Approve What Is Excellent

Today, I’m going to give a little glimpse into my personal Bible study, something I do not share very often, but something that has been on my heart greatly this past week.

The text is Philippians 1:9-11:
“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,  10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,  11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes <a href="" rel="popup" style="color: #34448b; cursor: pointer; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; outline-color: initial; outline-style: none; outline-width: initial; text-decoration: none;" title="

[John 15:4, 5]

“>vthrough Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

Often times, I fear we have almost too much resource to run to for our Christian walk.  I consider myself to be discipled and grown by a certain pastor and church, but draw most of my learning of doctrine from a few figures namely John Piper, David Platt, Matt Chandler, JR Vassar, Matt Carter, Mark Driscoll, Albert Mohler, Chuck Kelly, and the list goes on and on.  These men, by God’s grace, are truly “all stars” of the pulpit. 

However, this has put me and I believe many other- if not most others- into a predicament.  Often, I expect the radically excellent preaching style.  My rubric for a “good sermon” has become increasingly difficult.  In fact, based off their spiritual growth and mine which they have aided in, I have become somewhat desensitized to the daily work of God in others.

I have learned many things from this text therefore:

1) I need to pray for my friend and myself to have our own love abound out of knowledge of God.  In Phil 1:3-5 Paul says we are not just friends but rather in “partnership in the Gospel”.  Because of this, I have concluded I must praise God for my friends salvation, and pray for grace and an abundance of knowledge in their life, instead of a rectification of their faults.

2) Secondly, I need to purge my mind of that which is not excellent.  Simply stated, my mind has been filled with filth of my own accord, and by God’s grace and prayer, I aim to rid myself of them.

3) Lastly, and I believe most importantly, is an attitude adjustment on the gospel and my view of God’s work in the “small people”.  It is easy for me to not respect new Christian’s views, lessons they have learned, or simplistic love of Christ in the new things they have been overjoyed to learn but that I have known for ages.

It is time for us all, myself included, to lose the harsh attitude and be overjoyed at what is excellent.  Even if I hear the same message from different people, it is still excellent, and if it is of Christ, I should rejoice.

I heard it once said from a small pastor that ,”He may preach the gospel better than I, but he can not preach a better gospel.”

It is time for us to stop rejoicing in a better preaching of the gospel so much as in the simple preaching of the gospel at all.  That is not to say that the mature things of faith are not important, but rather that I should not lose the joy I once had for the small things of God.  

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