Posts Tagged ‘Jesus

17
Jul
18

What Matters Most

The apostle Paul suffered for his faith and his defense of it. He was imprisoned, beaten, flogged and nearly stoned to death. Yet he persevered in spreading the good news about Jesus and His love for the world. He didn’t complain about his trials, but instead he rejoiced in them. He even encouraged others to rejoice about his trials. He wrote:

But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me. – Philippians 2:17-18 (NIV)

Could you do it? Could you rejoice in suffering for Jesus? If you could keep your eyes on what matters most, then you could. For Paul, sharing God’s good news about Jesus was what mattered most. Telling people about Jesus mattered most. Even if it cost him his life, he would rather die telling people about Jesus than live as he kept silent. The good news matters most because without it, people are lost.
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12
Jul
18

Learning To Obey

Jesus was fully obedient to the will of God the Father. He went to the cross and suffered and died for the sins of humanity. God raised Him from the dead and exalted Him to the highest place. Jesus is our example of humility, service and obedience. The apostle Paul then wrote:

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. – Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV)

As followers of Jesus, it is with fear and trembling that we humbly learn to look like Jesus in the way that we love, serve and forgive people. We tremble before the exalted King of kings because He is Jesus and He is Lord. God is working in us and through us to accomplish His will. He is able to use flawed human beings to do mighty things for His Kingdom. Let us learn to obey like Jesus so that God’s will is done on earth as it is in Heaven.
10
Jul
18

Loving Like Jesus

Jesus humbled Himself and left Heaven’s throne for a lowly manger in Bethlehem. He went from being adored by angels to serenaded by goats and sheep. Jesus humbled Himself to the point of being crucified. Paul described Jesus to the Philippians in this way:

And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross! – Philippians 2:8 (NIV)

Jesus died on a Roman cross for your sins and my sins. Crucifixion was a horrible and humiliating way to die. Why would Jesus allow this to happen to Himself? It was because of God’s unconditional, unlimited and unselfish love for the world. God loves us all so much that He would rather suffer and die than live without us for eternity. If Jesus loves us like this, then we should love each other like this. We need to learn to humble ourselves and put Jesus first and others second. Then, we will truly be the church that reflects the love of our Savior.
06
Jul
18

The Mind Of Christ

Paul told the Philippians that they should not look to their own interests, but to the interests of others. They needed to be humble in their dealings with one another. He then holds up Jesus as the model for how to have a relationship with someone. He wrote:

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus… – Philippians 2:5 (NIV)

In the next several verses after this, Paul elaborates on what he means by having the mind of Christ. We need to be more like Jesus in our relationships inside and outside of the church. In our homes, we need to have the mind of Christ as we deal with our spouses, our children and our parents. In our workplaces, we need to have the mind of Christ as we deal with our bosses, employees and co-workers. In our churches, we need to have the mind of Christ as we deal with people who may be much different than us. In every relationship we have, we need to consider how Jesus would love, serve and forgive the other person.
02
Jul
18

Persevering Through Persecution

If you read the book of Acts, you’ll see that Paul suffered all kinds of persecution for Jesus. When he wrote his letter to the Philippians, he was writing from prison. He told them that they would also suffer persecution for Christ. He wrote:
​For​ it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. –  Philippians 1:29-30 (NIV)
Jesus said that the world hated Him and that the world would hate His followers, too. As we get nearer to His return, we’ll only see things get worse. We have to persevere though persecution may come and continue to follow Jesus, even if it one day costs us our lives. In the end, Jesus wins. Those who remain faithful with be rewarded. No matter what happens, stay faithful to Jesus and trust Him to empower you to persevere.
26
Jun
18

To Die Is Gain

The apostle Paul knew that death isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a follower of Jesus. He wrote:

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.​ – Philippians 1:19-21 (NIV)

This world is not all that there is. The reward awaiting us in Heaven is greater than anything here on earth. But there is work to do here on earth that gives purpose to our lives. We must live to tell of the love of Jesus so others will know the hope that we have in Christ. Heaven will be wonderful and we’ll get there someday. Until then, let us spread the good news of Jesus to everyone we know.
22
Jun
18

Wherever We Go

The apostle Paul was under house arrest in prison when he was writing to the Philippians. Paul used those circumstances to talk to people about Jesus. He wrote:

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. – Philippians 1:12-14 (NIV)

Paul’s imprisonment had positive effects. First, he was able to spread the good news of Jesus to more people. Secondly, his imprisonment actually encouraged other believers. It is a good reminder that we need to talk about Jesus Christ wherever we go. No matter what we’re going through, we still have hope and forgiveness that comes through Jesus. His love never changes and never fails.



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