Tuesday, July 2, 2013

a study in Philippians 4: whatever is admirable (part 9)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)

Whatever is admirable...

Today, let's consider what Paul meant when He encouraged the church at Philippi to think about whatever is admirable. I believe it was to inspire us to focus on the perfect strategy of our King and Supreme Commander rather than on the corruptible things of this world.

Onward, Christian soldiers,
Marching as to war.
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before!

You see, Paul knew that every believer shares an important role in God's army. To live admirably, we must show up and give Him our full attention - ready to receive and carry out His orders so that we can fulfill His mission rather than fumble through life as a weak, lukewarm link in His chain of command. Jesus calls us to come clothed in His Word, and always ready to stand firm and give a good report of His eternal hope. We are to revere Him as Leader and bravely stand against all threats in His Name. Yes, our full allegiance to God is vital. Because we can live victorious when we trust His headship and allow Him to oversee the win of every battle laid out before us. For He is more than capable. He is the proven Captain of the Lord of Hosts whose commands are good and intended to advance us forward in His grace.

Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened. But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (1 Peter 3:14b-15a)

Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! The LORD Almighty is mustering an army for war. (Isaiah 13:4)

Christ, the royal Master,
Leads against the foe;
Forward into battle,
See His banner go!

Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The LORD will do what is good in his sight. (1 Chronicles 19:13)

In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. (Isaiah 11:10)

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:11-16)

Onward, then ye people,
Join our happy throng,
Blend with ours your voices
In the triumph song;
Glory, laud, and honor,
Unto Christ the King:
This through countless ages
Men and angels sing.

Ladies, we belong to Christ alone. As His people, we carry His cross and wage war against His enemies. In Him, we have the authority to oppose every evil. So, let us suit up in His Word and armor ourselves with His love. Let us turn our cheeks to those who strike, and pray for those who curse. Our mission is laid out wisely through His higher ways. He outshines all earthly logic and will overcome every sinful tactic produced from this broken world. Yes, the Messiah calls us to surrender ourselves in order to succeed... to sacrifice in order to gain His glory. Our sanctuary is secure in His presence. He is our fortress in all times of trouble. So, let us think about these admirable things and never waver from His game plan. For "when calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God." (Proverbs 14:32)

Onward, Christian soldiers,
Marching as to war.
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before!

I love you, LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. (Psalm 18:1-2, 17)
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)



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