I love the Bible. I love reading it. I love reading about it. There's power in it. I pick it up, turn the pages, and it's like the power leaks and gets all over my hands.
Today I'm starting a study in Philippians. Actually, I've been studying Philippians for two months now, but today I'm inviting you to join me.
I write Bible studies because I can't imagine anything more helpful, because I'm sold on the Bible as the greatest way to know God, discover truth, and catalyze personal transformation. This study in Philippians delivers on all those fronts, leading us particularly in something I think we all need desperately: open-handed, no worries, no fear, no self-interest, joy-packed living.
Here's an excerpt from the beginning of the study. I'm calling it your call to action...
I am tired of pretending life is little.
Tired of measuring meaning in likes and shares, identity in colored jerseys and brand names, purpose in paychecks and happiness in days off work.
I am tired of pretending popularity and safety and comfort matter. Tired of holding so tightly, fists clenched, closed around things I can touch but can’t feel. Things with no gravity and so much pull…
I am tired of pretending I belong here. Tired of this place with its shadows and shallow, undrinkable water.
I’m tired of pretending, not rocking the boat, being normal. And I’m scared I’ve pretended for so long that maybe I’m not pretending anymore.
When I remember, when I am not busy forgetting, I look in the mirror and see the unseen:
I am a Christian, a follower of the King of glory, a child of glory myself and warrior of light. I talk to the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. His Spirit lives inside me. His abundant life springs up within me. I bear His name and wield His power.
I see the unseen, and I am tired of pretending life is little.
Which is why I like Philippians so much.
The book of Philippians is an anthem. In it, Paul, our brave and battle-scarred brother calls us to bigger living. He says, “To live is Christ to die is gain.” And we feel the fear wiped from our death-tricked eyes.
He says, “Whatever happens, live in a manner worthy of the gospel” and we hunker down, sword drawn, ready to face the inevitable assault with grace, courage and dignity.
He says, “I consider everything a loss… I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” And we loosen our grip on our plans and expectations and self-centered ambitions, letting them drop to the dusty ground, walking away, looking ahead.
He says, “But our citizenship is in heaven.” And we remember home. And we see clearly that this place is not it.
Paul sings, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” And we answer in a belting bass chorus, “We can do all things,” our eyes set on the battlefield, our hearts beating like drums.
When I read Philippians I remember who I am and am compelled to live into my extraordinary calling. When I read Philippians I say with Paul, “Live or Die. Either way.”
Find out more about Live or Die and get started HERE.