Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. ~Philippians 3:1
Over the years, I have had the privilege of touring the worksites of several leading manufacturing, processing, or mechanical companies. These tours give a firsthand look at how products are developed or processed. Before each tour, the guide gave a “safety first” instruction that included hard hats, protective clothing, what to do, and what not to do. “Safety first” emphasizes safe practices that keep us from harm and injury. Paul gave a “safety first” instruction to the church at Philippi.
We must be vigilant against robbers.
“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.” Paul was speaking about false teachers and those who have an evil agenda to steal our faith from us. Satan has his clandestine agents who look for areas of vulnerability and weakness in our lives. These workers of iniquity seek to make us their disciples in doctrine and devotion. They want to steal our attention and, then, our affection. We must scrutinize carefully anyone who promotes another doctrine or another Christ. The foundation of the Word of God is true and unshakable. We must not allow ourselves to be beguiled and pulled away from the faith once delivered to the saints. Be careful about who influences you.
We must be virtuous in our resistance.
“For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” Confidence in the flesh is trusting in our achievements, accumulations, and acumen. It is when we build false hope in our experiences, assets, and knowledge to the point when we take care of ourselves to the neglect of having faith in God. Paul said that we should put no confidence in the flesh. We must resist the temptation to have trust in ourselves. Don’t let routine, indifference, and independence direct you away from the walk of faith. We walk by faith and not by sight. Have accountability in your decisions and relationships. Place no confidence in the flesh.
We must be vigorous in our rejoicing.
“Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.” The believers in the church at Philippi had lost their joy in the Lord. A contentious and factious spirit developed in the church. It led to broken fellowship, serving the Lord out of wrong motive, and loss of focus on the real emphasis for the church and the Christian life. Paul simply told them, “Rejoice in the Lord.” He was emphasizing being happy even though they were unhappy. He was emphasizing being positive and not being negative. When we have a spirit that is grumpy, suspicious, and critical, we are not very useful to the Lord. Rejoice, regardless of the situation. Rejoice because you are saved. Rejoice because things are better higher up. Rejoice because your attitude determines your altitude.
As we approach a New Year, a “safety first” approach is needed. Without this, we are at risk of fruitlessness, frustration, and futility. Avoid the hidden dangers that the enemy is trying to ensnare you with.
Have a safe God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Revelation 17-19