Philippians Chapter 3 –What Stands Out

This is the third in my series of lectio divina meditations on Philippians.  What stood out for me in this chapter is:

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”  Philippians 3:12

The “this” the apostle Paul is speaking of, is his attempt to imitate Christ, his master.  He wants to:

“… know him and the power of his resurrection …. share his sufferings …. (and become) like him in his death ….” Philippians 3:10

In other words, Paul is describing the process that Lutherans call sanctification.

Like Paul, I am far from completing this process.  I’m still pressing on, and will be until the day of my death.  Some days, I’m all too aware of my failures and shortfalls.  Strangely, this doesn’t make me feel hopeless, but hopeful.  After all, in the end, I do not have:

“…. a righteousness of my own that comes from the law; but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith…”Philippians 3:9

The race is already won, but running gives my life meaning.  I want to imitate Jesus who saved me.  I want to meet Him and hear these words:

‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’” Matthew 25:21

I want to persevere.  It’s my “one thing” — for more about this see: Bulls Eye!

For more on the book of Philippians visit these posts:

The Theme of Joy in Philippians

Philippians Chapter 1 — What Stands Out

Philippians Chapter 2 — What Stands Out


Suffer Strong by Katherine & Jay Wolf–Book Review

At the age of 26, Katherine Wolf’s life changed forever.  She suffered a stroke caused by a congenital malformation in her brain (AVM).  Afterwards part of her face was paralyzed, and she couldn’t walk or eat.  In this book, she and her husband, Jay, recount their journey from tragedy to healing.  And no, Katherine is never completely healed physically, but mentally and emotionally she is whole.

In time the Wolfs begin to redefine Katherine’s disability as a gift and a calling.  As writers and speakers they encourage others who have suffered — and by the way, that’s all of us, because we all have “invisible wheelchairs” — limitations caused by the events and circumstances of our lives.

Some of the topics discussed are trauma, loss, failure, true beauty, community, marriage, post traumatic stress and post traumatic growth.  Every reader will find something with which they identify.  Katherine and Jay explain how, despite suffering, we can each flourish, celebrate life and make a contribution to God’s plan.  According to Katherine:

“There’s a path that may not be easy, but it’s one laid out just for us.”

VERDICT:  5 stars.  It was a quick but meaty read.  It made me want to read their first book — Hope Heals

By the way, the forward to the book was written by Louie Giglio, who is now the Wolfs’ pastor.  If you would like to see a review of a book he has written, follow this link:

Not Forsaken by Louie Giglio–Book Review