The church can’t grow unless we take up the cross and carry it. If that sounds painful to us, we’re on to something.
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul give thanks for his dear friends in the church. As the preaching minister at Seagoville, I strongly identify with his prayer.
In the 1960s, Americans decided that biblical morality was a sentence. All that Christian stuff about purity was sucking the fun out of life. Do your own thing, throw off the shackles of decency, answer to no one. It was a grand experiment – and the results are in.
The secret to lasting happiness isn’t much of a secret. Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord” (Phil. 4:4). The hard part is believing what these words imply.
As a Jew Saul of Tarsus prided himself on his spiritual attainments (Phil. 3:2-6). But as a Christian he turned his back on his own merits and completely depended on the righteousness of Christ (v. 9).
Paul wrote Philippians with chained hands. And yet the letter is known for its many expressions of joy. How could Paul rejoice in prison? He wasn’t thinking about himself.