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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Where to Focus Your Attention

Philippians 4:8

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.

Isn't that verse one of the most encouraging verses ever? It is simple, meaningful, and certainly goes right to the heart. It simply tells us where our mind and focus should be. Look at the list Paul gives. Notice that he tells us that this is where our mind and focus should be; "dwell on  THESE things." 

  • whatever is true
  • whatever is honorable
  • whatever is just
  • whatever is pure
  • whatever is lovely
  • whatever is commendable
  • if there is any moral excellence
  • if there is any praise
So, here's the question: Do YOU dwell on these things? Better question: Do I? Of course the answer is maybe, perhaps, no, uh ... dunno. Many of us may indeed have these thoughts but dwelling involves permanence. And THAT may be the issue. But we all know that, typically, Philippians 4:8 does not define the dominance of our thinking. 

So, is there a way to actually pull it off and let our minds dwell on these wholesome things continually? Well, here are two thoughts:

Remember Who Gave the Instruction


Who gave this word of encouragement to us? You may say, "Well Tony everyone knows that Paul wrote these words." True. But Who gave the instruction? If you are a believer, as I am, that God breathed His thoughts into the Old and New Testament writers then you must conclude that these are the words of God Himself. 

That being the case, wouldn't it make sense that we would caution ourselves to not go negative and focus on the "stuff" of life? There is always going to be stuff. Don't believe me? Just look around. Can we not assume that God has our best interests in mind by giving such a divine mandate? I think we would do well to look at the good that does exists in our world and our individual lives. It is just as easy to focus our attention there. Think of the blessings of life and just maybe you will become a blessing as a result. Someone who is at a low point of life may rise from self-pity and doubt because they saw your joy in the Lord. Hmmm, what a thought it is to actually consider Who actually gave the instruction. 

Recognize the Value of the Instruction


Philippians 4:8
If you are my age or older you may remember a super cool Clint Eastwood movie that came out in 1966. It was called, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." It was simply a great flick for its time. Eastwood, of course, was the "good" guy in the movie. But he wasn't really that good. He just could draw faster and shoot straighter. Still a cool flick though. 

But the title of the flick actually gives us the three areas we can focus mental efforts. 

  • The Bad - Many people spend so much time thinking about present personal woes or reflecting on past personal woes. This renders them virtually useless as people who may benefit others. No one is ever blessed be hearing someone moan and groan about all the things that stink about their lives. But still these folks tend to make this type of thinking the permanent reality of their lives. 
  • The Ugly - These are people who go far beyond talking about their personal woes. These types of people focus on all that is ugly about the world. They focus on the local, national, and world news. They bombard their mind with the ugly realities of this world. They complain about politicians and the people who don't share their personal political views. They rant about taxes, unemployment, health care, money, prices, the worthless older/younger generation. They are rarely happy. Does this person sound familiar? Does this mindset sound pleasing to the Lord?
  • The Good - I have met a few people in my life who are living expressions of Philippians 4:8. Not many though. But those I have met are never down. Please understand this. These folks face the same pain of life that all of us do. But they have chosen to Recognize the Value of the Philippians 4:8's Instruction. These people just know that in spite of the bad and ugly stuff of life there is simply far more to be thankful for. They understand that God indeed had our best interests in mind when he gave us this particular instruction. They know that if they live out this mandate, then life simply will be more of a pleasure ride than a treacherous journey. The value of the instruction manifests itself in a peaceful life and a life that inspires, encourages, and blesses others.
So, what do you think? 

I hope this post has been a blessing to you. 

Tony Guthrie, PhD.
tguthrie1961@gmail.com
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Thursday, December 22, 2016

How Are You at Christmas and on the New Year

Well, I can't help but think about Christmas and the New Year. But before I do let me add:
Wow, I can't believe that it has been several months since I last posted. Trust me, it wasn't intended. Sometimes career things just get in the way. But I am back and should be posting at least once a week from now on. 
So how's it going for you? Seriously, I want to know. You can email me directly at tguthriebiz@gmail.com and let me know. I would LOVE to correspond with you.

