It is really important to to step back from chapter two and look at it as if looking at a piece of artwork…ignoring the details to see the whole picture.
I already know that Paul is someone who has authority and credibility to teach me how to live shackle free and purpose driven. Reading chapter 2, he pulls on the examples of others to help create a clear picture of what he is wants for us. Paul himself is just one example but in this chapter he also mentions three other examples: Jesus, Timothy and Epaphroditus. There is something uniquely significant about each of these people he mentions that he wants us to see. How do each of these men flesh out and present to us what Paul is exhorting us to do…there are massive words ..humility, agreement, selflessness…..
Paul is being very intentional. He is asking me to look at my life and look at these lives and be inspired and encouraged and comforted…What is there about Jesus that Paul is drawing attention to that he is looking for in our church?
Another way Paul motivates me to go deep into chapter 2 is to connect it with purpose and empowerment. He doesn’t just provide instructions and exhortation but the strategies to equip and empower us to do what may seem difficult and sometimes impossible.
The difficult passages are not meant to be implemented without supernatural help and enabling.
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Philippians 2:13 NIV)
This verse is one of the most comforting verses in the New Testament. Sometimes we want to do right, but seem to lack the energy or ability. This verse assures us that God will help us. At other times, we cannot even seem to want to do right. Here we learn that God can also provide the desire to do His will when we do not have it. If we find that we do not want to do right, we can ask God to work in us to create a desire to do His will. This verse gives us confidence that God desires both to motivate and to enable us. it also links to Philippians 1:6 and that favourite verse in chapter 4:13.
This verse for me provides me with the encouragement I need to help to live chapter 2 and I do not need to live
I have read chapter two enough times now to know without abiding int he vine, relying on his strength and enabling and dwelling in his presence. Chapter two is going to be hard but as I draw on him I can be all that God intends me to be. the hard to do application of this chapter is not so hard when I walk in His strength.
I love this verse in Peter
‘Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! (2 Peter 1:3 MSG)