Continue Steadfastly

June 19, 2017

My church recently completed a study on the book of Philippians.

This book has quickly become a favorite for several reasons; one being how proud Paul was of the church at Philippi. Paul both praised and encouraged the church, calling them his “crown and joy.”

By end of the series, all I could think was that I hope Jesus looks at my life (and my church) with the same joy and affection Paul had toward the church at Philippi. Like Philippians 4:1, when Jesus speaks of me, I want Him to be able to say “dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown!”

If I truly want Jesus to feel that way about me, I can open my Bible and learn from their example.

That’s the amazing thing about having access to the Word of God.

In Philippians 2:12, we see that this is a church that obeyed, not just when Paul was present, but even more so while he was away!

Obedience seems like such a simple (and obvious) concept, but how many times do we try to sidestep it? Instead of reading and obeying (which seems easy enough), we try to get away with the bare minimum. If that doesn’t work, we do our best to justify our disobedience – something we are exceptionally adept at doing.

This life is a drop in the ocean compared to eternity. The years we spend walking this spinning speck in space will seem like nothing compared to thousands of years spent in heaven.

With that perspective, and with heaven our focus, why not simply obey?

While Paul dealt with all kinds of problems and false teachings in other churches, the Philippian church appears to have continued steadfastly in the teachings of Paul and the Apostles.

In Acts 2, following the miraculous revival on the day of Pentecost, it is said that they continued steadfastly.

The idea of being steadfast has weighed on my heart recently, due to so many friends who are leaving this precious truth behind. The signs the Jesus could return at any moment are plentiful in the world around us, and now is not the time to give up!

stead·fast /ˈstedˌfast/

  1. resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.
  2. a :  firmly fixed in place :  immovable
    b :  not subject to change
  3. firm in belief, determination, or adherence :  loyal

If I could encourage you to do one thing,
it would be to continue steadfastly!

As Paul said in Philippians 4:1, “…so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.”

I cannot afford to get distracted by this world. The lies, the hurts, the perceived glitz and glamour – the entire world seems to be screaming that truth and the gospel do not matter

It does matter!

And now more than ever we must dedicate ourselves to continue steadfastly in the Word, in prayer, in holiness, and in fellowship with those who hold us accountable.

Don’t allow yourself to be deceived now. You’ve come too far!

Especially considering that it’s so easy to please God!

Like the Philippians, if we simply obey His Word, we’ll find ourselves on the receiving end of His rejoicing and encouragement.

To those who’ve been faithful, continue steadfastly!

To those of you who’ve begun to question, or let life get in the way of your relationship with God – get back in the Word and rededicate yourself to continuing steadfastly!

To those of you who’ve been hurt, whether by others or just circumstances of life, set your eyes on heaven and continue steadfastly!

And to those of you who have wavered, let down, walked away – with a burdened heart I beg you to abandon pride and flee excuses to return to this precious truth!

Jesus is coming soon.

In the light of eternity, all the fleshly things we once thought important or valuable will seem meaningless.

After 10,000 years in heaven (or hell), what will we say about our priorities today?

Let us make this our prayer: that we continue steadfastly!