I love starting devotions with personal chastising. It is evidence that the Bible is alive and well and speaks to the heart of every reader. I love reading the Bible. If you don’t, please pray about it. The enemy is attacking you and you need that attack to be gone from your life. Reading the Bible is so special, it allows you to hear Jesus speak to you. The way Jesus speaks when you read your Bible is so personal. It is for your ears alone. What a miracle. The Bible is our instruction manual for life, and this life is so much better. Yay!
I am going to begin by repeating my favorite message in Philippians because this whole devotion is written because I am free of some painful chains. I am healing from some powerful attacks. God is merciful and sent me some powerful Christian warriors to help me, pull me back, help me find my way. Thank you Kristi, Tara, Rachel, Jocelyn, Mom.
Paul exhorts – Don’t grumble or argue. We must be blameless and pure. We much be like children. We must be children, because we are God’s children. That is so comforting. As a child, you don’t have responsibility. You just live. We don’t have the responsibility to run the workings of the world. Thank you Jesus. We don’t have the responsibility to save other humans, thank you LORD. The tasks we are given are those of children. Do good, speak good, think good, and remain in Jesus. If your efforts are those, then you are living according to Jesus’ command.
We must be like children in this warped and crooked generation. I love that too because it speaks to current times, doesn’t it. Amen. This time of life is so disgusting. My children are not effected by the grossness, however. I love their outlook on life. They are so full of joy. It is so inspiring to live like children of the Lord, the Creator, the Designer, the Alpha and Omega.
Those champions, amazing miracles, they live like shining stars in the sky, that is how we must aspire to be in this depressing, militant, and ruthless-sinful generation. We must be different. HOW can we be different if we play the same game as the opposing team. We are ALL children of God. We are ALL loved. So why fight, battle, hate, retort, resent, resist, we must love! Love as Christ loves. If we walk around hating, distaining, scoffing, cold-shouldering – isn’t that what sin does, the stuff we dislike, the stuff we are angry at – aren’t we mirroring that stuff?
“Oh, but I am in defense of the Gospel. I act that way because I want them to know I hate their sin. I don’t hate them. But I will not acknowledge their actions, or condone their lifestyles. I hate the big sins only. I just won’t accept anyone who isn’t righteous like me.”
We must be different in a Godly way. Did Jesus come to save the righteous? Who is that anyway? Who is righteous? NO – NOT ONE.
We must hold firmly to our battle armor. The armor of God. Then we will be able to hold FIRMLY to the World of LIFE. Even in sacrifice – we will be able to rejoice because that is the BLESSING folks. Jesus promises us that – it’s a guarantee! We live as He commands, and we receive. I believe that there is no greater blessing than the joy you receive as a believer. The joy of the Spirit is like no other joy ever. It’s all consuming and makes no sense. It comes when depression and sadness should be there. It overwhelms your common sense and that blessing is the very best. I used to pray for wisdom only, now, I crave the Joy of the Spirit.
We can find joy everywhere, if we are focused on Jesus and attentive to the direction of the Spirit. We can rejoice in the blessings of others, not just our own personal experiences. God is Good – He is SO good. He is merciful AND gracious AND loving. He proves His love in others, so that we can be empathetic, not selfish in our blessings. He proves His love in others, so that we can fellowship in joy, not live like the world is revolving around us.
We need to STOP putting our confidence in flesh. Flesh is so temporal. Life is so fragile. Each day is so confident in the sinful mind. It’s like we live entitled, amen? We live like it’s all cause of the healthy food we eat, the exercise we do, the lifestyles are so “intentional”. NO, each day is an absolute gift. Each day is because we are not finished yet, we still have something left to do for Jesus. We need to be so aware of that. Ask the Lord each day when you wake up. “What do you want from me today, Lord?” Don’t you love it when your children ask you – “How can I help you? What would you like me to do now?” I know I do, and how much more does our Savior rejoice when we are aware of our mission for Him? How much does He love it when we live for Him by asking Him. I believe we bless Him by asking. What a feeling to know we are loved by Him. JOY!
