Friday, June 24, 2016

No Confidence in the Flesh

                 No Confidence in the Flesh

                                Philippians 3:2-11
"...rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh..."

Paul encourages the Philippians to worship God and have no confidence in their flesh. He gives a religious run down of his attributes prior to salvation and refers to himself as being a righteous man, “blameless,” which was, useless or rubbish, compared to the surpassing value of knowing Jesus Christ. To know Christ was not an intellectual knowledge but it was to know Him through the experience of faith, “For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). In trusting Christ, Paul was turning his back on Judaism and Phariseeism and then he literally, “suffered the loss of all things,” to gain Christ.

Paul desired a sincere personal intimacy and deeper knowledge of Christ. He realized the Supreme power of His resurrection, and the intense sufferings Christ had experienced. Paul was willing to suffer loss for the cause of Christ exchanging death for life while expressing and demonstrating a passion for the Gospel to those who were lost.

Are you resting in the hope of your salvation in a past event or in the power of the Gospel to convert sinners? Is your confidence in yourself because you think you are a good person? “All have sinned, and come (fall) short of the glory of God”(Romans 3:23). Does your life show distinct signs of a transformed life or are you living a false or dead faith (James 2:14-26)?  I pray that you truly know Christ and are living the Christian life by faith so that others may see the light of Christ and bring glory to His name.

Lord, may I put my confidence only in You.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Suffering for His Sake

               Suffering for His Sake

                            Philippians 1:27, 29 
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;...For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

Paul, in his writings, mentioned more than once the sufferings of the Philippian Christians. The honor of knowing Christ as personal Savior is a privilege, as is suffering for His sake. If we suffer for Christ’s sake, we are to consider it a gift from Him. We are to strive together for the Gospel’s sake, not strive against one another. We are to be of one spirit and one mind, standing fast against any opposition the enemy my bring (Matthew 5:11-12).

Paul encourages the people to conduct their lives as citizens of heaven. When we realize that the world around us may only see the Gospel by what they perceive or view in our lives, we need to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ. The most powerful weapon against the enemy of Christ is not a stirring message or some book written about Jesus; but in the consistent life of the believer living out the Gospel by faith day after day (2 Corinthians 3:2-3).

When believers stand firm for the sake of the Gospel they will suffer persecution. Paul instructed the believers to live their lives as becomes the Gospel and in the end they will receive a great reward  ( II Timothy 2:12). Paul enlightens the people that there is an enemy that wants to steal this treasure from them and cripple the spread of the Gospel; but God gives the grace needed to go through any trial and to have joy in the midst of the battle.

Lord, may I by faith live the Gospel before others.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Work Out Your Own Salvation

         Work Out Your Own Salvation
                                   Philippians 2:12

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Paul, in his letter to the church at Philippi, exhorted the believers to: “work out your own salvation” which means to work to bring something to fulfillment or completion. Working out your own salvation pertains to your faith in Christ and being an obedient child of God. To cleanse yourself from sin and “put off your old self,” and “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24) . It does not refer to salvation by works for Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast." The purpose that God wants to achieve in our lives is Christ-likeness. Being conformed to His image as God works in us and through us. The power of the Holy Spirit gives us strength and wisdom and empowers us to do what God has intended. There are times in our lives when we have a tendency to want to please men and to obey only when those men are watching. We cannot build our lives upon others and what they think or see us do. We need to serve Christ whether or not anyone is around to see what we accomplish.

God has provided us with tools that will help us in this work. His Word has been preserved and entrusted to us for the purpose of teaching, inspiring, encouraging and empowering believers with the truth for His use. We have the right to come before the throne of grace boldly and bring our needs before Him daily (Hebrews 4:16). What more could we ask for in working out our own salvation than His precious Word and the wonderful power of prayer.

Lord, thank You for Your perfect work in us.

Friday, June 3, 2016

God's Perfect Work and Joy

         God’s Perfect Work and Joy
                                 Philippians 1:1-11

No one would want go to prison to find their source of joy there. Yet, Paul, while imprisoned, writes in his letter to the Philippians about having true joy and rejoicing in the presence of the Lord. While Paul awaits his trial in Rome, he is expressing thankfulness for the saints in Philippi and proclaims his heart felt love for them and longs to see them all again. Because of the things that happened to Paul in Philippi, great sorrow could have filled his heart. He was illegally arrested there, beaten and publicly humiliated before the people. A great lie and deception from Satan is that we cannot enjoy our lives in the midst of unpleasant circumstances. Paul found joy in spite of his situation and prayed that his friends in Philippi would abound in their love for Christ.

Paul speaks of being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which brings praise and glory to God and leading the souls of men to faith in Christ, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3).  “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15).

Paul writes the first few verses of the book of Philippians because of his great love for Christ, his abounding affection for the people and the perfect work of salvation in his own life. He confirms to them that it is God who has began the work of redemption in them and He will continue to perform it until the return of our Lord to earth. What faithfulness God shows here to all who are redeemed. Paul is encouraging the Philippians that He who has begun this perfect work of salvation in them will continue to supernaturally transform them into the image of Christ until He comes.

Lord, thank You for Your perfect work of salvation and abundant joy.