Christmas and the New Year
Hmmm, think about that question, "How are you?" How often are we asked that question? Daily, weekly, always? YES.

But how do we answer? Usually something like, "Hey, doing ok!" It is outside the boundaries of human acceptance to answer the question honestly. And why? Because the person asking, "how are you?" isn't really asking "how are you?" They are really just saying, "Hi!" And we know it.

But I AM asking: HOW ARE YOU?" How are you at Christmas and on the brink of a New Year.

Well, since there is no way I can really know I can only throw a few possibilities out there:

  • fulfilled
  • eager
  • desperate
  • lonely
  • happy
  • successful
  • frustrated
  • thankful
  • etc.
I find myself at a time of self-renewal. This new year will be a time of casting off the fears and personal restraints that I have allowed to keep me from achieving my long-held goals (to the degree that I wanted to that is.) Yes, I have had success. But often not to degree I have hoped for. There is only one reason for not achieving the levels that I have wanted. ME! It's not the economy, my finances, my age, my education or lack thereof, or any other possible thing. I can't blame the weather, the environment, or the government. At the end of 2016 I can honesty say that TONY and TONY alone stands in the way of all TONY wants to accomplish. 

That is changing. NOW!

Now what about YOU?  Where are you? What is your honest self-assessment? I want you to think about you. Honestly. Fairly. Accurately. Don't beat yourself up or over-glorify yourself. Just look into the mental mirror and see the reality of what reflects back at you. 

What needs to change for you? 

Christmas and the New Year
For me I realized that I had started several good things but I just didn't push through. One HUGE success (from my perspective) is my Expository Pastoral Preaching Facebook Group. Now at 400+ members (and growing). I started it and saw it explode in membership in a few weeks. But then put it on the back burner. That will change. In 2017 that group will get much more of my attention.


I will also focus more passionately on my relationship to the Lord. As in other things that has slidden a little backwards as well. But that has changed.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
No, I haven't sinned greatly. But allowing a relationship to slip means priorities have slipped. For me, a clean heart is the renewed passion to dedicate myself more whole-heartedly to the Lord. 

I will rededicate myself to my health and wellness goals and strive to encourage others to do the same. I have a real passion for health and wellness, particluarly for people my age and above. I think we all think in weird ways when it comes to health and wellness. But here's the deal (and the deal has never changed by the way). To lower the risk of getting sick and diseased we have to:
  1. Eat healthier
  2. Exercise daily
  3. Supplement with GOOD nutritional supplements and ALKALINIZE your system.  
  4. PERIOD!
That's it! Stop the excuses and do what needs to be done to get in and stay in good health. Be PREVENTION-MINDED!

Here are 2 good questions to ask yourself:
Do I want to die quickly? Or do I want to live longer?
Again, what about you? 

For me the three things mentioned above are NOT resolutions. They are truths! Now, it's your turn.

  • What does the mental reflection tell you? 
  • What needs to change?
  • Where do priorities need to be adjusted?
  • Is it time to think about you?
  • Do you have a book in you?
  • Do you want to launch out in business?
  • Where is the Lord in your life?
Think about these things. Please, contact me. I'd love to correspond with you.

Blessings, 

Tony Guthrie
404-933-0418











Monday, July 25, 2016

What To Do When Evil Seems to Win

4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"? 6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

what-to-do-when-satan-wins
The words from the Scripture above are potent and tend to impact my spirit. I certainly understand that in order to not have fellowship with worldliness, which God detests, is a two-fold process. 

(1) Resist the Devil with Intention - We want to see him run from us as we resist him by declaring our absolute commitment to our Lord. We intentionally resist him. Satan has no power where he is not welcome. And he is never welcome in a Christian heart, life, or home that has been dedicated to the Lord Jesus.  Satan will run from those environments.

(2) Draw Near to God in Submission - Each day as we dedicate ourselves in purity and spiritual cleanliness we not only draw closer to the Lord, but He draws closer to us (vs 7 above). As the writer of Hebrews 10:22 stated:
"let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water."
I am sure that you know these truths as well. But what happens when you make such commitments but the actions of others or when circumstances that are seemingly beyond your control allow Satan to settle in and do the  damage he desires to do? What happens when the first half of John 10:10 is allowed to rule? "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy ..." What happens when evil wins? What do you do?

