This week I have been pondering a number of truths in Philippians. What jumped out of the paragraph below are the two references to the “day of Jesus Christ”. Take a moment to read it.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Phil. 1:6-11)
Many things could be said about this passage but what is so encouraging to me is that the Lord is molding and shaping me. He is preparing me for Himself. He is purifying me and forming my character, heart, values and motives to be ready for Him.
Until “that day” I am in process of becoming more like Him. This encourages me. I trust it will encourage you as well.
Take a few minutes to thank Him for all He has done for you, is doing in you and will do when you see Him face to face.
People evaluate us from the outside. That’s all they can see. But God looks at the heart. To lead in light of eternity is to lead from the inside out, staying in fellowship with Jesus; walking in His ways; and constantly checking our heart, character, motives, and values.
The issues are these: Are my character, heart, values and motives aligning with Jesus? Am I living and walking in the Spirit? Am I abiding in Jesus? These are questions and issues any leader wanting to honor Jesus will be asking.
No matter what we know, what our accomplishments or credentials are, our inside-out walk with Jesus is vital. Our relationship with Jesus is revealed by how we walk. Filling our heads with knowledge does not mean our walk with Jesus will be faithful.
Knowing the right things and living them are two different things.
Ponder this today.
This week I have been reading in 1 John. The verse below makes understanding and reflecting Jesus’ love very simple in concept.
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” (1 John 3:16)
But living out this verse, truly laying down our lives for the brothers, is more than a concept. It is costly and it varies from culture to culture and person to person.
Re-read this verse and take a few moments to think about it. Pray and ask the Lord for ideas as to what this might mean for you. Then do what you and the Lord think is right to serve someone or a group.
May each of us reflect the heart and example of Jesus who demonstrated love by laying down His life for us.
“But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” (Isa. 66:2)
God is not impressed by good looks, wealth, intelligence, education, strength, or any other trait or accomplishment we humans esteem. We strive for these things. We look to one another by comparison to see if we look better, are in better condition, have accomplished more, have more wealth, bigger houses and so on. We look at the outward appearances and accomplishments.
But God looks at the heart and He knows. He knows what is in our hearts. He knows our motives, our character and what is important to us. He knows.
This verse gives me a priority on something different than the world around me. The goal or priority of humility before God and respectfully ingesting and obeying His Word.
No matter what my circumstances, accomplishments, or talents, I do have the choice. This verse shows me what is important to God – humility, contriteness and trembling at His Word.