Thursday, December 6, 2012
Welcome to Day 340 of our Life Journal!
Click here for today’s reading: Philippians 1; Philippians 2; Philippians 3; Philippians 4 2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Philippians 1:3, “I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart.”
21 “For to me,
to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Philippians 2:3, “In humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
“Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
12 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters,
I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
“The Lord is near.”
Philippians is an amazing letter/book. So full of wisdom and insight easily applied to our lives.
Having said that, my application for today is not even from the verses I posted above… As amazing as all those verses are…
However, in 3:4 Paul wrote, “If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more.”
That’s a bold statement, isn’t it? That’s what jumped out at me today…
I thought, “Wow! That’s… bold.”
One of my favorite movie lines is from “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” Matthew McConaughey says, “Not cocky… confident.”
There’s a fine line there…
Paul said he put “no confidence in the flesh.” In his skill, education, background or social status. He considered himself a slave to Christ… a slave by choice, which is very different that being a slave that was purchased, with no choice. He said we used to be slaves to sin, now we are slaves to righteousness. Slaves to doing what is right.
Paul said “If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more.” Another VERY bold statement.
He talked about a mindset that is like Jesus… “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself…
Now there’s a life goal for you. To become nothing.
Not that we ARE nothing, but we should have a proper perspective regarding ourselves… Jesus considered himself nothing. Jesus, who was sinless, when someone addressed him as “good teacher” Jesus said, ““Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.” Mark 10:17-19.
Again, not that we should walk around with an “awe shucks” mentality… thinking less of ourselves, either. We are co-heirs with Christ! Adopted sons and daughters into his royal family! I am a minister of the Gospel! A worship leader! A pastor! I am his chosen elect!
But that should not be the focus. To keep things in proper perspective… in humility regarding myself as nothing.
(Since this is our 2nd trip through Philippians, I am tempted to go back to earlier in the year and see if I blogged similarly when we read these same passages.)
Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
That’s not an “awe shucks” mentality. That’s confidence. But our confidence comes from Him! Not from our flesh, our own abilities, talents, skills, education or effort.
I’m learning more and more to lean on Him. To allow Him to work through me.
I’m finding a place of peace and confidence because no longer does it rest on MY effort, but His Spirit. His power! That really takes the pressure off!
Just remember this, “Not cocky, confident!”
… but not confident in our flesh, confident in His Spirit!
Thank you Lord that you want to do the work… That I can simply rest in you!