come is Real (Part 2)

It may be unclear how our present work is actually turning out to advance the Gospel. But we can learn to live a good life with the same confidence that Paul had.

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A moving sidewalk at an airport stretching off into the distance

What is to Come is Real (Part 1)

Paul was keenly aware of his circumstances as well as the circumstances in Philippi. But he was also aware of another foreign country where it’s always light and where weeping and cursing will be gone. That place informed how he looked at his current circumstances in at least two ways.

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