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Thursday, November 8, 2012

How to Follow Paul's Example?

This morning a group of men and I were working through the summary of Philippians together.  We were discussing themes in the book and how to best summarize those themes.  One of the themes that  we have identified is Paul’s repeated exhortation to have a proper attitude, 2:5 and 3:15.  Specifically, that attitude is to ceaselessly pursue the mind and behavior of Christ.  Paul’s uses a great deal of the letter describing how that mindset works out in life, using himself, Epaphroditus, Timothy, and Christ as examples of proper attitudes.
Is it reasonable for Paul to tell us to follow his example as he follows Christ?  If so how in the heck are we supposed to do that?
One of the men this morning after acknowledging that we need this attitude and with all of us stating that we do not have it, asked how do we develop that attitude.  Great question.  It is a really high bar.  Just looking at Paul’s example which he tells us in 3:17, that we are to follow is hard:
  • Using jail as an opportunity for ministry – 1:13
  • Not focused on the fact that he was under arrest but rather using the time to pray for those to whom he had ministered – 1:3 – 4 and 1:9 – 11.
  • Not caring that people are against him if they only share the gospel – 1:17 – 18
  • Forgoing being with the Lord to serve people – 1:23 – 25
  • Pouring yourself out completely for those whom you are called to serve – 2:17
  • Writing letters of encouragement to the church while imprisoned – 3:1
  • Not claiming to have it all figured out even while doing all of the above – 3:13
There is more but I think that makes the point.  So how do we develop this type of heart for God?  What are the key things that we need to do?  What do you think?  I will share my thoughts tomorrow.

2 comments:

  1. I believe that to develop His heart means to spend time with Him. Acknowledging Him in all things (not just for a meal). Communing with Him continuously (praying always in all manner of prayer). Dwelling on who you are in Christ. Live daily the prayer that Jesus prayed the Father recorded in John 17.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, Could not agree more. Have a couple of other thoughts that may reinforce this in today's post...

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