Philippians 2:14-18 – Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 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, 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. 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. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
When Jesus walked the earth, kids ran to play with Him and people (including some naughty folks) routinely invited Him to their parties. Why? Because he was cheerful, joyful, and fun to hang out with. In contrast, the religious folks rebuked the kids who wanted to play with Jesus, slandered His reputation as a drunkard and glutton, and threw a party that was all a ruse to find a reason to murder Jesus. Being cheerless is simply not Christ-like. In this section of Philippians, Paul gives us eight reasons to rejoice if you find your joy in God, which enables you to then enjoy your life.
- You can stop “grumbling” & “disputing”. Unlike the world, which is arguing and mudslinging online every second of every day, you can flush this cheerless critical spirit.
- You can start being “blameless and innocent”. You don’t have to accept, hide, or excuse some bad habits. Instead, you can replace them in the Spirit with new character patterned after Christ.
- You can stop being part of “a crooked and twisted generation”. This world ain’t working and thankfully it also ain’t your home.
- You can start being the “children of God without blemish” and “shine as lights in the world”. God grabs dirty people from the filthy world, cleans them up, and sends them out as lighthouses to help others lost in the dark find their way Home.
- You can stop living in ways that are “in vain”. It is easy to waste your entire life doing nothing, becoming nothing, and helping no one. God wants your life to be meaningful, valuable, and purposeful.
- You can start living in a way that you can be “proud” of in a godly way.
- You can stop cheerlessness and start cheerfulness. Paul from prison still has joy in spite of being single, childless, far from home, and a convicted criminal sitting chained to a Roman soldier. It just goes to show that what God does in you is much bigger than what anyone else around you can do to you.
- You can die with a smile on your face. Paul does not know whether he will live or die, but he chooses to have a smile on his face either way because he’s walking the path of Jesus and headed Home to see Him face to face. Heaven without Jesus is worse than hell with Jesus because the source of life and joy is Jesus!
Which of these things are most important for you in this season?