Tuesday, 11 May 2021
“For me to live is Christ…..”- Philippians 1:21
There is a purpose for living for every individual—for some it may be making it big but for others it’s just having a good time. Those purposes drive us each morning to make something out of our lives. But for a Christian his/her perspective, vision and passion changes after an encounter with the Creator. All selfish desires are replaced with a brand new purpose for living.
Most of us are familiar with the story of Apostle Paul—before his encounter with Christ Jesus, his only purpose was to destroy everyone connected to Him. But once he met his Saviour, all he could think of and do was for HIM. Paul’s life’s motto became “MY LIFE – FOR CHRIST!”
Can this be said of us reading this devotional? Has Christ become the reason for our living? Very often we fall short of a total surrender in fear of facing certain perils in our Christian life. We read about the many hardships Paul had to face in his Christian Walk. But these problems did not deter him from fulfilling the purpose of his life. May we emulate his example so that we would like him live a Christ-centered life.
Suffering did not deter his passion- We often hear people say that they are quite happy with their spiritual life and wouldn’t want a deeper walk with Jesus, fearing trouble and persecution. We read here how Paul used the difficulties he faced for the furtherance of the gospel. His endurance and patience in suffering encouraged other believers to become bold and to speak the word without fear (Vs. 12&13). What are we afraid of? - Of being mocked, rejected condemned or accused for our faith? Even today we hear of brothers and sister who lay down their lives for Christ. Most of us suffer nothing in comparison. When we are unwilling to undergo trials/suffering for Christ, many around us will miss to experience Christ. No matter what we face, nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:39). Can we entrust ourselves to Him?
Other Ministries/ Ministers did not distract him from his call: Vs 14 & 15 give us two reasons why people preach Christ- one out of envy and strife and the other out of goodwill. We find the two groups around us too. What can we learn from Paul’s life? Paul did not let anything or anybody cause him to lose his focus for ‘Living for Christ.’ V. 17 clearly states Paul’s ministry purpose – “that he was appointed for the defense of the gospel.” You and I need to have this same assurance of our calling and not let what other ministries do and say to shake us from the task entrusted to us. We are not called to imitate anybody else’s ministry but to remain faithful to our call. Paul knew that the “God who began this good work in him was faithful to complete it.” (Phil. 1:6)
These could be the same difficulties we face. How can we overcome them? Paul gives us the answers in Phil.1: 9-11. The prayer for the Philippian church is the same prayer we need to pray for ourselves daily so that we will grow in the love for our Lord Jesus with knowledge and understanding and not let any offence take root in our hearts until He returns..[Paraphrased]
May you be encouraged today to once again to commit yourself to live for Christ, always remembering that God would never let you down, never walk off or leave you!
Quote for the Day: “Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?” ~Leonard Ravenhill