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Scripture: Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
By Joe Crawford
Advent is a time of waiting and expectation to commemorate and remember that Jesus is coming as a Savior. A casualty of Christmas and Advent being interwoven with cultural traditions is that we can forget what Jesus came to save us from. One Christmas hymn strikes a serious note about the waiting of the world for the hope of a Savior:
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
The Apostle Paul wrote this message to Philippians in prison and in shackles where there was good reason to believe he would be dealt with unfairly. He was caught up in a sinful world and he and the people entrusted to him were threatened; pining for a way out. For Paul, the brokenness of the situation was evident, and his one hope was in Jesus Christ. On the surface this scripture can appear to mean, “just think happy thoughts”, and suggest that the Philippians deny the gravity of the reality they were in. But this is not what he exhorted the Philippians to do. Rather, Paul was comprehending the power of Jesus coming back from the dead and that Jesus and his power were near him and the Philippians. And therefore, despite being caught up in the sinful world and the patterns of its fallout, he says to focus on Christ’s power to redeem a seemingly insurmountable world.
"...focus on Christ’s power to redeem a seemingly insurmountable world."
Does falsity appear to be winning? Remember Jesus triumphs with truth. Are the ignoble, unjust, and corrupt promoted (And is that me?) Remember Jesus’ justice, nobility, and love create a thrilling new phase of history where the fallen world does not win.
Question to Consider
Can you remember a time, recent or distant, where you were a victim or agent of being caught up in a fallen world? Can you remember how Jesus’ power offered an opposite and more powerful way than what the fallen world offered?
God, I am an agent of the fallen world and a victim of it too. Thank you for the thrilling hope that there is a new way with Jesus; both for me and for the world. Remind me, please, of how your power has redeemed aspects of my life and the world. Let me be thankful to for them.
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