Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Week Six = Commendable
1) Commended in Christ
2) Commending Ourselves
3) Commended by God
4) Commended to God
5) From Generation to Generation
One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.
|Thank you Pat Maier for the beautiful Scripture engagement tool!|
Session 1 – Commended in Christ
Commendable, or the act of commending, is the language of Paul in the New Testament Epistles. It is pretty rare to hear the word commendation or commend in our culture. You need to do something of particular honor, again, often military related. A commendation is a military decoration of highest honor. Saving lives, acts of heroism, an exceptional achievement.
But saving lives, acts of heroism, suffering on behalf of others, that is the language of the New Testament church. Apostles giving of their lives and themselves. People opening hearts and homes to serve. Exceptional sacrifice, struggle on behalf of another, and ready spirit willing to go the length to spread the Word.
Who has gone the length for you? Who in your life gave a bit extra for you to know Christ and His grace and mercy?
These individuals are worthy of not just honor, or thanksgiving, but this very special word – commendation.
The Greek word for commendable in Philippians 4:8 is euphemos. It means to be well reported of, spoken of kindly, to be reputable, and laudable. It is only found in Philippians 4:8, but the word commendable rang in my ears and I knew it was all over the New Testament letters. Why, I wondered? What was going on that this was the particular word utilized so often to describe the acts and work of those in the early church. And the overwhelming tone is similar to our use of commendation today – sacrifice.
This should not be a surprise to us. That which is commendable is sacrificial. It is an outstanding work, well reported of by others, but more than that, contextually, it is a Kingdom work of Eternal significance.
It is of no surprise to us, because the One truly worthy of commendation is Christ, and He is above all, sacrificial.
One of my favorite Bible verses comes to mind – John 15:13:
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Spoken by Jesus, knowing exactly what he would do for us. Knowing the road He would walk, bearing sin and death and shame, but willing to do it…for you.
He is that someone. His every step for you.
This, friends, is so, so worthy of commendation. Worthy of telling and sharing and reporting with all zeal.
1 John 3:16 gives us a little insight into our response to that commendation in us:
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
So, as we study what is commendable this week, let’s fix our eyes on the very Commendation of God. And let Him flow out of us in the language of sacrifice.