This Biblical Christianity website encourages people to know and to live, God’s Word; thus enabling us to live now as God intended for us to live, and preparing us for eternal life in God’s kingdom.
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The most important things in and about life cannot be found in the things this world has to offer, they can only be found in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ and His kingdom: "[After all] the kingdom of God is not a matter of [getting the] food and drink [one likes], but instead it is righteousness (that state which makes a person acceptable to God) and [heart] peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 14:17).
The apostle Paul wrote the book of Philippians from a Roman prison cell after having faithfully served the Lord for about 25 years, and yet we find him using in this letter the expressions joy and rejoice about sixteen times. He had found the secret for superabundant living " . . , for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency]" (Phil. 4:11-13).
In the third chapter of this same book, Paul, now an old man at the end of his years, reveals the important conclusions he had come to concerning life. The sooner we arrive at the same conclusions, the better we will experience life!
PHILIPPIANS 3:7-21.... But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [one combined] loss for Christ's sake. Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed one), and that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law's demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed one), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith.
Paul, before his conversion to Christ, was a well respected and probably a prosperous member of the Jewish religion of Judaism. He was trying to do all the right things to make his life meaningful and significant; sometime during his 25 years of service to the Lord he had come to the conclusion that whatever gains he had made for himself before his conversion, even though he thought he was serving God, was just so much garbage. The treasure that he had come to recognize and now seek after was an ever increasing knowledge of Christ.
10[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] that if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]. Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.
Paul began to realize that through Christ Jesus there was power available to him and to us that could revolutionize our present lives beyond anything he had already experienced, "Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect." We all seem to realize that we are living far below the potential available to us in Christ Jesus. This must be what caused Paul to make his goal the attaining of everything that Christ would have him to be and to do; to do this he must know Jesus more intimately and thoroughly than ever before; because it is moral or Godly character that enables a person to be useful and profitable in the Kingdom of God, and this can only be accomplished through a close, intimate relationship with Christ -- actually, living in Him and He in us (Jn. 15:1-10).
15So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also. Only let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and order our lives by that. Brethren, together follow my example and observe those who live after the pattern we have set for you. For there are many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, who walk (live) as enemies of the cross of Christ (the Anointed one). They are doomed and their fate is eternal misery (perdition); their god is their stomach (their appetites, their sensuality) and they glory in their shame, siding with earthly things and being of their party. But we are citizens of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] Savior, Who will transform and fashion anew the body of our humiliation to conform to and be like the body of His glory and majesty, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself.
In the paragraph above, Paul is admonishing all those who have made some progress in spiritual life to realize the validity and importance of the conclusions he had come to and to hold fast to and practice them. These are Kingdom of God principles, valuable in and for this life as well as for eternity.
When considering the Kingdom of God, it is important to remember that it is not the things of this world that make for peace and happiness; "[After all] the kingdom of God is not a matter of [getting the] food and drink [one likes], but instead it is righteousness (that state which makes a person acceptable to God) and [heart] peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 14:17). When we run into trouble of any kind we can follow the example of Paul and Silas; "But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them, suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone's shackles were unfastened" (Acts 16:25-26).
Our deliverance or help from God may not be as dramatic as theirs was, but we will certainly be helped and encouraged through singing praise to God. Jude reminds us; "But you, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] on your most holy faith [make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], praying in the Holy Spirit; guard and keep yourselves in the love of God; expect and patiently wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)--[which will bring you] unto life eternal" (Jude 20-21).
Finally, Paul sums everything up very nicely by stating: "And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony]. And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ's] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always]. Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts. And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him" (Col. 3:14-17).
Our time of prayer should be filled with thanksgiving, praise and worship to God, not just with asking or making requests; after all, God knows what we need even before we ask Him; "And when you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over) as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking. [1 Kings 18:25-29.] Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him" (Matt. 6:7-8). A good hymn of praise for building up faith and confidence in God is, Now I Belong To Jesus. "Jesus my Lord will love me forever, from Him no power or evil can sever. He gave His life to ransom my soul, now I belong to Him. Now I belong to Jesus, Jesus belongs to me. Not for the years of time alone, but for eternity."