What to Do When Evil Wins | Never Compromise God's Word


Truth is one of the Christian's most potent weapons. We shall know the truth and it will set us free. Jesus disarmed his opponents by speaking His Father's truths to them. We also have this same power. We simply confront the situation with the truth of God's word and trust the results to God:
14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ ... (Ephesians 4)

what-to-do-when-satan-wins
These words from Ephesians tell us to remain steady. No matter how crafty and deceitful Satan is, we don't waver. Even when Satan can influence a solid Christian to compromise his or her values, we don't waver. Even if the efforts of Satan are stealing the joy, killing the relationship, and destroying something beautiful and good; we don't waver. We don't fall for the craftiness of lost or evil men. We don't allow ourselves to be drawn into deceitfulness or scheming. We stand firm on the TRUTH of God's word and speak it in the authority of the Holy Spirit and in the power of the name of Jesus. We are not child-like in our faith. We are mature and strong. We don't waver! Our weapon is truth and we use it to the glory of God! We show grace and love to those we speak truth to, but we speak truth without compromise.

What to Do When Evil Wins | Trust the Situation to God


James 1: 2-4 reads as follows:
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
There are times when God allows our faith to be tested. The testing referred to in James 1 is the process of purifying gold. Rough gold would be melted under intense heat and as the metal liquified the impurities would rise to the top. Those impurities would be scrapped off and the gold would be allowed to harden. That process would be repeated until no more impurities rose to the top. This is what causes gold to be considered pure

When it seems that evil is winning or even has won, you and I simply have to trust the situation to God. We need to view it as a test of faith. God has allowed us to be thrown into the fire and we need to stand firm in the heat. We need to endure it. We need to allow God to use the situation to make us better, stronger, more faithful, and pure in His eyes.

When evil wins, it hurts. Especially if the evil has destroyed a faithful Christian heart, a beautiful and loving marriage, a church, a business, or a friendship. But we have to trust the situation to our loving Lord. We can only pray for wisdom (James 1:5), speak the truth in love, and then simply see how God may use even the evil for His ultimate purposes (Romans 8:28).

I trust these words have been a blessing to you. 

Tony Guthrie, PhD.
tguthriebiz@gmail.com
404-933-041

Thursday, July 14, 2016

When Hope is Lost

Have you ever lost hope? I mean REALLY lost hope. Before I dive too deeply into that question perhaps I need to begin by defining hope. The word carries with it the idea of expectation. But this is no ordinary expectation. It is confident expectation. Hope is confidently expecting that something will be, or become, the reality of your life. 

But what happens when that confidence is smashed by reality? What happens when you lose hope? A couple gets married and confidently expect (hope) for permanent togetherness then SMASH the marriage ends. Hope is gone. A woman gets hired for the job of her dreams and she confidently expects (hopes) a long career within the firm then SMASH the company is downsized. Hope is gone. 

When things like this happen you can easily get sick at heart. The Bible says in Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick ... 
Heart-sickness is akin to depression. That form of depression will always be the result of lost hope. The emotional, psychological, and spiritual pain of heart-sickness can be debilitating and leave you with feelings of despair.

The question really becomes: Are there any positive actions that can be taken on your part to get through the time(s) when hope is lost

Following are a few thoughts.


When Hope is Lost | Draw Closer to God 

when-hope-lost

For some people the tendency is to feel allienated from the Lord when hope is lost. Feelings of anger or resentment easily can slip into our minds. Pulling away from God seems almost natural because we feel that He is in control of everything. Indeed this is the last place any of us would ever want to be.

Drawing away from the Lord, however, is the last thing one should do when heart-sickness sets in. God is an easy target. But we all know that our Lord only wants the best for us. Even when your hope crumbles God is still there showering you with gracious love. You should draw closer to the Lord in full faith and assurance that He really does cause "all things" to become good. Allow Him to be God in the midst of the heart-sickness and you will soon see that hope will return in ways you never expected. 


