It’s Friday! Good morning! The other week I was spending time with my granddaughter. We read, we identied letters, traced and made the sounds of the letters. After awhile we took a break and ventured off to something different. A little while later, she said “grandma come on I am ready to learn”. That meant she was read to go back and identify letters, trace, etc. Today in Philippians chapter four we will continue our reading where Paul shares what he learned. Enjoy today’s devotion and prayer.
Bible verse – Philippians 4:10-14 NLT
“10 How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ,[d] who gives me strength. 14 Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.”
Over the past months, we have read Acts and the first three chapters of Philippians. We have learned a lot about Christ, we also learned about how Apostle Paul became a faithful and committed servant to Christ, and the spreading of the Good News. Apostle Paul was beaten, worked on the side to support the ministry, was a victim of lies, imprisoned even when leaders knew he did not commit a crime. His life as a follower of Christ was not easy, but he found the ability to rejoice in all circumstances. I love how Apostle Paul mentions in these verses that he learned. It shows us that he did not have the natural tendency to do things or find peace in those things, but he learned.
- to be content with whatever he had
- he knew how to live on almost nothing or with everything
- the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little
- he could do everything through Christ who gave him strength
Sisters and brothers, we may not be the perfect Christian, but we know the One who is perfect and because of that we are learning more each day. We are learning and transforming more into the likeness of Christ as we embrace the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-24) love, joy, peace, patience/forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. However, there is no greater way to become more like Christ than to have a relationship with Him.
Apostle Paul and many other well-known and unknown Christian’s developed personal relationships with Christ and that is what sustained them. Paul knew he could endure anything and accomplish everything the Lord had set before him because it was Christ who gave him strength. While Paul greatly appreciated the church, he knew the church couldn’t provide or do everything for him while he was in prison. He knew the Lord was his ultimate provider and had always been. Sisters and brothers, the Lord invites us on a journey to follow Him, to abide in Him, and so much more. He is more than willing to take our hand and teach us as we go through our personal seasons in life. He will not abandon us.
Sisters and brothers, I have a few questions for you to ponder on this weekend:
- What areas in your life do you need Christ’s strength?
- What areas are you struggling with contentment?
- Are you ready to invest more in your relationship with Christ – to learn? Then begin to learn more by intentionally spending time with the Lord (e.g., prayer, reading, Bible study, etc.). Keep Him first.
Father God, we thank you for your unfailing love. We thank you for receiving us as your children and heirs to the kingdom. Father we thank you for your son Jesus who came, died and rose again on the third day conquering both sin and death so that we can be reconciled to you. There is no greater love. Thank you for loving us so much. Forgive us for the times when we have been discontent and unwilling to learn in our circumstances. Lord, we want to bring honor and glory to your name. We surrender our will to you and ask you today to help us to draw nearer to you. Help us as we search for time to rekindle our relationship with you so that we will continue to grow and experience your peace in any situation. Teach us to rely on you. Lord, stretch us and help us to be a good witness of you. In Jesus name, amen.
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