Kerry and I love to “People Watch.” Don’t judge…I think deep down majority of each of us enjoy it too. Our favorite place to “people watch” is the airport. So many personalities, so many individuals, so many souls. As you sit and watch, you can make a guess as to their destination, their plans, and their personalities but all you have to go on this is what you see with your eyes and maybe even possibly what you hear in their conversations. Yet, you will never truly know their souls unless you journey with them; emotionally, physically and spiritually.
This leads us to what God has laid on our heart this past week and now wanting to share with each of you.
“The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9 NASB
Having addressed individuals in the church of Philippi, Paul now turns to give instructions to all members. Starting in verse 4, Paul gives his formula for joy: We each must have Jesus Christ as our priority, pattern, passion and peace. He encourages us to be gentle (v.5) and then continues that encouragement to trust and pray with a humble heart. (vv.6,7) Starting in verse 8, Paul seems to expand on Proverbs 23:7, ‘…as he thinks in his heart, so he is’ by suggesting that we each think about the right things and not only think but ‘dwell’ on those divine instructions.
So now in verse 9, Paul reiterates what has already shared two times prior, 2:17-18 & 3:17. Paul has called his readers to follow his example. It is not a show of pride but that of humility.
This is where we were challenged.
Learned: To acquire information as the result of instruction.What information, what instruction of God’s Truth, the Gospel, who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for me have I shared or better yet, purposely taught to those in my life and those I encounter?
Received: To take and bring along with you on your journey.With each individual I encounter, what part of my ‘instruction’ are they now journeying with in their lives and in turn, sharing with others they encounter?
Heard and Seen: To listen and observe the words, actions and deeds of an individual.What words and actions am I displaying to those around me? In public as well as private?
Practice: To carry out and accomplish what was Learned, Received, Heard and Seen.This is the challenge for both of us today and every day. What example are we displaying for others to follow? Are we reflecting the character, love and truth of Jesus Christ? By our examples, are we drawing an individual towards Christ or are we pushing them away from the Gospel?
Each of us as followers of Jesus Christ are to set the example, a reflection of Christ, for others to follow. So, ask yourself this, “What are they learning, receiving, hearing and seeing in me that truly reflects the truth of the Gospel and the love of Christ?”
Pursing Christ First!
Joe and Kerry