Philippians 2:14–16 (NKJV)
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
This week the students in the homeschool cooperative are memorizing Philippians 2:14 and the verse has proved so convicting for me in the past week that I thought I would share the blessing. As we move into our new facility, there will be numerous occasions for us to implement the command which Paul gives us – to do all things without complaining and disputing. So I thought it would be good to consider Paul’s admonition.
First, let us understand what Paul commands. He commands us to do all things without complaining and disputing. Note that Paul gives us no exceptions. All things – whether we’re laboring at home or at school or at church or at work or wherever, we are to do all these things without complaining and disputing. In other words, we are to do the things we’re asked to do without complaining about the work or arguing with the one who has given us the work.
Second, let us note the difficulty of what Paul commands. We live in a fallen world, a world in which we continue to experience sickness, decay, disappointment, fear, and frustration. We live in a world in which parents, elders, employers, and magistrates make what seem to us, and what sometimes are, unreasonable demands. Yet Paul commands us to do all things without complaining and disputing. Does this not seem impossible?
Third, note the rationale for Paul’s command: that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. As we learn to do all things without complaining and disputing, we are learning to imitate our Lord Jesus Christ – he who was and is perfect man, blameless and harmless. And as we imitate Him, we will be the light of the world, the instruments whom the Lord will use to bring others to know Him and to worship Him in the world.
So as we move into the new building, God is providing us with an opportunity to shine as lights in the world. As we move into this building and receive it with thanksgiving, rejoicing even in the things we aren’t excited about, we’ll show the world what it is like to serve our Heavenly Father. The new building is not as beautiful nor as large and accommodating as this facility – shall we give thanks? The new building still needs some work, there are things we haven’t been able to afford yet – shall we give thanks? Many of you haven’t seen the new building since some changes have been made – you might be tempted to ask, “Why’d they do that? Change that? Spend money on that?” – shall you instead give thanks? This is our calling and our privilege as children of God. To manifest our trust in God by being thankful.
That which applies to this new building, applies to every area of our life. And the difficulty of Paul’s command reminds us how often in ourselves we fall short and how much we need the grace and forgiveness of God. So reminded of this, let us confess our sin to the Lord, seek his forgiveness, and ask him for grace to do all things without complaining and disputing. Let us kneel as we confess our sin to the Lord.