How Can I Have an Extraordinary Day??? – Joy in Serving – PHILIPPIANS (Chapter 2d) [7]

Before Paul tells the Philippians how they can experience the fullness of joy in their daily service, he encourages them with these words…

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. –  Phil 2:12

These words resonant with me as a mom, and teacher.  It is my deep desire, as I’m sure it is for those who share their knowledge, experiences, skills, wisdom, etc. with others, that what has been taught/”caught” will be implemented when we’re not around to correct, redirect, or point out alternative responses.

Paul sets us straight in the second half of this verse, clearly stating who we should follow, and obey.  He doesn’t say follow me, Paul, or your mom, your dad, your Grandma or Grandpa, your teachers, coaches, etc.  No, Paul is very clear.  He says, obey God!!

So it doesn’t matter if your mom, or other mentor, isn’t around at every moment of your day, because God is.  He is there to guide, support, encourage, comfort, and direct our steps.

                       BhwLf0qIUAAAFqP

 

HOW DO WE KNOW WHAT GOD WANTS US TO DO?

We could simply let our conscience be our guide.

                      conscience

However, our consciences are subject to change, depending on where we get our information.  Therefore, it is important to have an unchanging/timeless/accurate source of truth.

WHERE DO WE FIND AN UNCHANGING/TIMELESS/ACCURATE SOURCE OF TRUTH?

Absolute truth is found in the Bible.

                            bible77

It is particularly important to read God’s Word for yourself verses just listening, or reading what God has taught others, or being an inactive observer.   Although listening and reading what others teach can provide great insight, independent reading of the Bible allows God to personally speak to you and to your situation.

                Reading-Bible-pd

 

WHERE DO I GET THE DESIRE TO READ AND LEARN GOD’S WORD?

GOD!!!

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.  –  Phil 2:13, and it’s not simply reading the Word of God, but you must do what it says –  James 1:22.

As promised from the last post, Follow the Leader??  –  Joy in Serving  –  PHILIPPIANS  (Chapter 2c)  [6], http://wp.me/p5nZpi-ot, here are some practical ways Paul gives us to serve God and others in our everyday lives.

 

PRACTICAL WAYS TO SERVE IN OUR DAILY LIVES…  PHILIPPIANS 2:14-16

  1.  In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing – v.14
  2.  Live clean, innocent lives as children of God – v.15  Paul realizes this won’t be easy as the second part of this verse says, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. – v.15       [Keep in mind that Paul is writing this letter to the Christians in Philippi, and believers everywhere.  It is these people who Paul is referencing when he says, children of God.  Children of God are those who have been born again, all people are not children of God. But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God.  They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.  –  John 1:12-13] 

<See upcoming post for more on – Are All People Children of God?>

3. Let your lives shine brightly, as lights, in the world – v.15

4. Hold firmly to the Word of Life, the Bible – v.16

 

HOW TO APPROACH OUR DAILY INTERACTIONS…

  1. Don’t expect to be served
  2. Look for opportunities to serve others, your faithful service is an offering to God  –  Phil 2:17

Choose to serve, and watch your ordinary day turn into an extraordinary day 🙂

                         the-difference-between-ordinary-and-extraordinary

 

 

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Follow the Leader?? – Joy in Serving – PHILIPPIANS (Chapter 2c) [6]

At the end of my post, My Attitude!! My Rights!!  –  Joy in Serving  –  PHILIPPIANS  (Chapter 2b)  [5]   http://wp.me/p5nZpi-o2, I mentioned that when we humble ourselves, and choose to follow God, as Jesus humbly choose to come to earth in human form, we still retain ourselves.  Jesus, although in human form was still God, and people who profess they are Christians are still sinners. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard  –  Romans 3:23

You may hear people call themselves Christians, “the tree”, yet when you observe their  actions/interactions, “their fruit”, the two don’t seem to match up.  For example, when I see an apple tree, I expect to see apples growing on it.

                              Apples_2

I don’t expect to see socks growing on an apple tree!

        tree socks

 

Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.  –  Romans 6:16

It’s because of our tendency to sin, regardless if we’ve asked God into our hearts, see The Cornerstone… in menu tab for more info, that we so desperately need a leader.  We need to follow someone who has faced all of the same testings we do, yet did not sin – Hebrews 4:15.  Someone who knows the way to JOY, and wants to help us experience it in our lives.

WHO SHOULD WE FOLLOW?

JESUS!!!

HOW DO WE FOLLOW JESUS?

To follow someone or something means that we conform to, imitate, copy, and give our allegiance.

Whether it is in the childhood game of follow the leader,

dressing like our favorite celebrity personality,

or giving our support, financially and/or emotionally, to a particular cause

If we say we follow ______, we’re saying that we want to live like that particular person or imitate their particular life-style.

If you read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, in the New Testament of the Bible, you will get a first-hand account of the life of Jesus.  You’ll see how He interacted with all sorts of people.

                  Jesus Loves Me

                                           Jesus_heals_many_people

And you’ll also see how He depended on God for strength to endure the trials He faced as a human.  Jesus often withdrew Himself to quiet places and prayed – Luke 5:16.    

                                               jesus-praying-in-the-garden

When we put our trust and lives into God’s hands, we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear – Hebrews 13:6  For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.Phil. 2:13

God wants everyone to experience the Joy that comes in serving 🙂

In the next post, we’ll look at Philippians 2:14-16, where Paul gives us some practical ways to serve God and others in our everyday lives.

 

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No One is Good?? Not Even One Person??

ALL people are under the power of sin. As the Scriptures say, “NO ONE is good — not even one.  NO ONE has real understanding; NO ONE is seeking God.  All have turned away from God; ALL have gone wrong.

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For NO ONE can ever be made right in God’s sight by doing what his law commands. For the more we know God’s law, the clearer it becomes that we aren’t obeying itBut now God has shown us a different way of being right in his sightNOT by obeying the law but by the way promised in the Scriptures long ago. 

We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we ALL can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. For ALL have sinned; ALL fall short of God’s glorious standard. 

Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us NOT guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for OUR sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.

God was being entirely fair and just when he did not punish those who sinned in former times.  And he is entirely fair and just in this present time when he declares sinners to be right in his sight because they believe in Jesus. Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal

IS NOT based on our good deeds. IT IS BASED ON OUR FAITH.                                                          

So we are made right with God through faith AND NOT by obeying the law. 

There is only one God, and there is only one way of being accepted by him. He makes people right with himself ONLY BY FAITH, whether they are Jews or Gentiles (any one other than a Jew) 

Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.  –   Romans 3:9-31

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