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Friday, 19 July 2019

Philippians 1 : 12-30

“ For me to live is Christ…..” -Philippians 1:21

Each of us has drawn out his/her own purpose for living. For some it is making it big in life but for others it’s just having a good time. No matter what the purposes are, it drives us each morning to make something out of our lives. But our perspective, vision and passion change after an encounter with the Creator! All our selfish desires are replaced with a brand-new purpose for living.

We read in the Scriptures that before Paul’s encounter with Christ, 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! His life’s motto was “MY LIFE – FOR CHRIST”.

Can this be said of us reading this devotion? Is Christ the reason for our living? Very often we fail to do this because of the fear of facing certain perils in our Christian life. We read about the hardships Paul had to face in his Christian walk. But these problems did not stop him from continuing his walk thereby fulfilling the purpose of his life. May we emulate his example so that we would like Paul, 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 for the fear of troubles and persecution. But here we read how Paul used the difficulties he faced for the furtherance of the gospel. His endurance and patience in suffering encouraged the other believers to become bold and to speak the Word without fear (Phil.1:12-13). What are we afraid of? - Of being mocked, rejected condemned or accused for our faith? Our brothers and sisters even today are laying down their lives for Christ. Our suffering is nothing when compared to theirs. If you and I back out from facing these trials for Christ, many around us will fail to see and experience Christ. No matter what we face, nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:39).  All we need is to entrust ourselves to Him.

Other Ministries/ Ministers did not distract him from his callPhil.1:14-15 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 even today. 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.’ Phil.1:17 very 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 other ministers/ministries dictate our actions or 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 you and I 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 commit yourself to live for Christ, always remembering that: “God would never let you down, never walk off or leave you!


Thought for the Day:

“Are the things you are living for

worth Christ dying for?”

-Leonard Ravenhill


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