A Finished Work

Being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.

~ Philippians 1:6

God does not leave us unfinished, half done, incomplete Christians. He who began the good work of salvation, finishes that glorious work until the day of Christ Jesus. What the Bible is teaching us here is that God does not forget nor forsake those He calls to Himself. That once we are called unto salvation, God through Christ, ultimately sees us through to the end. The work of salvation is a persevering work. And this beloved is where our assurance and our hope stem from – from the goodness and grace of our God.

~ apl

Where Our Minds Are

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.

~ Philippians 4:8

The old adage goes something like this: “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” The thoughts of our mind ultimately become the destiny of our life. The thoughts we entertain, like the charts on a ship, set our lives on a particular course. And this course charted for us by our thoughts can be for better or worse depending on what thoughts we allow ourselves to cultivate and take root in our mind.

In our text today, the Apostle Paul exhorts the Christians at Philippi to constrain their thoughts, to discipline their minds, to focus, to think or meditate on such things that please the Lord and conform their thinking to such lofty ideals that bring about His honor and glory. He tells these believers, whatever is true, whatever is lovely or of good report, whatsoever has virtue or is praiseworthy, that it is in these things; it is here where our heart and mind should lie.

The inward topics our mind should dwell on should tend towards outward holiness and righteousness in our life, not away from it. The characteristics of truth, love and virtue are of a godly sort. These are the attributes of thought and attitudes of heart those who follow Christ should seek to develop because they will move us ultimately closer to Him.

Two of the most beneficial ways to train our minds to dwell on such noble things are Scripture reading and prayer. Through these two means of grace, our minds, which are by nature opposed to such thoughts, will, by God’s grace, slowly yet surely bend towards His goodness and glory. But like in our passage, Christians must be reminded of our duty in this regard.

So, are you actively seeking to conform your thoughts to such characteristics as Paul describes here in Philippians? Do you find your mind wandering into areas of unrighteousness which may lead to sinful patterns of life? Do you make diligent use of Scripture and prayer to help keep you on course towards holy and pure living? May we seek God’s help to do so.

~ apl

Content vs. Complacent

I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” ~ Phil 4:11

What is the difference between contentment and complacency? One word carries positive connotations while the other is looked down upon. We are taught to be content, but not complacent. What then, is the difference?

Outwardly, both contentment and complacency look very similar. A person who is either content or complacent can appear to be acting the same. On the surface contentment and complacency can look identical. The definition of both seems to suggest being satisfied with where you are or what you have.

Therefore the difference between contentment and complacency is not in what it appears to be on the outside, but rather what it actually is on the inside. When the Apostle Paul said that in whatever state he was in, he’d learned to be content, he was saying this from a grateful heart for what he had been given. With humility and thankfulness, Paul was at peace with who and what he was. He was content in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The difference between contentment and complacency then is one of the heart. Being content implies being satisfied with where you are, but with a willingness to move forward. While complacency implies a lack of desire to grow, improve or better one’s self.

Christians should learn to be content; thankful for what God has done for them and to avoid complacency. We should always be willing to grow and be used of the Lord in different ways while already thankful for who we are in Him. This is the key to true contentment.