[forthright] Making His Life A Song

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2011 07:43:32 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross

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COLUMN: HANDS-ON FAITH

Making His Life A Song
 by Barry Newton

Can we read, without hearing Julie Andrews’ voice,
"When I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite
things and then I don't feel so sad”? Like the song,
"My Favorite Things," Paul’s Philippian letter
encourages rejoicing and prescribes a song. However, a
sharp distinction exists.

Unlike the Sound of Music's spoonful of sugar where
each individual meditates upon his or her own favorite
things, Paul's song in Philippians 2:5-11 provides an
illustration of "each of you should look not only to
your own interests, but also to the interests of
others" (Philippians 2:4). 

This love song, filled with lyrics that perhaps the 
Philippian Christians had even sung, could guide them 
in conducting themselves in a manner worthy of the 
gospel with those who opposed them.

As Paul's pen began to scratch out these powerful
lyrics, they described Jesus' loving attitude spilling
forth in his actions. Rather than selfishly clinging to
his own rights, Jesus let go and took on the nature of
a servant even to the point of obediently dying on a
cross. 

Jesus had not only mouthed the words, "Love your
enemies and pray for those who persecute you," he had
obediently lived the song. Then God stamped his
approval upon such selflessness, by exalting Jesus.

What would happen if Christians obeyed such a high
calling to love? God's people would live out their
salvation as God worked in them achieving his purposes.
The fruit of righteousness would replace grumbling. The
light of God's people would pierce the darkness of a
depraved generation.

And yes, if such a song of love becomes how a person
lives, they will join with Paul in rejoicing about the
good being achieved despite their own circumstances.

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