The Christian who seeks to be “An Approved Servant of the Lord” is one who follows the “old paths.” He or she will desire to be more like Jesus day by day. He will look to the Lord Jesus for his example in life. He will love the Word of God and seek to live according to its principles. Not only will she desire to grow in grace, she will want to help others do the same.
Christians will live a life of joy and peace. To experience these 2 characteristics in the fullest sense, one must be a child of God. The Apostle Paul, writing to the Galatians includes joy and peace in his list of the “fruit of the Spirit” in Gal. 5:22. This is a list of attributes that the Christian must cultivate in his or her lives. He further says in Gal. 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Christianity is a life of action. It is a life where we cultivate spiritual virtues.
Paul tells the Philippians that they, and us must be a people of joy and peace. In Phil. 4:4 we read, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say rejoice.” We must remember the circumstances of Paul’s writing. Philippians is one of the “Prison Epistles.” Paul wrote these epistles while in prison for his faith.
The word “peace” has many different connotations to different people. Although all of us should desire physical peace in our world, we must accept the fact that there will not be true peace until the Prince of Peace returns. Many times in the Word of God, the writers are talking about spiritual peace in the lives of the believers. This is what Paul is dealing with in Phil.4:4-7.
Paul tells the one who would desire to be “An Approved Servant of the Lord” that if he or she are to grow spiritually they must have joy and peace in their lives. He further tells them in Phil. 4:8-9 that they must build upon their faith and seek the ways of God they will be blessed. He uses such words as, noble, pure, lovely, good, and virtue to give us an idea of how God wants us to live. He then says in Phil. 4:9, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do, and the God of peace will be with you.”
In closing, we are to live out our faith, knowing that others are watching us. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that “we must let our light shine…” We seek to serve God and work for Him, not for gaining “spiritual brownie points,” but that our Heavenly Father will be glorified. If one wants to follow the “old paths” this is one way we can do so.
-Larry Miles, January 17, 2014