Daily Manna – Philippians 1:27-29

Whatever happens, as citizens of heaven live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together with one accord for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved–and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him. Philippians 1:27-29 TNIV Bible

To my mind, those that preach a “feel good” message of Christian prosperity overlook key passages that say otherwise. Yes, we are promised abundant life, but if your definition of “abundant life” includes fast cars and a yacht, then perhaps a rethinking is warranted.

As Christians, regardless of our circumstances, we are to live in joy – through peace, through illness, through suffering. Perhaps especially suffering as we acknowledge God’s hand in making us righteous and allowing us to be His examples in a fallen world.

When you hear the “abundant life” message for Christians, what do you think that means for you?

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5 thoughts on “Daily Manna – Philippians 1:27-29

  1. Interesting that you should post this today, because this morning I was was thinking about blogging about this very thing. I’m not going to comment too much here, since I will most likely still blog about it, but I will say that we’re on the same page. From the same book, even.

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  2. I was listening to C.S. Lewis’ “The Problem of Pain” concerning this topic over the weekend as well.
    God’s love was compared to that of a master and his dog, or a father and son, (both imcomplete analogies) wherein the superior in species, or age applies discipline to the subordinate in order to perfect the subordinate in the name of love. We would not like the polluting foul smelling and unruly beast of a wild dog in our homes, nor would we want a spoiled irresponsible son. But it is because of a master’s love of dog, or father’s love of son that we dicipline and correct the obkect of our love. God’s love is infintely more one of instruction and perfection, of learning to live in His ways, as evidenced by Jesus and the central commandments.

    The world in which we live instructs us to be feeble, expecting of gratification in money, power and love without the pain necessary to see through the veil of this existance. I think that this is why the rich man has so much trouble entering heaven.

    Primary in the teachings of the world is that of pride, and its outcome of personal greed. Perhaps the universe is the crucible necessary to perfect us, to give us finite resources and hubris that try to cause us to not love our neighbor as ourselves so that we can fight through the suffering caused by this wrong-headedness to see the truths in the Christian way of life. It makes me very nervous to hear preacher’s messages of the abundant life expressed in material things here on earth.

    Do you think that the soul needs such a material world to cause suffering in this life so that we are more perfected for the next? Is this the reason for the way things are in the world?

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  3. Absolutely, Sean; suffering brings discipline. And while the world expects us to love money, we respond by complaining when the money isn’t there. How much better to rejoice in the blessings than wallow in self-pity! The abundant life isn’t material wealth, it’s joy in the life we have.

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  4. Spot on. Take up your cross and follow me….

    Enjoyed dinner, and you were right – I thought that you were looking at Eph.

    Sean.

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