Paul introspectively speaks about his life. He realizes what used to be gain is now a loss for the purpose of Christ. Everything is loss. He realizes that Jesus is so much better than what the world has to offer. Paul lost everything worldly – gladly. He lost honor, status. See ya later stuff the world loves, and hello Jesus jewels. I mean, think about it. The world tells you, run this race, not the Christian one – cause this race is great. You’ll get immediate satisfaction. You don’t have to wait for it. The worldly race – you will be so distracted by your “stuff” that you will forget about Jesus and Heaven, you will forget about praying and reading your Bible, you will have no time for devotions, isn’t that sobering to think about? What race am I running right now? Dear Lord, let it be your race please.
Paul realizes that what the world has to offer is nothing but garbage, compared to the life Jesus offers us. The offerings of the world are only worthy of the dumpster. Isn’t that where all of your stuff will go in the end? Or did you somehow find a way to pack it along with you to eternity? Did you?
Jesus is so much better. Will you live in a shack in eternity? Or will you have a mansion? Will you live a life in glory that resembles your life on earth? Will your focus change – will it change to eternal joy or remain chasing fake and fickle joy here on temporary earth. I dunno. I feel like I wanna be doing what Paul encourages us to do – be focused on eternity, Jesus and Heaven.
Jesus is better. Amen! You can’t ever be good enough to get to Heaven. I am so thankful for that. And I’m not thankful because I want or crave sin. I am thankful because it means that it’s not my responsibility to give heaven as my reward. It is Jesus and His mercy – His grace. It is not mine to take, it is mine to receive. The law of the Old Testament – well, it was not possible for anyone to achieve. So Jesus died, took all sin upon himself in a supernatural way, and eradicated any possible attempts of man to “make it” to heaven. It must be Jesus. It has to be Jesus. All eyes must be on Him and Him alone.
When you take your eyes off you, and the world and focus them on Jesus – you GAIN Christ. You find yourself IN Him. You crave righteousness that is found in Jesus through faith. Faith becomes your base. We must crave wanting to know Jesus better. I love when I am found IN Jesus. The lost and desperate feelings go away and comfort and joy take their place. Thank you Jesus, for the peace that passes all understanding when we put our hearts and minds IN You.
When I try to understand now, I end up going into the vortex of the unknown. That is where the enemy is waiting for me. He is waiting to attack with fear, lies, confusion and rage. When I take my eyes off of Jesus I will start sinking like Peter, amen? But, when I crave Jesus and rest my heart and mind in His POWER, His RESURRECTION – wow. There is so much comfort in that. Praise!
We need to consider the honor to participate in Jesus’ sufferings, becoming like Jesus in all aspects of life. Like Jesus, we will die, but then we will also get to conquer death and spend eternity in Heaven with our Savior. We must be working all the time, continuously, never fully attaining the goal, because that is absolutely impossible – the perfect life of Jesus. Run the race, keep your eyes on the finish line. Don’t get distracted by the world. This life with Jesus is not boring folks, it’s just simply – better.
I love you Jesus, Dear Lord, thank you for interceding for me in my wretched state of sin. Thank you for dying for me, why me Lord, why do you love me? I am so thankful and humbled that you actually do. Your promise of Love is, yes, and amen. Man, I love you so much. You are such a good Father. Through the ebb and flow of life, you are there Lord, you are always there and that is so comforting. Even when I am drifting away in my own, and I am feeling lost, you are there. Thank you Jesus. I love you so much. Thank you for the peace you give me in the lifting back up. I fell away, the enemy attacking so powerfully. I was lost and drifting. Thank you that the drifting doesn’t last long and that you are bringing me back up even higher than before. Thank you for reassuring me that it is normal and okay to drift as long as while I am drifting I am screaming for help. I was Lord, I was asking for help, and you gave me help and here I am again. Thank you that the help is different too. It is different from what it used to be. The help is way more personal, it’s direct, it’s a new level. I am so humbled by that. Thank you for Your Word, for reassurance, for love, for joy, and for the life of Paul. I love you Jesus. I love this life you have given me. Please use me to do Your Will, not mine. Please give me another one Jesus. Please raise up warriors, please give me another day to love you and to do your will. Please give me missions that only glorify you and erase me. I love you Jesus. In Jesus Name, Amen.