Philippians has many “refrigerator notes” in it. You know, quotable verses you might put on your fridge. One of them is Philippians 3:14 which says, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (NASB95).
As I read Philippians this morning, I noticed that several times Paul references people who did NOT stay the course. Listen to these:
- “Some to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife … (they) proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, rather than from pure motives” (Phil 1:15-17).
- “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil 2:3-4). Did you see the connection to the first passage?
- “For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthy things” (Phil 3:18-19).
One of the things Paul is telling us is that if we want to stay the course, we need to learn from the mistakes of others. Those who love to stir up trouble, have selfish motives, lean towards conceit and have their minds in the wrong place are heading towards trouble. Their prize will end in destruction (not an uplifting image).
“Lord, guard my heart. When I begin to stray, humble me and keep me close. Keep my motives pure and my eyes on You.”