We all like for things to end well. A book, a movie, or a story pleases us when it ends warmly. We like resolution, especially resolution that makes us happy. This allows us to tidy up the story, smile, and walk away.
Bible reading isn’t like that. We can never bring the Truth to resolution. Instead, it un-resolves us. God’s Word takes us apart, then stitches us back together, not in ways that we determine, or appreciate, at times. It’s this work in us that makes us more like Christ, whole, joyful. Those three are themes in the book of Philippians. Philippians is rich in truth for daily living. Truth that undoes us, then re-does us (yes, I know that is bad grammar, but it seems the best way to state it.). Let’s gather up the bits that we have whittled on in our month-long study of Philippians:
- We are to be thankful.
- We are to “partner” in God’s work with others — pastors, fellow believers, your church.
- We are to trust God as He does His sanctifying work in us, and submit to Him as He does.
- We are to look out for fellow believers.
- We are to surrender to God’s work in us. (There’s that one again … hmmmm)
- We are to pour ourselves out for others.
- We are to rejoice — find joy and contentment, and express it — in all things.
- We are to forget the past and press on to the future. We do this through Christ, our Redeemer, Forgiver, Sustainer, and Power.
- We are to seek unity in Christ.
- We are to grow in knowing peace in Christ.
- We are to develop strength in Christ.
Each of those truths alone stand out as day, week, or life-changing. As we survey them we see that they are made of solid granite, yet dripping with mercy. God wants us to live them out. By His grace and the power of His Spirit we can. As we close the study of Philippians there is an important application to make: As each of these truths flap and snap on the clothesline in our hearts and minds we must resist the urge to unclip them, fold them crisply, sort them into neat stacks, and put them away. Tucking truth away is a sure way to spiritual stagnation. We must allow the truths we learn to hold our attention.
We must restrain ourselves from seeking to resolve the truths of God’s Word or conform them to our wishes. They cannot be tamed, or domesticated. Let the truth roust and rough-house about with you. Let it do it’s firm, yet merciful, transforming work in you. As God’s Word rubs hard on us, pricks us, and nudges us, we change; we grow; we become more like Christ.
Thank you for being a part of this “virtual” study. My prayer and goal for this study has been to offer a small ray of light on this book. I hope that it has been helpful to you. I have not yet settled on our next study. So, stayed tuned. We will take a week or so off and then begin to walk through another short book of the Bible together.
Thanks again for reading along, your feedback, and comments. Catch your breath, we will begin another study in a week, or so. And, remember to let the loose ends of the truth dance in the wind …