Tag Archives: Philippians

Philippian Right-mindedness: The Secure Mind

December 21, 2014

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On the surface, the sea is sometimes in chaos and angry when deep down it is actually calm.

On the surface, the sea is sometimes in chaos and angry when deep down it is actually calm.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7

The greatest reward we can enjoy while on this earth is God’s peace. This is a mindset that is often difficult to achieve. It is probably safe to say that it is difficult to even understand for most people.

We worry.

We make the wrong decisions.

We suffer alone without taking advantage of prayer and fellowship.

Isn’t this is the opposite of what God wants for us?

It is a little like the ocean. On the surface there can be chaos.
And wind.
And rain.
And waves 20 feet high.
But when we dive down deep – when we get to the heart – there is serenity and calm.

What he tries to teach us throughout the Bible is that no matter what is happening on the surface, we can turn to that inner peace that God provides.

When we adopt The Single Mind by making Christ first, The Submissive Mind by living a life of service, and The Spiritual Mind by turning away from the flesh, we have all the tools to make us secure – to give us peace.

All we have to do from here is take the necessary steps to put it all together!

Paul summarized what it takes to enjoy a peaceful lifestyle in Philippians 4:

  • Rejoice! – Philippians 4:4 – Joy or rejoice is a word that is used extensively in Philippians and is key for a Christian
  • Moderation – Philippians 4:5 – The way the word is used here is similar to love and kindness
  • Just Ask – Philippians 4:6 – Quit worrying and talk to God about what you need.
  • Mind your Thoughts – Philippians 4:8 – The things you think about set your mood
  • Be around godly people – Philippians 4:9 – Being around example setters helps build you up
  • Forget possession – Philippians 4:11-12 – How little or much you have contribute nothing to security in God
  • Christ first – Philippians 4:13 – all of the Philippian mindsets lead us to Christ.

It is no wonder that Paul was able to tell us over and over to rejoice despite the things he had to endure. When our soul is secure and we have God’s peace, the importance of whatever happens to us in the world is minimized.

I have previously written a series on these verses as a recipe for stress-free living – check it out if you are ready to start living like you possess the peace that passes understanding.

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Philippian Right-mindedness: The Spiritual Mind

December 20, 2014

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...he will come to us as the showers,  as the spring rains that water the earth...

…he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth…

Let us know;
let us press on to know the LORD;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth – Hosea 6:3

In Philippians 3, Paul starts taking apart the differences between spiritual and fleshly things. If we are going to have The Single Mind and The Submissive Mind, then it follows that we need to concentrate on spiritual things. We want to possess The Spiritual Mind.

The word “spiritual” gets tossed around to the point of it losing its proper meaning. Vine’s Dictionary has this to say about it:

(b) things that have their origin with God, and which, therefore, are in harmony with His character, as His law is, are ‘spiritual,’ (Romans 7:14)

Paul surely would have agreed with that definition as demonstrated in Philippians 3:3-4. He says if anyone should be have confidence in what he has done in this life it should be Paul himself. He goes on to give us somewhat of a resume of his “qualifications.” (Philippians 3: 5-6) He was:

  • a Hebrew of Hebrews
  • circumcised
  • of Israel
  • of the tribe of Benjamin
  • a Pharisee
  • a Persecutor of the Lord’s church
  • blameless under the law

He eventually realized these things were of no value in a Spiritual sense – why? – because knowing Christ has value beyond anything earthly (or of the flesh.) Knowing Christ is where we get the righteousness that is from God. (Philippians 3:9) It will be through Christ that we:

  • know the power of his resurrection
  • share his sufferings
  • become like him in his death

Paul wants us to do anything possible to attain the resurrection from the dead! (Philippians 3:10-11)

Like all of us, even Paul knew he wasn’t there yet. (Philippians 3:12)


The spiritual mind forgets what’s of the flesh and strains forward to the final goal – heeding God’s call the Christ.

This spiritual mind is the one that is mature and thinks about following Christ (Philippians 3:15)

Although we are not there yet, working toward perfection through focusing on spiritual things will insure we get to experience those “spring rains” Hosea was talking about.


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Philippian Right-mindedness: The Submissive Mind

December 18, 2014

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Washing of Feet - Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337)

Washing of Feet – Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men – Philippians 2:5-7

Christ came here and gave himself over to the service of man-kind.

Even though he is divine,

Even though he is God,

Even though he had the power to take what he wanted while he was here,

He gave himself to us – up to and including the sacrifice on the cross.

Christ will take his followers and do the same thing to them. Everyone. It doesn’t matter if we are elders, deacons, teachers, ministers – whatever – Christ will make us servants. This is the essence of the mind of Christ:

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:3-4

Christians have the tendency to become service minded as they read and study and work to become Christ-like.

But it’s not a natural act is it?

When we were kids playing house, or role playing, no one ever volunteered to be the butler. It is not natural to set goals to become an even harder worker and do even more for someone else. In Matthew 20, we see the typical human attitude in the disciples. James and John even got their mother to speak on their behalf to secure a high place in Christ’s kingdom. The other ten angry disciples are getting ready to mix it up over this when Jesus ends the event of Matthew 20:20-28 with his purpose for being on earth:

…even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. – Matthew 20:28

I’m not sure the disciples ever got this until sometime after the events in Acts 1.

We know John 13 well. Jesus knelt down to wash the disciples’ feet before their meal. The most menial of tasks. What was he teaching us by doing such a thing? We see the mind of Christ at work here when he said to go and do likewise. (John 13:15)

As Paul is reminding the church of Christ’s humble attitude in Philippians 2, he is telling us what Jesus tried to teach his entire time on earth:

Christ wants a church that serves (Philippians 2:4)

And a church that does it gladly (Philippians 2:14)

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Philippian Right-mindedness: The Single Mind

December 16, 2014

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When our focus changes, so does the big picture.

When our focus changes, so does the big picture.

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel… – Philippians 1:27

It wasn’t an accident that Paul spent some time talking about the imperial guardsmen that had to takes turns chaining themselves to Paul. (Philippians 1:12-14)

Paul knew things were going to get tough for Christians, (Philippians 1:29-30) so he began preparing the readers of his epistle for a change of mind. It was encouraging to think that even those guardsmen could be saved. It was very encouraging to think that Christian brothers and sisters were emboldened to teach the gospel based on Paul’s success in prison. That change of mind was going to be needed to get through those times.

It was Isaiah that said:

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. – Isaiah 26:3

No matter how tough life gets, focusing on Christ is the solution. How firm we stand with Christ is a measure of our worthiness for his gospel. (Philippians 1:27) Jesus never made any bones about this. In fact he said we were to count the cost before making the decision to follow him. (Luke 14:28)

Christ doesn’t accept second place! (Luke 9:62, 14:26)

Paul demonstrated this when he wrote one of the key verses in Philippians:

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain – Philippians 1:21

He showed us how the single mind focused on Christ thinks. If he lived, he would be able to save more souls. If he died, he would finally be with Christ. A Christian, focused on the right things, not letting his mind wander, and serving doesn’t have to fear death.

And he doesn’t have to worry about worldly things:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

Consider the state of the non-believer. He has no hope in death. Life is a chain of events chasing worldly things. His attempts to focus on elusive things leaves him wanting.

Single mindedness. When Christ is first, the rest takes care of itself.

… seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – Matthew 6:33

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