I must admit, though I love to read the bible, I find some books more interesting than others. I have favorite books in both the old and New Testament. Philippians and Corinthians are two that I love to read because I feel like I am talking with the Lord. I always seem to find something that touches my heart each time I re-read them.
Building Your Strength in Christ
I listened to a sermon today and it reminded me that sometimes when life throw challenges your way and the people you thought would be there for you, have scattered leaving you alone, you must learn to encourage yourself; because if we cannot use God’s words to encourage ourselves, how do we encourage others in the Lord?
Philippians chapter 4, verses 6-8 is one of my favorite places in the bible to run to for self-encouragement and self-preservation. I always find such peace when reading these words. Why? Because it is a reminder of our omnipotent (able to do anything because of his unlimited power), omnipresent (always present), and omniscient (all-knowing) God. He will always take care of us.
I love reading about David and Paul because they remind us that while we are humans with many flaws and our pains and life challenges may cause us to stumble, we must press on, looking only to God, the author and finisher of our faith. Philippians chapter 3 does that for me. As I finished the chapter, I thought of verses 14-21 and read them again. As I re-read the words of verse 14 which talks about Paul pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus; I reflected on my own life, so I ask these questions of us children of God:
Are we setting an example to the world?
Do our lives reflect God’s goodness?
Do we rebel against God’s words?
Are we helping each other in the fight against the enemy?
Are we constantly hypocritical of fellow brothers and sisters?
We need to examine ourselves constantly like Paul does. “Do we sin that grace may abound? God forbid” says Romans 6:1. Whatever we know that is bad and do it, it is a sin. We should read the word of God daily and ask for guidance. If we try to guide ourselves, it can only lead to one thing – failure. Satan wants us to believe he is stronger than we are but the bible states – “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4); and I want to remind you that children of God are constantly fighting a spiritual battle against Satan and his disciples. Therefore, we must depend on God to lead us, strengthen us, and fight our battle for us. That is his promise, and He is not a man to lie or repent.
God’s Reminders to Us
He promises to give us the power to tread upon serpents and scorpion and overall, the power of the enemy and no harm shall befall us if we trust him (Luke 10:19). This does not mean, however, that we are going to live peaceful, quiet lives. When we decide to serve the Lord, we immediately enter into a warfare – a fight between good and evil.
Many Christians prefer to curl up in our little sanctuary and say, I am a Christian, I go to church every week, and I do nothing wrong. They do not want anyone to come into their ‘home’ and disturb this little sanctuary. But, are we willing to put up all the stops to help a brother or sister in need? Would we open our home to a person who have nowhere to go? We are reminded that in helping others, we may entertain angels unaware. Our lives should consistently reflect God. Humility, diligence, obedience, gentleness, peace should characterize our lives.
Trust His Goodness
Though we cannot begin to understand His greatness, and we sometimes question His motives; He left us with the assurance that he knows what is best for us when he said, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:10. We are here to do His will, but he will never leave us alone. He implores us to pray and read His words. In so doing, we will learn to listen to Him and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
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