Devotional Thought for Today – 03/02/2021

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Philippians 1

Chapter 1 includes a brief introduction (Philippians 1:1–2) followed by three key sections. First, Paul gives thanks and prayer on behalf of the Philippian Christians (Philippians 1:3–11). Second, he focuses on the expansion of the gospel (Philippians 1:12–18). Third, he emphasizes that, for the believer, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:19–30). Along the way, Paul explains that how the Christian life is a reflection of what they set their mind on. He stresses the importance of rejoicing and joy and connects the faith to concepts such as glory.¹

Our text for today comes from the last section. Prior paul speaks about suffering for Christ. In one of the most quoted verses, v.21, Paul says For to me, to live is Christ [He is my source of joy, my reason to live] and to die is gain [for I will be with Him in eternity].  Paul seems to be saying here I have much to do for the Kingdom on earth but yearn to leave this suffering behind. 

This leads to his emphasis on our text. The keywords are “STRIVE TOGETHER.”  Interestingly these words Greek, Sunathleo, soon-ath-leh’-o, are used only by Paul and only here and Philippians 4:3Both infer living a life worthy of Christ and the Gospel but even more, the meaning invokes a  fighting spirit of togetherness for the advancement of those goals. 

What are you doing to fight the fight today?

TODAY’S PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word of truth and the Foundation upon Whom we stand – the gospel of Christ crucified. I pray that I may keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace and conduct myself in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ. I pray for all my brothers and sisters in Christ and ask that together we may stand firm in one spirit, with one mind – striving together for the faith of the gospel. I pray I will always be in remembrance of those who fight the good fight of faith praying diligently for them and for those who oppose us.  – to Your praise and glory, in Jesus name, I pray, AMEN

 Adapted from Source:

 

 

 


¹ https://www.bibleref.com/Philippians/1/Philippians-chapter-1.html

‘Live Together as Brothers — or Perish as Fools’

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‘Live Together as Brothers — or Perish as Fools’

He only flew to Seattle once. It was early November of 1961 — two years before the young civil rights leader would give one of the most famous speeches in history. At just 32, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. hadn’t won his Nobel prize or written his letter from a Birmingham jail, but word of the influential pastor had spread. Out west, thousands of miles away from the powder keg of boycotts and unrest, things may have been calmer, but plenty of people were still hostile to King’s message. They thought it was too radical, too revolutionary. So, they did what the forces of bitter intolerance have perfected today: they canceled him…

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** Our nation is in trouble and we have a choice to make: Christ or chaos. The direction our nation takes will be determined in large part by whether or not the people of God listen to the direction God has given.

If you missed my Sunday morning message at Jefferson Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, “Listen! Are You Listening?” check out the video below. **

Saturday’s Military Devotional – LOVE

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love 1 John 4:189 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:9-10

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:11-1238 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

CONTEXT: 

I found the verses above in my Inbox this week and then started looking into all the articles I had posted about Biblical Love recently; the list was far more extensive than I remembered. So this weeks challenge is to look over these past posts, below, and then answer the questions below. As always I pray you are edified and God is Glorified. – Mike



Today’s Questions

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on Biblical Love?

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?

Daily Devotional – The Holy Spirit Part IV

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John 14:16-24 (ESV)

John 14:16-24 (RVR 1960)

CONTEXT: Yesterday we concluded that the Promise of the Holy Spirit is not for everyone. It is reserved for God’s Elect.  Today we end our series on the Promise fo the Holy Spirit with v.23-24 so let’s break it down:

v.23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 

Jesus answered him, that is Judas and all those in listening (as well as you and I) by reiterating (see v.21) the the conditions: “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him,  and the Promise we will come to him and make our home with him. 

Jesus must depart to fulfill the Promise(s) (both that of complete redemption and the coming Holy Spirit) are The Godhead will make and does make their home (habitat) in the temple of God. Not church buildings but the Holy temple, the bodies of living saints, filled with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

v.24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. 

As a final reminder (or warning?) Jesus again says in a sort of double negative way, only those who keep my words really love me. Proof of our love for Christ is our obedience to His words (doctrines). 

This is not some scheme dreamed up by a guy passing through time. No these words come from a much higher authority than the man Jesus the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. Although fully God incarnate, Jesus the man wanted everyone to know the authority with which He spoke came directly from God the Farther. That to go against it was to sin contrary to a mere man but God Himself. 

That ends the series on the Promise of the Holy Spirit, next week will begin to look at the Roles (or Work) of the Holy Spirit.

God’s Tool Box Part III

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 “And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” (KJV)

Here Peter ends the list of must have tools every Christian needs for their personal tools box. These are not tools we can lend out (although we share the product of their use with others) these are for the individual believer alone. 

godliness: I do not know about you but I find it hard to think of myself as godly in and sense. Yet Peter is clearly telling us we mus have a godly the Greek Eusebeia which means reverence and respect towards God. In other words, our godliness is exemplified by our taking the high ground our moral excellence. As noted in the previous post “This is the moral or Spiritual goodness that reflects the nature of our Triune God Himself.

brotherly love: We all know that Jesus spoke of love when he summarized the Ten Commandments into what has come to be known as the Greatest Commandments. This while Christ was speaking of all around us (neighbors) Peter reminds us that Christian love must begin with fellow Christians. The Greek word here is Philadelphia meaning brotherly and sisterly love. The idea here is we should always be inspired to do that which is good and right in the eyes of God to our brothers and sisters in Christ first. 

charity or love: The last item in the tool box, fly’s in the face of today’s social gospel movement. The Greek word here is Agape meaning; brotherly love, affection, good will, love, and benevolence. I hope you notice that this is the outward neighborly love Jesus spoke of. Should the church love our neighbors, of course, should the church take care of its own first, absolutely yes. Somehow the modern church seems to have forgotten that as a biblical mandate established in Acts. We always approach doing good, showing brotherly love, affection, good will, love, and benevolence with one frame of mind that of Christ. There is no what is in it for me, we must have the same self sacrificing love that Jesus exemplified.

 

 

 

Loving in Disagreement

In today’s socially toxic and highly publicized world it seems the divide between opinions and friends on issues grows greater by the day. Sad commentary is this is happening more and more in “Christian” circles.

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When speaking of Godly love it often comes to mind we are speaking of harmony and agreement.  At least we are more or least taught as such for we are always seeking cooperation, unity and oneness.

And as much as on the surface this seems to represent agape well enough I think a greater love the type more often encountered is the love yet a love while in disagreement.

Truly, anyone can love something or someone that agrees.  This is natural and human enough:  but with Jesus we are to go beyond human, enter the spiritual realm and love Godly and supernaturally if you will.

The task presented before us here is that we disagree and yet still love our mate or our brother or sister or stranger: no matter that they represent views or behavior so much differently than our own.

As foreign as a concept that this might…

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