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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 

Wednesday-The Big Three

 

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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

 

Philippians 4:8,9

 

It seems like people like to make lists of movers and shakers. There have always been lists of the biggest, most important companies in an industry. There were the Big 8 accounting firms, which has been shrunk down to the Big Four. When it comes to technology there’s the Big Five. They’re called FAANG, an acronym for Facebook (now Meta), Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google (now Alphabet).

 

There used to be the Big Three automotive companies. General Motors, Chrysler (now Stellantis), and Ford Motor Company. After decades of dominating the U.S. and global markets, the Big Three have lost significant market share to automakers from Japan, South Korea, and Europe.

 

And while the Big Three car makers have changed, The Apostle Paul give us his list of the Big Three. These Three things are what he wants the Philippians to do each and every day. They saw these three things in the life of the Paul and he wants them in their lives too.

 

  • Learned – not just knowledge that’s from a website, but through a life. While video instruction is a great help and should be used, this is something more valuable and personal. Paul was the more experienced Christian and they were his disciples. They experienced Paul living out the life of Jesus right in front of them.

  • Received – the Philippians looked at Paul like a great teacher that he was, and they received nothing but truth from him. As Paul shared his life and the good news of Jesus, they came alongside him and received it openly. They could look back and see that all they knew about Jesus came from Paul. He was the original source of their trust and changed lives.

  • Heard – When they heard Paul, he was right there in front of them. He wasn’t far away. IT came in and through a deeply personal connection and relationship with Paul. All they received, all they heard, and all they understood about Jesus came as they sat at Paul’s feet. Paul’s voice came through the air and into their ears. But it didn’t stop there, it went into their hearts.

 

Now that they have the truth, it doesn’t stop there. They can’t just say that they have this valuable information in their memory. They have to do more than just think about it. They have to follow it. They have to do it. When Pall tells them to put it into practice, he’s not just asking them to be doing it when they go to church. Or when life’s going great. Or when they feel like it. Putting it into practice has nothing to do with when life’s easy. It has everything to do about life when it’s hard.

 

Paul’s commanding them, giving them an order to make the Big Three a part of their daily lives. They are to build each of these three things into habits that happen almost without thinking. Something that comes naturally from years of practice. Think about something that you do without thinking. Maybe it’s slamming on the breaks when another car gets too close. Or it’s closing your eye when a bug flies near your face. Or maybe it’s when you walk into the kitchen when you smell something great cooking.

 

God has permanently put his Holy Spirit into us. And one of his jobs is to motivate and empower us to become more and more like Jesus. And some of that comes from lovingly building daily habits that mirror who he is.

 

So, what’s the end result of doing the Big Three? We have God’s promise that he will not only be with us but that he will give us peace. Some of this peace may come today. Some tomorrow. Some next week. Some next year. But it will fully come to us when we are reunited to him. When we stand face-to-face with him.

 

We have his 100% guarantee that we’ll have his peace. There’s no doubt that we’ll have it. But there is no 100% guarantee that it will come into this life when we want it. Or in the way that we expect it. Or even in the way we demand it.

 

Did you notice how God’s peace is described? His peace isn’t all around us like a protective bubble. It’s not in the events and circumstances of our daily life. His peace isn’t even in the people and relationships that surround us. But God’s peace is promised to be with us as we live.

 

The world might be falling apart. Our health might be circling the drain. Our finances might be drowning in a sea of debt. Our car might have gasped its last breadth. Our job might have been eliminated. Our family and friends might have turned against us.

 

In and through all this and more, God is personally with us. His peace can be with us. But we have to be learning and growing in his Big Three. We have to be in the process of giving up our right to control life and turn it over to God.

 

We need to want to do this not just to get the blessing, but to please the one who loves us. The one who cares for us. The one who died for us. It’s in loving response to who he is and all he’s done for us. That’s what’s to motivate us to make the Big Three into daily habits. How are you doing with them?

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • Which one of Paul’s Big Three is more important to you? Why?

  • Which one is least important? Why?

  • How can we make the Big Three more active in our daily lives?

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