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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Really?? There Can Be Joy in Suffering?? – PHILIPPIANS (Chapter 1b) – [3]

Continuing on from Philippians (Chapter 1a), http://wp.me/p5nZpi-mF&#8230;

ARE YOU IN PRISON?

You may not be in a literal prison, or even experiencing physically suffering, but you may feel trapped or discouraged.

chained hands

Remember:   The way you respond when you find yourself in conflicts at work, in your friendships, in your marriage, with your finances, with your teachers, your family members, etc. has to power to restrain you, or set you free.  Your response reflects what you believe, and of who you believe in.

breakthechain

 

WHAT KEPT PAUL GOING IN ADVERSE SITUATIONS?

Paul, “I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, and I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ whether I live or die.  And while I live that means fruitful service for Christ. – Phil. 1:20,22

WHAT FUELED PAUL TO PUSH THROUGH HIS SUFFERING?

I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. –  Phil. 1:25

 AN EXAMPLE OF JOY IN SUFFERING

Between 1942 and 1945, a Jewish man named Viktor Frankl, spent time in four different Nazi concentration camps. His family died, he suffered horribly, and he spent years watching everyone around him suffering and dying. Out of this horrific experience came the book, Man’s Search for Meaning.

         mans-search-for-meaning

Here is a few quotes to ponder from Frankl’s book.

“Suffering is of itself meaningless.  We give our suffering meaning by the way we respond to it.”

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances  — the freedom to choose how you will respond to situation.”

“You can’t control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you feel and do about what happens to you.”

TRANSFORMATION/STRENGTHENING

Allow your suffering to transform you.  Allow your suffering to strengthen your faith in God.  golf_weight_training_press_squat

 

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