"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our body washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22

When Hope is Lost | Take the Steps that Heal


The pain of lost hope, as noted above, can be intense. You will have moments when the tears seem to flow at will. You must hold on to the hope and confidently expect that as hard as it seems that you will get through it. Wonderful days and joyous seasons will be the norm for you again. To begin that move back toward a more blissful place take these healing steps:

  • Start each day in prayer ~ never betray daily communication with the Lord. Talking with the Lord will reconnect you to His purposes for you and remind of His amazing love.
  • Reconnect with the special people God has brought into your life ~ Life was never intended to be faced alone. God provides many special family members and dear friends for very good reason. We need the support and love of people. Family and friends are simply there for us. They may not always have a solution but they almost always help to take away feelings of hopelessness. They help us to think on the many other blessings of our lives rather than the temporary pain of a temporary season. 
  • Get a new perspective ~ When hope is lost it is time to think sensibly through the pain. As hard as it will be to focus on anything other than the pain you simply must gain a new perspective. Seriously and prayerfully consider your next steps. Remember that you are not defined by the things that happen to you in life but by what you do with what happens to you. Contextualize the heart-sickness and bring everything into clearer focus. Plan for a better season with God's grace and the support of family and friends.

Taking healing steps rather than dwelling on the pain of the situation ultimately will see you through. 


When Hope is Lost | Be Patient


when-hope-lost
Trust and believe me in this. It will take time for the pain t0 subside and the joy to completely return. You invested a lot in the relationship or the circumstance that has now become a lost cause. No one is expected to bounce right back. In fact I would be concerned about the psychological health of someone who seems perfectly fine immediately after a painful loss. God gave us the emotions we have for good reasons. They shape and mold us into the person He wants us to become. 

Take the healing steps above and give yourself time to heal. You will. Soon, perhaps very soon, a wonderful new day will be your reality.

I hope these words have been a blessing, 

Tony Guthrie, PhD.
tguthriebiz@gmail.com
404-933-0418


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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Gaining Forgiveness

Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often should my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but to seventy times seven." Matthew 18:21-22
One of the truisms of life is that people are people. We all have our abilities and strengths. And one of the things we are able to do, and possess the strength to do, is mess up. Sometimes we mess up in fairly harmless ways but at other times we can blow it royally. The "we" is intended. This means that "you" can mess up with the rest of us. 

Jesus blew the Jewish-minded people of His day away with His new perspective on things. They said of him, "He teaches with authority. He's not like the scribes."

Peter questioned Jesus about how often we should forgive a brother. The scribes had taught the people that 3 times was the limit. If a brother sinned against you more than  3 times then clearly his heart was in the wrong place. They based this off of an erroneous interpretation of Amos 1:3 and 2:1. So Peter thought by proposing 7 times he was being amazingly gracious. He was not prepared for Jesus' response of "up to seventy times seven."

This biblical mandate is hard for many of us to carry out. Sometimes, because we blow it toward others or they blow it toward us, forgiveness becomes allusive and hard to give or gain. 

I want to focus the remainder of this post toward those that have blown it with someone and that someone refuses to forgive. Please understand that by "forgiveness" I mean that the relationship is restored to the healthy norm. Following are a few thoughts on gaining forgiveness


Gaining Forgiveness | Evaluate Your Heart



gaining-forgiveness
Here's a good question. When you are seeking forgiveness from someone, have you taken a moment and really checked the condition of your heart? Is it possible that the person is not forgiving you because you show no signs of remorse for the wrong committed? I realize that Jesus put no qualifiers on it. He simply said that we are to forgive because God has forgiven us. But it is hard for us in our human weakness to simply forgive and write the wrong off even though we should.

Maybe your approach to the person is inapproriate. Maybe you need to change your forgiveness-gaining tactic. Maybe, just maybe, you need to check your heart of compassion toward the offended person. Maybe, just maybe, you should stop thinking of yourself and focus on them and the pain they feel. 

