Philippians 2:12-18

Philippians 2:12-18

"You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them." (vs. 15)

     I'm an example of the person who can read the Bible every morning and yet consistently fail to apply what I read to my daily life. I need practical, tangible examples, and though I search for them, my heart's eye does not always see clearly.
     In reading through Philippians 2:12-18, the verse above stood out to me the most. I desire to live a clean and innocent life! I desire that my life shine brightly! The desire, however, is not necessarily enough; I need the knowledge vital to begin actually living that way. As I once heard a wise counselor say, the heart can't feel or act on what the mind doesn't know!
     This is the point at which the verses surrounding the "epic" portion of this short scripture reading stand out as the treasures they really are, and proof that the Word of God is perfect, showing us clearly the way to true life in its fullest... even when I don't always behold it that way. See verse 16: "Hold tightly to the word of life..." So in order to live this clean and innocent, light-filled life, one must take this vital step in the right direction! I take this to mean read the Word-- all of the Word. Not just the epic verses that inspire, but also the ones that give practical direction and tangible application, and memorize the Word, so that it fills my mind, helping to guide my choices and actions throughout the day. I'n doing this, I'm holding tightly to it both physically and mentally. Verse 14 also lends advice important to living this clean, innocent, and light-filled life: "In everything you do, stay away from complaining  and arguing..." Now THIS is what I'd call a practical and tangible example! 
   As I reflect on verse 14, I realize that I've gotten into the habit of complaining about basically everything that happens in my daily life. That test could have gone better. What do I do? Complain! The email I got from my supervisor was less than friendly. What do I do? Complain! I miss my fiancĂ© and am frustrated with a long distance relationship. What do I do? I think you get the picture. I'm going to begin holding tightly to these words of life right now!
     You've just read through what has been an extremely convicting reflection on scripture for me, and yet there is such joy in feeling the Spirit at work in my life in a real way. My hope and prayer for you is that as you read scripture you would feel the Spirit at work in your own life, and that you would desire live a clean, innocent life as a child of God, shining brightly in a dark, lost world that is hungry for the light of Truth.

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