Philippians 2:16-18

Phil 2:12              Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling

–              Be Active in the Lord with “With Fear and Trembling”…we should take great care of what we do in the Lord, knowing how important our service in the Lord is… and we should exert effort with great Respect and Reverence towards the Triune God whose excellencies we declare…

Phil 2;14,15        Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God  without blemish  in the midst of  a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world

–              The Holy Spirit is Calling Us to:

– be Active in the Lord         –  Depend upon His Power and Grace

              – Plan and Exert Effort to Love the Lord by Loving Others…

– Proclaim His Excellencies…

Why?    So that they would be Blessed by Knowing the Lord all the more…

Phil 2:16              holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

–              The Implication is that if we exert effort in this life in a way that is not following a Biblical model…

or if we exert effort in our own power…                            we will labor in vain

–              A Walk through Ecclesiastes will provide for us what is meant in our featured passage about “laboring in vain” in this life when what we do is non-Biblical and in our own power…

Ecc 1:2,3               Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. 3  What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?

Ecc 1:12,14          And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven…  14 I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is rvanity and a striving after wind.

Ecc 2:1   Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

–              If we are looking for Meaning, Purpose and Fulfilment in Life…we will not find it in the wisdom of world  or in the “enjoyment of the world”  or in any “success” we might have… fame, money, and influence is never enough…

–              We will only Find Fulfillment in Following the Teachings of the Word…If our agenda is set after the things of the World — if we pursue the things of the World then we will “labor in vain.”   If our agenda is set after the things of the Word — if we pursue the things of the Lord calls us to pursue…

we will “labor in joy”

–              But this notion of Pursuing Fulfillment and Purpose in Life is Self serving and is not Biblical… we are to pursue blessing others as Instruments of God’s Grace — dwelling upon His Word and there seeing His Glory that we would declare that Glory…

–              Amazingly, without pursuing meaning and fulfilment for ourselves, when Grace moves us to live for God and for others,  we find meaning and fulfilment. This is the Grace of God in Christ…

–              God’s Grace in Christ…as He moves us to be an Instrument of His Grace — a Light in the World — focused on God and Others… He gives us Joy, Contentment and a sense of Purpose and Meaning in Life

–              Yet, Life as an Instrument of Grace…as meaningful and as Fulfilling as it might be often has situational difficulty associated with it…

Phil 2:17,18        Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

–              The Grace of God upon Paul Enables him to embrace the reality that we will sacrifice for and suffer for others in this life, yet —  he Rejoices…

–              The Holy Spirit has a Command for us…

–              we are to see Life the same way as Paul… Life is ministry towards others that will involve sacrifice and suffering that is to be viewed as something to Rejoice in…

–              In Philippians 2 there is an Emphasis upon sharing our struggles and our Joy with one another… so it is not just we as individuals who are a Light to the World and a Vessel of Blessing…  we Together are Lights to the World and Vessels of Blessing…

–              Together we need to Establish a Biblical set of Priorities to Guide our Lives so that we do not pursue chasing after the wind…  we need to hold each other accountable so that we do not “Labor in Vain”

–              How do we do this?

–              We Remind each other of what is important — and what is not…

–              pursuing wealth for self, or fame or influence or even knowledge for self is not a worthy pursuit… we are to pursue being a Blessing to others as our expression of Love for the Lord…

–              Prayer and Dependence upon God must Guide all we do…and, as we pursue Loving the Lord by Loving others — God gifts us with Contentment, Joy, Peace, and a sense of Meaning/Purpose in Life…

What is it that you pursue in this life?

 What are you seeking?

May our pursuits be God and other centered… and may the Grace of God in Christ move us to His Word and may He move us to pursue loving Him by Loving others…

to the Glory of God and for the benefit of Others

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