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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Thursday-Stand Firm

 

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!

 

Philippians 4:1[1]

 

Have you ever been watching someone on TV or a movie about to do something either terribly stupid or to get themselves killed? They don’t know what you know. They can’t see what you see.

 

If you’re like me, you just can’t keep still. You just can’t keep quiet. I go into action, yelling and screaming at them. “Watch out! Look behind you.” When that doesn’t seem to work, I go after their intellect. “Are you stupid? Don’t you know what’s about to happen?”

 

And then some sanity returns. I start to breath and calm down. The blood that came up and turned my face red starts to go back into my body. My pulse starts to slow down. The sweat I worked up on my forehead is wiped away and I go back to my almost normal life.

 

People do the same thing all the time at sporting events. Whether you’re on the sidelines, in the stands, or watching a live broadcast, yelling isn’t going to make any difference about the decisions and actions made by the players.

 

And it actually gets a bit weirder when we yell and scream while watching a game that’s recorded. Whether we saved it on our DVR, or it’s being replayed on TV, the game’s already over. It’s in the history books, yet we keep yelling and getting all worked up about something that’s already over.

 

That’s how Paul thinks about his brothers and sisters in Philippi. How he feels about his dear friends in the church there. He’s cheering for them. He’s rooting them on.

 

Yes, Paul feels this way about them. But it’s more than just a feeling. It’s the way he thinks about them. It’s his commitment to them. In a word, it’s his love for them.

 

Remember, this kind of love isn’t just some high-flying feeling that’s here today and gone tomorrow. This kind of love isn’t that tingly feeling in your emotions. It’s not that excitement in your gut. Oh no, it’s so much more.

 

Paul’s love for them isn’t some puppy love kind of explosive feeling that’s here one minute and gone the next. It’s not that rush that takes you to a mountain top for just a minute, but then throws you off a cliff and into the dirt.

 

Not at all. Paul’s love for them is self-sacrificing. It’s where Paul gladly gives anything that will be helpful to the Philippians. He gives up anything so that they receive nothing but the best from God for their lives. It’s not about Paul at all, but all about them.

 

This kind of love wasn’t thought up by Paul while in the desert. He didn’t find this in a blog or somewhere on the Internet. Or when on a Zoom call with other Christians. This is God’s kind of love and he found it when he saw God’s love for him.

 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life

 

John 3:16

 

God loves the world, but he didn’t show it through creation (as great as creation is.) He didn’t reveal himself by writing about himself in the sky. And he didn’t even use words to tell us that he loves us.

 

No, God shows his love through the action of giving his son to save us. His love is on full display for all to see in and through Jesus Christ. He’s the way that God put’s his love out there in a way that just can’t be missed. It can’t be ignored.

 

And only when we grab ahold of his love for us can we stand firm. It’s not by pulling ourselves up, gritting out teeth, and making a New Years resolution. The only way to hold our ground, to stand firm, is to let God’s love for us in Jesus Christ take hold of us.

 

Standing firm is an outside-in thing. It’s not from the inside-out. Outside-in is like trying to hold up a building where the foundation is weak. The inside-out is the only way to stand strong when you’re all alone.

 

The power to not be moved by all the junk going on around us is to let Jesus hold onto us. You can’t keep all the noise out by just putting your hands over your ears. Or by cranking up the volume on your ear buds.

 

To stand firm, you need to keep on letting God do the holding. Let him take all the weight. Let his shoulders take all the strain. Let his legs do all the standing. And he’ll never let you go.

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • Are you the kind of person that can stand firm? Stand alone?

  • How has Jesus’ self-sacrificing life empowered you to be self-sacrificing?

  • Where is it easier to stand firm? Where is it hard? Why?


[1] Unless otherwise noted, all Bible references are from the New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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