Philippians

Humbled

IMG_8069

“but in lowliness of mind

let each esteem others better than himself.”

Philippians 2:3b

The basic definition of true humility.

Christ is the ultimate example of selfless humility.

Let us follow Him.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible.

Advertisements

All the same

IMG_7883

We are all on the same level at the cross and saved by the same grace and blood of Jesus.   As we humbly admit our sinful, helpless condition and call on the Lord to save us, He forgives our sin and irrevocably adopts us into His family.  And just as we humble ourselves to receive Christ’s salvation by faith, we must also serve Him with humility of mind.

Being a servant of Christ requires that we submit to His leadership, regarding what we’re to do, how we’re to carry out His will, and where He would have us serve.  There is no room for self-seeking or self-promotion; our only concern should be obedience, with the aim that God alone gets the glory.

Sometimes we become preoccupied with finding our purpose in life so we can gain a sense of usefulness and self-fulfillment.  Although we do benefit from serving the Lord according to the way He’s gifted and designed us, that should not be our motive.  A humble spirit doesn’t look out for its own interests but instead thinks of others (Philippians 2:3-8).  This is the attitude Christ had.  He willingly left heaven to take on human form in order to go to the cross – that was a selfless act of obedience to the Father so we could be saved.

Are you willing to serve the Lord in obscurity?  What if no expressions of gratitude or praise come your way?  Do you cheerfully do lowly tasks?  It’s not always easy to evaluate our motives, but asking ourselves these questions will help us determine whether we’re truly serving in humility or seeking our own interests.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, February 3, 2018.

Check Your Balances

IMG_6616

We see it regularly, banks advertising all of the convenient ways to check your account balances.  Perhaps you need to take a moment today to check your balances in another sense.  There’s the private you and the public you, and one of the secrets to good mental health is keeping the two balanced.  Jesus ministered to the multitudes, and then He withdrew to the wilderness to be alone.  Few of us want to be monks or nuns who retreat to desolate cells to adopt vows of silence.  But if we’re always surrounded by noise and people, we’ll not have the necessary quiet to recharge our batteries and remain fresh and strong.

Our need for independence is balanced by our need for interaction, and our craving for solitude is matched by a need for society.

If you’re too much alone, do something about it today.  Volunteer.  Make a phone call.  Invite someone to tea.  Get out and go to church.  Knock down your neighbor’s door with a plate of cookies.  Just kidding 😉 !  Knock ON your neighbor’s door with a plate of cookies.

If you’re too rushed and busy, slow down a little.  Take time for Bible reading.  Take a little stroll through the park with your Bible in hand, and find a sunny bench to sit and read awhile.  Take heed to yourself-and check your balances.

Commentary from Dr. David Jeremiah, Pathways devotional, August 7.

Our Unmet Needs

IMG_6038

God has promised to supply all our needs, yet fulfillment is sometimes slow in coming.  What could be the problem?  Perhaps we are.

When our Father fails to meet our expectations, we generally look outside ourselves for the reason.  But while God’s love is unconditional, many of His promises are not.  For example, Philippians 4:19 is a “family promise” – it can be claimed only by those who rightly call the Sovereign of the universe “Father.”  His unlimited resources are not available to men and women who reject salvation through Jesus Christ.  Moreover, when we look at the whole framework of Scripture, we see that the Lord makes obedience a condition for fulfilling our needs.  (See Ps. 81:10-12.)  He will not condone sin by blessing us while we rebel against Him.

Think of yourself as part of an army at war – which is what you are, in a spiritual sense.  A top military priority is to keep the supply line open, as victory is impossible if the soldiers are weaponless, cold, and starving.  Our willful disobedience allows Satan to cut our supply line from the Lord.  Restoring that connection is a matter of repentance.  Those who walk in God’s way are protected, provided for, and satisfied (Ps. 81:13-16).

Taking a promise out of its biblical context is very dangerous.  And expecting God to keep a conditional pledge when we aren’t meeting its requirements is even more unwise.  The heavenly Father keeps His word but rightfully expects us to do our part.  Thankfully, His expectations of us are not burdensome but reasonable:  What He requires is that we simply love, honor, and obey Him.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional, July 7, 2017.

Take the actual steps laid out in God’s word to be nearer to the Lord-He wants to meet our needs.  Taking any other steps are no steps at all.

The Value of Knowing Christ

IMG_6024

After Paul considered everything he had accomplished in his life, he said that it was all worthless when compared with knowing Christ.  This is a profound statement about values; a person’s relationship with Jesus is more important than anything else.  To know the Lord should be our ultimate goal.  

Commentary from the One Year NIV Devotional NT, July 7.  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.  2003.

Every knee-to the glory of God

The other day I was listening to a news report about the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  A lady was interviewed and was complaining about the treatment of Jews at the Temple Mount.  She stated that until Messiah comes there will not be peace, but that in the meantime, every effort should be put toward making things as peaceful as possible for all.

Obviously, beliefs of Jews and Christians are very different, with one believing Messiah has already been here and one believing that has not happened yet.  We cannot both be right.  What do you believe?  Consider the words in the book of Philippians carefully if you are not yet sure what you believe.  If the words are true, every knee will bow, and every tongue should confess, one day, that Jesus Christ is Lord, regardless of belief.

img_3759

Who is Jesus?

Wasted

img_0872

If you are reading this, God has given you another day on this earth.  You can see the clouds floating in the sky, hear the birds in the trees, smell the roses, and tell someone you love them.  We don’t know if we will be able to do these things tomorrow.  Paul told the Philippians that while he preferred to go ahead and go on to heaven, he also wanted to stay a little longer on earth to serve them (Philippians 1:21-26).  We have earthly service to attend to and tasks on earth to do for Jesus.  

Christ wants to rescue souls, do you?  I don’t worry about whether people have joy and peace, I don’t have to.  Knowing Christ is how they will find any peace or any joy in this life.  So first, they would have to meet Christ.  Not all will believe, but Christ came for all, every one.  We have to talk to everyone.  I gain nothing from doing this that I know of.  If God decides to bless me later, that’s His decision, and never because of anything that I have done.  As a follower of Christ, because He cares, I care very much whether someone else’s soul is forever separated from the One who created that soul.  God wants every soul with Him.

So we have another day.  Don’t waste it in sin, depression, self-pity, busyness, or laziness, for this is the day that the Lord has made!  It may be getting late…make haste.