Sunday, February 12, 2023

Philippians: Lights in the World

STOP — Philippians 2:12-18


Paul wanted the Philippians to obey him in this teaching of humility. It wasn’t enough for them to do what is right when he was there, it was even more important to do it when he wasn’t there. When they lived a life of obedience they continued the work of salvation in their life. God would join them in this work. To live in humility and to work out their salvation meant they needed to quit grumbling and arguing, but live as holy people. Their good lives should make them stand out in the world around them. Paul wanted them and him to find joy in their humble obedience as they grew in their spiritual formation.


Our lives can be a light in the darkness when we follow the example of Jesus.


  1. The Philippians obeyed when Paul was around. They wanted to please him. Now Paul wants to emphasis that they need to obey even when he wasn’t there. Our obedience should not be dependent on who is watching us. True faith leads us to do the right thing even when there is no immediate benefit to us.
  2. We miss out on spiritual formation when we neglect living with humility and being obedient. We need to take this seriously, fear and trembling, and not just treat it as a nice optional thing to do.
  3. God is at work with us to transform our lives. So our transformation isn’t just about our effort, it is God working in us. We need to trust that He is at work.
  4. Two things we need to avoid, things that will effect our unity, are grumbling and arguing. It is our unity and working together in one purpose that helps us stand out, to shine like stars, in this world.
  5. Their continued spiritual formation is confirmation that Paul’s efforts are not being wasted. He needed to know that his sacrifice was making a difference.
  6. The Philippians should find joy in their spiritual formation, just as Paul did. We need to be joyful in the positive change that happens to those around us because of their faith.


Lord God, help me to be obedient. I want to experience the transformation you have for my life.

Tomorrow: Philippians 2:19-30

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