The little book of Philippians leads us home. It leads us to that place deep within where, through our relationship with Jesus Christ, we discover peace, comfort, security, a sense of being loved, a private inner space of safety in which to change, to grow and to develop.
Gordon McDonald speaks of just such a place in his book, "Ordering Your Private World." He writes, "There is a special, intimate place where we commune with the Father in a way that no one else can appreciate or understand." He called that "place of the spirit" the garden of our private world. I call that inner place HOME.
McDonald goes on to write that "The recognition that ones life is meant to be lived FROM THE INSIDE OUT is a milepost on our spiritual journey." All that we are as women, as wives, as mothers and grandmothers, and friends; ALL THAT WE DO AND SAY AS HUMAN BEINGS will express what is central to our being. THE MOUTH SPEAKS FROM THAT WHICH FILLS THE HEART.
That is why, as we go through this study, my theme will be, "Jesus Christ - The Heart of Home". At the very center, at the core, at the heart of my life as a child of God - is Jesus. As He becomes the LORD of that inner place I call home, His presence is expressed in all of my life, in all of my circumstances, and in the very house and family that is an outward expression of home. That thought becomes the motto of Philippians, and is found in Philippians 1:21. . .
"For me, to live is Christ."
Phillippians takes us to the center, to the core, to the heart. It takes us home; back to the basics; to a place within where we learn HOW TO LIVE AND HOW TO LOVE. It takes us to our Heavenly Father, and shows us the joy of a relationship with Him. It is one of my favorite books of the Bible, for it is about the Christian experience, and could be entitled, "The Joy of Knowing Christ."
Paul wrote the book while a prisoner at Rome, perhaps in the year 62 A.D. It is a letter directed to the church he had founded in Phillipi. Phillipi was the first city of Europe in which the church of Jesus Christ was established.
Its theme is the ADEQUACY of CHRIST for all the experiences of life- privation, persecution, hardship, suffering, as well as prosperity and pulularity. He can and will be with us and care for us. Christ gives joy and triumph whatever may come if He is allowed to be the center of life- the heart of home. The note of joy is sounded more than 18 times in the course of this short letter. We have said that the motto of Philippians is found in Philippians 1:21- "For me, to life is Christ," and the golden text of Philippians is found in Philippians 4:4, "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice." I have taught this book multiple times and always find fresh perspectives that I enjoy revisiting- I hope you will join us this fall as we journey through Phillippians on the blog!