From Philippians 4:8-9
“Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Due to adjusting to college lately and the New York student leadership trip, I have been unable to post much lately on my blog, but plan now to start regular posts again Lord willing. When reading this in my devotions tonight, I focused on the message Paul was trying to say to the church at Philippi. Paul has no doubt spent much time working with this church and had a very close relationship with them, for they were the only church supporting his missionary endeavors at times (4:15-16) and as a result were near to Paul’s heart. Paul had been teaching them different doctrines and spends the letter of Philippians encouraging them to pursue after a greater love, find life in Christ and live for Him daily, and to continue pursuing after that which is pleasing to God. However, many times we have a large “knowledge” of what is good and what we SHOULD do, but we fail to live it out. You can know a great deal about the Bible, memorize a lot of facts and Bible verses, but if a person does not allow the Gospel message to radically change their life and live it out then all of this knowledge is in vain. Indeed, many times we as Christians fall into a category of having a vast amount of knowledge about the Bible. Sermons are preached and we attend the services 3 times a week, perhaps you go to a Bible college as I do and hear the Bible preached every single day, but this does not do any good if you are not being changed by the Bible. The truth Paul is getting at here is to pursue after all the things mentioned in verse 8 as well as everything he has been teaching them; although a stipulation does come with that; “practice these things.” Paul challenges them to not only KNOW what to do but to LIVE it out. We should be doing the same in our personal walk with Christ by living out the Gospel each day to the best of our ability and striving by God’s grace to become more like Christ and continue producing spiritual fruit. A person cannot produce spiritual fruit if he is not first saved and then connected to the vine (Jesus Christ). Just as we are called to abide in Christ in John 15, we are also called to live out what the Bible has revealed to us as the lifestyle for disciples of Christ. The question to ask yourself as you read through this passage of Scripture in Philippians 4 is, “Am I living for Christ and living a life that represents Christ, or do I have a mere knowledge of the Bible and live as the Pharisees did with a vast biblical knowledge but no application in my life personally?” May our hearts and minds be filled with more than a knowledge of Christ but a life-changing relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ.