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Having the attitude of Christ

August 1st, 2014

Today’s devotion looked at Philippians 2:1-11. It is titled, “Having the attitude of Christ”. It contains a number of ideas.

1. Be unified

Paul urges the believers to be unified in Christ. He asks them to make him happy by “agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose” (v2).

Being unified is about loving and caring for each other, putting differences aside and working together in our joint Kingdom purpose.

2. Be interested in others

Verses 3 says, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others too”.

Life is not just about you and me as individuals. It is about all of us. When I fall into selfish patterns I don’t look out for others. I can be concerned about my interests only. Paul wants us to take a wider view of life.

3. Be humble

Verses 7-8 says, “Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross”.

Christ left the glories of heaven to live in this world. He took a lowly place of a servant and even died a “criminals death” for our sin. His humility paved the way for our salvation. If Christ showed that humility, what do I have to be proud of?

So today, let us be unified in Christ’s mission, be interested in others above ourselves and be humble in all we do.

God Bless,
Dave

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Paul’s joy that Christ is preached

July 31st, 2014

Today in my devotions I looked at Philippians 1:12-19. Apparently I missed a section the other day without realising! The title of this section in the NLT is “Paul’s joy that Christ is preached”.

Verses 12-14 read, “And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear”.

Two things really jumped out at me from these verses.

1. Paul is pleased being in prison

The first is that Paul is glad to be in prison. He tells us that the whole palace guard knows he is there for the Gospel. Paul came in contact with people he would not normally be able to share Christ with. As we see from Acts 16 Paul got to share his faith with the jailer and his family.

2. Paul’s continued boldness encourages others

The second things is from verse 14. Paul says that, “…most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear”. Paul’s boldness despite being in prison gave other courage to continue to talk about Jesus. Acts 16 said they prayed and sang hymns while in chains!

Paul’s boldness to preach the message of Christ landed him in prison. However this did not stop him and everyone knew why he was there. We see the jailer family of the jailer came to Christ. And the other believers were greatly encouraged in their efforts.

Paul’s commitment to preaching the Gospel inspires me nearly 2000 years later.

God Bless,
Dave

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Live as citizens of heaven

July 30th, 2014

Today’s reading comes from Philippians 1:27-30. It is titled, “Live as citizens of heaven”.

Verse 27 says, “Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News”.

I like this idea of being a citizen of heaven. As Christians we live in this world, but citizenship is of another place – the Kingdom of Heaven. The moment we asked Jesus Christ into our lives our citizenship status changed. Our spiritual passports were re-stamped.

Paul reminds us in today’s passage to conduct ourselves worthy of being a citizen of heaven. We need to live in a way that shows we no longer belong to this world. We need to take on Kingdom values and actions.

We are like an Ambassador who serves in a foreign country as a diplomat. They deal with their host country, build relational bridges and represent the interests of their country in that place.

Not only does the Ambassador have to serve his country in that place, but they need to represent the country well. All they do reflects on their homeland. We are like this as Christians.

So today let us remember the words of Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father”.

God Bless,
Dave

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Paul’s life for Christ

July 29th, 2014

Today’s reading comes from Philippians 1:20-26. It is titled, “Paul’s life for Christ”.

Verses 21-24 explains Paul’s heart. They gives us a glimpse of his priorities….

“For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live”.

For Paul, living was all about Christ. He was all consumed with Christ. He desired earnestly to go and be with Christ, but knew staying here would mean he could continue His work in the world.

Paul knew he could help others come to know Christ, he could plant churches, and he could strengthen the churches he had planted. In short his mission was to know Christ and make Him known.

I am so inspired by these three verses. It is something that I aspire to myself. I hope and pray that I can wholeheartedly say, “To live is Christ, to die is gain”.

Dear God, thank You for Paul’s words in this passage. Thank You for his commitment to Christ and his commitment to making Him known. I pray today that I will have that same commitment to Christ and to His mission in this world. I pray my life will be all about Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

God Bless,
Dave

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Paul’s thanksgiving and prayer

July 28th, 2014

For my devotions I am moving on to the Book of Philippians. This is one of the letters Paul wrote to the churches while he was in prison in Rome.

The first reading comes from Philippians 1:3-11. This section is titled, “Paul’s thanksgiving and prayer”. In this section two main things jumped out at me.

1. Paul’s joy with the Philippians

Verses 3 says, “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God”.

The Philippians give Paul special joy because they have been his partners in the Gospel. They have shared with him from the day they first heard about Christ until the day of writing.

Paul has a real love for the Philippians because they believed in the message of salvation and continued steadfastly in it. They took it so seriously that they partnered in his work – in prayer, encouragement and financially.

2. Paul’s prayer for the Philippians

In verse 9 Paul says, “I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding”.

Paul wanted them to continue to grow in their faith and be blessed by God. He prayed they would have full understanding of the things of God, be pure and blameless in their walk with the Lord and be filled with the fruit of salvation.

Paul really loved the Philippians. He was like a spiritual father to them as he planted the church at Philippi on his second missionary journey. This is why he experienced so much joy, prayed for them and wanted the best for them.

I am really looking forward to continuing through the book of Philippians and seeing what lessons I can learn afresh.

God Bless,
Dave

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