Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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This is the daily broadcast for people who have been made new by the blood of Christ. I’m Robert Hatfield, and this is The New You. Here is today’s Scripture:
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world (Phil. 2:14-15).
Philippians 2 is all about being unified in Christ. Unity is the solution to most – if not all – church problems. Of course, that isn’t unity upon just any authority, that is unity based upon the Word of God.
The chapter begins with a PLEA for unity. Paul says, “fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind” (Phil. 2:2).
Next, Paul gives a PATTERN for how to accomplish that unity. The pattern, of course, is Jesus Christ, our perfect example. In this context, Paul points the Philippians to the Lord’s pattern of humility. If we will be humble and seek the best interest of other people instead of pushing our own selfish agendas, then unity can be enjoyed!
That’s where today’s topic is interjected in this inspired discussion. “Do all things without complaining and disputing,” the Holy Spirit says through Paul in Philippians 2:14. You know, complaining disrupts the unity of the local church. It turns us against each other! Nothing and no one is exempt from the cancer of complaining. We complain about the elders, the deacons, the preacher, the worship, and anything else we can observe. But this isn’t in accordance with the new you! In fact, this is nothing more than sin. It has no place in our thoughts, on our lips, and in the church.
In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul reminds us to learn from the example of the Old Testament (10:6). He follows up that exhortation with some examples. Here’s one: Paul says not to “complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer” (1 Cor. 10:10).
Complaining hinders our work, shatters our influence, and jeopardizes our salvation. That’s why Paul continues in Philippians 2 by saying, “that you may become blameless and harmless” (Phil. 2:15). Wait a minute. Look at those two thoughts linked together: “Do all things without complaining and disputing.” Why? “[T]hat you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.” The word translated “harmless” comes from a Greek word that means unmixed. The ESV and NASB translate it “innocent.”
Let’s wrap it up: Do you want to be blameless? Do you want to be innocent in God’s sight? Then get rid of the murmuring and complaining. It’s counter-productive to Christ’s cause. It’s counter-productive to Christian unity. It tears down the church instead of building it up. The very thought of complaining goes against everything that Christ taught and practiced.
Instead, focus on the positive of living in a world without complaining. Paul hints at it in our verse of the day when he says that we can be “children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15). Act like God’s child. Fulfill His will in your life. Remember that you died with Christ and were adopted into His family. Be a light in our dark world.
Memory Verse: Let’s turn our attention now to this week’s memory verse. We began looking yesterday at Isaiah 64:8. I’ll say it once, then you repeat it with me.
But now, O LORD,
You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all we are the work of Your hand (Isa. 64:8).
Sometime today: Head on over to 1 Timothy 2 and read verses nine and ten. Tomorrow, we’re going to discuss the topic of modesty. But before you decide not to listen, I want you to read those verses for yourself. We’re going to God’s Word speak on that topic tomorrow on The New You.
Thanks for joining today me on The New You. New episodes of this broadcast are released each weekday, Monday through Friday, from The Light Network. Archives of this program, episode transcripts, and more Christian podcasts are available there, too, at thelightnetwork.tv.
Do you have a suggestion for The New You that would help this program to better meet your needs? Have an idea that would make the program more compelling to you or to someone you know? Why don’t you contact me with your suggestions! I’ll be happy to hear them! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my voicemail number is 903-265-4448.
Until next time, focus on the positive. Look for the good in people and in situations of life. Find nice things to say instead of negative things to say. That’s how you let your light shine. That’s how you magnify Christ in your life. I’m Robert Hatfield, have a great day!