I recently read a biography that featured Eric Liddell, the 1924 Olympic gold medalist who was portrayed in the movie Chariots of Fire. His story is tremendous. He refused to run in the 100 meter competition because it was held on a Sunday. Fueled by the events surrounding this decision, he unexpectedly won the gold medal in the 400 meter. Liddell was more concerned about pleasing God than pleasing those around him.
In this week’s passage, Paul encourages the church at Philippi toward the same sort of attitude. Let me encourage you to read the passage ahead of time as you prepare for worship on Sunday.
(Philippians 2:12-18 NTE) So, my dear people: you always did what I said, so please now carry on in the same way, not just as though I was there with you, but much more because I’m not! Your task now is to work at bringing about your own salvation; and naturally you’ll, be taking this with utter seriousness. After all, God himself is the one who’s at work among you, who provides both the will and the energy to enable you to do what pleases him. There must be no grumbling and disputing in anything you do. That way, nobody will be able to fault you, and you’ll, be pure and spotless children of God in the middle of a twisted and depraved generation. You are to shine among them like lights in the world, clinging on to the word of life. That’s what I will be proud of on the day of the Messiah. It will prove that I didn’t run a useless race, or work to no purpose. Yes: even if I am to be poured out like a drink-offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I shall celebrate, and celebrate jointly with you all. In the same way, you should celebrate, yes, and celebrate with me.