People think mostly of themselves. When they have been hurt or offended that self-consideration goes into hyperdrive. Maybe, just maybe, you need to simply ask them, and listen to their answer, just why and how your actions hurt them so much. Doing so would be a huge step toward gaining the forgiveness you desire. 


Gaining Forgiveness | Check Your Motives


You may want to ask yourself a question about your true motive in attempting to gain forgiveness from someone. Are you desirous for a restored relationship for purely selfish reasons? Why do you really need them to forgive you? Does your life depend on this relationship? The answers to questions like these can be either positive or negative. Typically true born-again people want forgiveness for their mistakes. And, just as typically, true born-again people will grant it to the one that offended them. Your true and best motive should be based on your concerns for the offended party and not so much for yourself. 

Analyzing our true motives, which involves being completely honest with ourselves, is an important part of the gaining forgiveness process. Checking your motives is simply being humble. You offended them. Ask yourself if humilty on your part can move you closer to the goal of forgiveness. 


Gaining Forgiveness | Remember the Author of Forgiveness


Sadly there are times and circumstances in which people simply will not forgive you. They will not because they don't want to. They may say to you, "I am sick of this" or something similar. They may have been so offended that they just can't get past it. Pushing you away is merely a defense mechanism. They assume that if you are gone then they will not have to face that pain ever again. As Tony Robbins has stressed many times, "People will go to great lengths to avoid pain." I will add that they will go to great lengths to avoid pain even if it means going against what the Lord taught about forgiving "up to seventy times seven" times. 

gaining-forgiveness
When someone will not forgive you no matter what you do just remember that they are likely just trying to protect themselves from further pain. Take consolation in the fact that God is not like us in any way. His ways are truly not our ways. He possesses the abilities that we do not. Even though the Bible teaches us to be imitators of God, we can never truly be like Him. When others will not forgive you it is because they are not God. 

But God will forgive you. He does have the ability and even the desire. I think you know this already. Simply ask Him to forgive you, find joy in knowing He has, and move on in faith. Learn from the pain you caused the person and try to never hurt anyone else. Leave the offended person in the loving hands of our Lord. 

I hope these words have been a blessing, 

Tony Guthrie, PhD.
tguthriebiz@gmail.com
404-933-0418
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Monday, July 11, 2016

The Purity of a Pure Heart

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8
This verse has always been significant for me. In my younger years I struggled with its meaning. What did it mean to be "pure in heart?" I knew how to live in purity outwardly even though I, like all people, failed at it regularly. But the "in heart" part was puzzling for me. I wondered if it had to do with my thoughts which were so difficult to control. I reasoned that if my thoughts were impure then my heart was as well. But again, possessing regular pure thoughts proved so challenging. In fact, if I can be transparent, it was practically impossible. 

Often when I reflect on Matthew 5:8 the words of Paul in Ephesians 5:3 come to mind:
But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.
 "ALL impurity" is not to even be named among you. How could there be any hope for me or anyone else? I struggle with keeping my thoughts in check. And, if you are honest, you do as well. So, what's the bottom line?


The Purity of a Pure Heart | Knowing Your Heart

pure-in-heart
Jesus was always having to explain to the Pharisees that the outward expressions of the Law were not what made them right in God's sight. They were so focused on ceremonial washings and cleansings. They expected to see God as a result of these outward rituals. 

But Jesus came to make us pure inwardly. This inward purification is not based on what we do outwardly but is completely based on His sacrifice for our sins. What He did makes us pure in heart. It is true that no one will see God unless his or her soul has been delivered from all sin. It is through the blood of the cross that we have hope to see God.




The "actions" of the purified heart naturally follow our redemption. We may struggle with impure thoughts and actions but living continuously in those things will not be the norm. Prayerful and heart-felt repentance will be the norm for those whose hearts have been purified by the sacrifice of our Lord. We will not endorse impurity at any level for ourselves or anyone else. Paul's words related to not allowing impurity to even be named among us will take on new meaning for us. We will not live by those words so much out of obligation but more out of a desire to honor the Lord for just how far He went to purify us.

