October 3, 2019
TURN YOUR WORRIES INTO PRAYERS What is worry? Isn’t it anxious self-talk? It’s an internal conversation between you and you. Worry circles around your head like a cloud of gnats that you can’t swat away. What is prayer? It’s talking to God. Why not take the same amount of effort that you’re putting into worry… Read more »
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…. Read more »
September 30, 2019
LIVING WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL Paul taught the Philippians that they should live as “citizens of heaven,” remembering the gospel in their conduct. When we live as worldly, our message has no consistency and the gospel comes across hypocritical. Our lives should be consistent with the Good News we profess. Our lifestyle should in fact… Read more »
September 29, 2019
DO YOU FOCUS ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS? Paul prayed that the Philippians would understand what “really matters.” He prayed that their priorities would focus on becoming more and more like Jesus until the Day of completion when Christ returns. What are you focused on today? There are many good things that might occupy our… Read more »
October 3, 2018
JOY OR HAPPINESS?
While imprisoned in Rome, the apostle Paul writes this command, “Rejoice in the Lord always!” He then repeats it for emphasis. What state of mind is this that even chains can’t remove its smile, nor imprisonment stop its song? It is the joy that comes from the Lord as a “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22). It is the gladness that always fills those who abide in the Lord (See John 15:11).
Everyone wants to be happy. But happiness is fleeting for it depends on favorable happenings. When circumstances are good, happiness is possible. External conditions affect happiness. But joy comes from within, where the Spirit of Christ dwells in those who believe. It is not affected by changing circumstance, but rests in the unchanging presence and promises of the Lord.
So, those who are in Christ can choose where to set their minds–– on the temporal things of this world, or on the eternal things we have in Christ. What will you choose today? God’s Word teaches us to always choose joy!
October 2, 2018
MADE RIGHT WITH GOD BY FAITH
Paul told the Philippians that before he trusted Christ, he had worked to earn righteousness through obeying the law. But when he encountered Christ, he saw his attempts at righteousness as worthless in comparison to Christ’s infinite worth. As a result, he stopped counting on his own law-keeping efforts and gladly received the righteousness of Christ by faith.
The law was not given that we might earn righteousness, but that we might recognize the depth of our unrighteousness. But Christ was given that we might be made right with God by faith.
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.
October 2, 2016
Like an olympic runner stretching for the finish line, the apostle Paul “strained forward” towards the future “goal” in Christ. He didn’t let his past predict his future, but focused on the goal of Christ. Some live in the past, living a life of regret or remembering past glories or failures. Others live as dreamers, always searching for the gold at the end of some distant rainbow. But Paul had a singular focus to follow and be with Christ. Have you yet made Jesus the object of your faith, the one you worship and follow, your all in all?