So I’ve been thinking a lot about the Gospel lately… my mindset is changing… or maybe I should say Jesus is changing the way I think. I don’t know if I can explain it except to say I think I’ve put the Gospel message in a backseat in my life. I’ve used it as an insurance policy and not as a manual on how to live, so I’m trying to live in light of the Gospel. I’m still working out what that means exactly, but the power of the Gospel is freeing. I feel so much freer… and that may seem vague, but I’m still working it out as to what all that means.
In the meantime, I read Philippians today and here’s a few things I thought about…
In light of the Gospel, Philippians tells me to be content …. Not to be comfortable, but in whatever circumstances I am in, know that Christ has suffered first and more than I ever could, and so I can be content in my current place. If I’m poor, know that Jesus gave up everything, emptied himself, to come to this earth as a man and pay the price for my sin. If I’m suffering, know that Jesus suffered in my place more than I will ever suffer. He willingly gave up his place beside God the Father to come to this earth, to feel what it was to be mortal, to be in a place covered with sin and death, to give up his life in a brutal, vicious death at the hands of people who should have recognized who he was.
In light of the Gospel, Philippians tells me to be thankful. He has provided more than I need. If I lost every worldly possession I have, if I lost my family, if I lost my health, if I lost it all, I should still praise my Jesus because of his immeasurable blessings He has poured out on me. Jesus came to this earth, humbly, and gave up his life for me, a sinner. I could have drowned in my sinfulness, in my self-righteousness, but he lifted me out by the grace he displayed. He gave me his righteousness. Everything I am, I owe to him. I will be thankful to him for all that he has given me. He gave it to me before I even asked.
In light of the gospel, Philippians tells me to abound in love. This works itself out in a couple ways. First, I need to be aware of needs of those around me… and able to give to those in need. Jesus was always aware of the needs of those around him… more acutely aware of them they the people in need even were. Sometimes, the need is a strong word to help them realize the futility of their thoughts. Second, I need to live a life that shows Jesus’ love, his abounding love as evidenced in the Gospel. In Phil 2:5-11, it tells us about the kind of love Jesus showed us… he put us above himself, he gave his life for us, he served us, he met our needs physically and spiritually. We need to show this Gospel love in our lives for others around us.