So, how's your heart? Has it been redeemed and made pure? If so, are you living in purity out of a desire to honor the Lord in every area of your life? This is a question I deal with regularly.


The Purity of a Pure Heart | Seeing God

People often talk about the day that they leave this earthly realm, enter God's presence and see Him. They, like I do, put it in very positive terms. We all look forward to that day. But none of us can truly imagine what it will be like. We merely know that it will be awesome. 
pure-in-heart

The expression "they shall see God" is actually a reference to possessing God and being happy in the knowledge that He has purified us. It has more to do with the here and now than it does with the eternal. The statement is simply a Hebraistic expression. These expressions were common in Jesus' day. It may be an expression, but it's meaning is potent. Seeing God is living in the joy of His presence. 

Living in His presence will help monitor the thoughts of our mind and our outward actions. Knowing He is with us will help us to evaluate everything we do and live righteously out of an overwhelming desire to do so.

I trust these words have been a blessing, 

Tony Guthrie, PhD.
tguthriebiz@gmail.com
404-933-0418

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Thoughts on Philippians 2: 1-4

These are thought-provoking words, aren't they?


Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2: 1-4
Paul wrote these words immediately following his reminder that the Philippians would likely face suffering. He noted that suffering had been "granted" unto them. To truly fellowship with Jesus and to totally relate to the depths of His purpose in winning the world through the Gospel, one needed to be willing even to suffer persecution for the cause of Christ. 

As he moved into chapter 2 Paul stressed our need to be as much like Jesus as possible. The need for self-sacrifice and considering others more highly than ourselves are simply non-negotiable traits for faithful believers. Just before those powerful words of Philippians 2: 5-11, Paul reminded us that "if" we really are Christians and possesses the attributes of faithfulness then we will live and act as Jesus did. We would remove ourselves from the top of the priority list and look at the needs of others, even the lost, and strive to bless them. 


Philippians 2: 1-2  | A Simple Explanation


Paul uses the if/then approach in order to make a serious case. "If" you are truly living for Jesus and possess true Christian attributes "then" self-sacrifice and the consideration of others will be the natural spiritual result. So, let's look at the "if" terms and get a feel for their meaning, 


  • Consolation of Christ - Consolation is closely related to the word Comforter in John 14: 16-26 which references the Holy Spirit. But in Luke 2:25 the word consolation is in reference to Jesus as He is called the "consolation of Israel." So, the word consolation carries with it thoughts of both the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus. 
  • Comfort of love - The word comfort means stimulating force. The idea is to keep stimulating and motivating. Paul was encouraging the Philippians to keep on keeping on in comforting and consoling one another as they faced the struggles of sharing Christ with the world. 
  • Fellowship of the Spirit - The idea here is to participate with the Holy Spirit in His work of ministry. We are simply not strong enough to face the rebellious world with our own efforts or with any natural means. The work of the Holy Spirit is needed. 
  • Affection and Mercy - These words have to do with our hearts and our compassion for others. Paul was appealing to the Philippians' natural sympathy, tenderness, and feelings for others. 
In verse 2 Paul gets to the "then" aspect. If they possess the above qualities "then" they will desire to fulfill his joy by possessing the unity that a true church of God should possess. The unified church is a powerful church. Working together gets things done. The Gospel message goes out more efficienty and effectively when carried out by a team of believers who have the same passion and compassion for the lost. 

Philippians 2: 3-4 | A Sensible Application


3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Some passages of Scripture need no real explanation from a preacher, pastor, or teacher. Some simply lay it out there and there is no room for personal interpretation. These 2 verses are of that sort. They simply mean ...

  • Don't be selfish, especially in the work of the Gospel
  • Don't think you are more gifted or better than other Christians 
  • Be amazingly humble as the Lord Jesus was
  • Think more of others than you do of yourself (Hmmm, maybe reading Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" is a good idea). 
  • Remember that people are always more interested in themselves than they are anyone else, so use that to your advantage when sharing thr Gospel with them.
Hopefully these thoughts resonated with you as they have with me.

Blessings, 

Tony Guthrie, PhD.
tguthriebiz@gmail.com




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