Good morning! Last week began our reading in Philippians chapter three (3), Apostle Paul was giving the church at Philippi a warning against individuals who required more than Christ required to be saved. Paul proceeded to state in verses 3-4, “For we who worship by the Spirit of God[b] are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, 4 though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!” Today, we will continue our reading in chapter three (3) with Paul explaining why he could have more confidence in his own efforts, but his own efforts are worthless because of what Christ has done.
Bible verse: Philippians 3:5-11NLT
“5 I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.[c] For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!”
The Apostle Paul was absolutely clear, that by his background (e.g., birth right, family, obedience to the Law of Moses and Pharisee regulations) and his knowledge alone he had more to boast about than the Judaizers until the day he met Christ on the Damascus road.
What kind of things or people have you placed your confidence in?
In this world, there are many things that we consider valuable. We place value on homes and property, jewelry and our time, but how often do we consider the value of knowing Christ?
Sisters and brothers, there is nothing of greater value than to know Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior. No matter our background, status, how kind we are to others or the amount of love we show, without Christ as our Lord and Savior – placing Him first above all things we will never grow into a greater relationship with Him or wholeheartedly live for Him; we will be divided between our self and obedience to Christ.
I often struggle with my selfish desires and what Christ has called me to do. I often/daily die to myself so that I will wholeheartedly pursue the things of Christ – allowing the internal conflict to subside and enjoy the inner peace in knowing that I am committed to the things of Christ and His kingdom purpose. It is faith in Christ – Christ alone that I seek to know and please. It is no longer I, but He who is working in me.
Sisters and brothers, will you allow Christ to work in you? Will you place Him with greater value than any/everything else?
Spend some time this week and ask God to show you what you are placing before him. Ask Him to point out areas within your life where you have become self-righteous and give Him permission to change your life.
Father God, we thank you for your willingness to love us and transform us into who you designed and called us to be. We thank you for the lives that you have given us, for the backgrounds we have come from and the knowledge we have gained throughout the years. Lord, while many of our backgrounds were not like Apostle Paul’s in many ways we were or have been self-righteous because of the things we have accomplished despite our backgrounds and upbringing. Lord, thank you for pointing out these flaws and for the reminder that it is only by your grace that we have made it this far. Lord, we know that you will use every detail of our lives – failures, accomplishments, rejections and anything else to bring glory to your name. Lord, we surrender it all/everything to you. Lord, we want to put you first in our lives. We want to place you first over all those things. Lord, humble our hearts and realign our purpose to bring glory to your name. Lord, help us to use our gifts and talents that you have given us to expand the kingdom, bring glory to your name, and bring more people into the knowledge of knowing you as their Lord and Savior. In Jesus name, amen.
VIRTUAL BIBLE STUDY
THIS BIBLE STUDY SESSION WILL EXPLORE THE LIFE ELIJAH.
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- Begins: Wednesday, March 3, 2021
- Time: 6:00 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.
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