October 1

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“Welcome him in the Lord’s love and with great joy, and give him the honor that people like him deserve” (Philippians 2:29 NLT).

From: October 1, 2019

HOW DO WE WELCOME OUR MISSIONARIES BACK HOME?

The apostle Paul urged the believers in Phlippi to welcome their own Epaphroditus back as one who had “risked his life for the work of Christ” (Phil. 2:30). He urged them to give him the “honor” he deserved, for he had almost died while serving with Paul.
 
This year our church sent out three teams to partner with missionaries we support. We sent teams to Baltimore, Indonesia and Uganda. When our teams returned, we had them present mission reports at a Sunday evening service, so we could rejoice with them in God’s work. God is doing an amazing work in our midst, activating us for missions. Yet, we would desire even more stirring of our hearts from the Spirit for His work.
 
Some give and pray and some go and stay, while others go for a short while to bring help and encouragement. In addition, Paul reminds us not to forget to welcome them back with love, joy and honor when they return home.
 
PRAYER: Father, thank You for saving us and giving us the call to carry the gospel to the nations. We have honored many in our culture as “heroes,” but few of them deserve it. Help us to honor those who do Your work as the true heroes. For they serve our only true Hero, Jesus Christ. In His name we pray, amen.

“I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare” (Philippians 2:20 NLT).

From: October 1, 2018

THE FELLOWSHIP OF CARING FOR BELIEVERS FAR AWAY
Paul wrote this epistle to the believers in Philippi while imprisoned in Rome (See Phil. 1:13-14). The epistle is like a love letter, filled with affection and joy for the members of the church at Philippi. Paul was longing for an update on them, so he sent this letter to let them know that Timothy was coming on his behalf. He wanted them to know that in sending Timothy, he was sending one who was like his own son, who cared for them as he did.
 
Have you ever gone on a mission trip to some distant land? I have had the privilege of going on many short term trips and I always leave part of my heart in every place. When the mission team returns home, we give a report to our church, and hopefully our members are inspired. Yet, there is a certain frustration in trying to explain to them the depth of our experience. They see the photos and hear the stories, but they didn’t go with us, so they can’t fully share our “genuine care” for those we’ve visited. But those who have gone with us, share a special fellowship of love for those believers we have formed a bond with in lands far away.

“But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6 NKJV).

From: October 1, 2017

This is the problem with the idea that we can live a good enough life to please God and earn entrance into heaven–– “our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.” We make the mistake of comparing ourselves to those around us and concluding that we are as good as the next person, maybe better. We look at ourselves and feel that our good deeds outweigh the bad, but we miss the fact that even our good works are polluted by sinful attitudes and motivations. We know that we have sin areas, but we also dare to believe that we have good areas too. Yet from God’s perspective, our very best deeds and thoughts are like “filthy rags” (Literally, “menstrual pads” or “leper’s bandages”). We have chosen the wrong standard of righteousness for comparison. Only when we consider the righteousness of God as revealed in His Word, both written and incarnate, do we realize the vast chasm separating us. You see, it’s not only that He is without sin, but that His every word and deed shine as bright and pure as sunlight. It is this Light that reveals how truly we live in darkness. But God did not send His Son to condemn us, but that through faith in Him, we might be saved (John 3:17-21). When we come to Christ, we receive that which we could never earn, we receive His righteousness, a righteousness that fully pleases God.

‘”The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,” says the Lord.’ (Isaiah 65:25 ESV)

From: October 1, 2016

After describing a coming day of the Lord’s judgment, Isaiah prophesied of a “new heaven and a new earth” (Isa.65:17), a time when the predator and the prey will no longer be at enmity. With the new creation, there will be a new order where peace will reign. This prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.

“It is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all Your works” (Psalm 73:28 NKJV)

From: October 1, 2015

Do you “draw near to God” every morning? Do you take a moment to lift your eyes above your circumstances to contemplate His holiness, to read His Word, to seek His direction, and to receive a fresh filling of His Spirit? Drawing near to God, we put our “trust” in Him and we fill our mouths with His praise, so that we “declare” His works all day long. Or do you attempt to live life on your own, depending on your own strength and wisdom? Why not join the psalmist and every believer throughout the ages who has discovered this secret of living: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

“…We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort” (Philippians 3:3b NLT)

From: October 1, 2014

Paul warned the Philippians against the Judaizers who would have the Christians live under the law of circumcision once again, rather than the law of the Spirit. He taught them to “rely” on Christ’s finished work on the cross, rather than their own human effort. When we have acknowledged and accepted the finished work of Christ, we are able to have the complete joy and freedom that we are fully accepted by God. Our confidence, and therefore our joy, is in Christ alone!

“For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 2:21)

From: October 1, 2013

Paul commended Timothy to the Philippians, saying “I have no one like him.” Through the years of ministry together, Timothy had proven himself as one who really sought Jesus in all things. Paul had seen enough of those so-called ministers who were really in it for their own interests. I wonder what Paul would think of our ministry? More importantly, what does Jesus think? Are we seeking His interest in all things, … or our own?

“I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is! Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked” (Psalm 73:16-17)

From: October 1, 2012

We sometimes struggle with questions of fairness. We ask,”Why do good people suffer, while bad people prosper?” Our question implies that God isn’t fair. That He has somehow taken His eye off the ball and allowed injustice to happen. We suffer from a limited perspective. We don’t see how things will end. But God does. Trust Him with judgment. He hasn’t missed a thing. Ultimately, no one will doubt His justice.