Joy in Standing with Christ

Paul knows by experience that the truth of Christ bring opposition.  He is trying to encourage the Philippian believers by stating the facts about their shared work for Jesus. Telling others about salvation, redemption, eternal life, heaven…. are all things in which the believer rejoices.   The unbeliever sees them as a pronouncement of coming destruction and fights against those who proclaim these gospel truths.   In Philippians Philippians 1 271:27-30, Paul says we need to stand up for Christ and walk in a manner worthy of His calling.  This is a life lived fearlessly for Christ knowing He alone is Savior, Redeemer, and Sovereign over all things.

27 “Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. 28 Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. 29 For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. 30 We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.”

philippians 1 29Paul’s conclusion is that knowing and walking with Christ each day is a privilege entrusted to us by faith and with that comes suffering.  Know it, accept it and then lean on Him.  Remember you can take strength in and from fellow believers as you stand together in the cause of Christ.  Here are a few verses that help with the concept of suffering and why it comes with the job of being a believer.  (I have printed them at the bottom.)  I pray they help you to put in perspective what a privilege we have to suffer with Christ and the bigger purpose He has for us in suffering.  James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 4:14 and Acts 5:40-41.

My joy is increased:

  • I do not need to be fearful in my daily walk.   Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
  • I am in this with life with victorious Christ and fellow believers are at my side.
  • Remembering Christ sacrifice for me, it is a privilege to suffer for Him.

Let your joy in serving Christ fill you today.

philippians 1 28Linda

James 1:2-4  “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

1 Peter 4:14 “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”

Acts 5:40-41 “and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.”

 

Are you Living Thankful in light of Christ’s return?

1 corinthians 1 4As Paul begins his first letter to the Corinthian church, he introduces himself and then proceeds to tell them why he is thankful for them and their faithful witness for Jesus.  Walk with me through 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 and put yourself in the place of a receiving Corinthian believer and see what Paul is saying to you too.

 “I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus.  Have you thought about the gifts God has given you in Christ?  Who would give thanks for your serving them with your gifts of encouragement, love, peacemaking, hope, and joy? Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge.  Okay, how active are you in your church?  Do you go there with the intent of serving the body of Christ?   This confirms that what I told you about Christ is true. Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.   Knowing you have faith and gifts from God, are you serving with anticipation of His return?    He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”   Through faith in Jesus we have all we will need to keep a steady course and await His return, are you living like He could come today?  Are you doing things (praying, studying, worshiping) to keep you strong in your faith?

I thank God for Paul’s ministry, sacrifice and love for others that spills over to me generations later.  He was committed and totally living in anticipation of Christ’s return.  He wanted to encourage others to follow Christ completely knowing that Jesus equips every believer to complete the tasks He has prepared for their lives.  How are you doing in giving thanks for your fellow Christians that serve alongside you at your church, workplace, or neighborhood ?   Are you using your God given gifts to support the body of Christ and live a life filled with thanksgiving and praise?

thanks servingMay this November be a time of renewal and praise for you as you consider Christ and all He has done and given you to keep you strong for Him.  May it overflow to others daily as you give thanks and serve Him.

Linda

11/11 Veteran’s Day- a day to remember our patriots with Thanks!

This year I have read several novels set during WWII.  They all describe the horrors of war and the tragedies inflicted on human beings surrounding war.   On one occasion one of my high school students and I went to see the movie, They Shall Not Grow Old, which was about WWI.    It was a moving account told through the eyes of the British soldiers.  I did not realize until the ‘after talk’ by the producer that the narratives read during the scenes were actual accounts from soldiers who served in the pictured battles or areas.  That made the scenes all the more moving and real.  Although the film footage was very old and not at all what we usually experience in high definition, it was authentic and gave you a real vision of what the conditions were really like.  I did not have a true concept of what the trenches actually were.  When I saw for real the conditions, the extent and size of the trenches I was amazed.  The film was a tribute, by the producer, to honor his relatives who served during that war.

Nothing adequately describes the horrors of war and its aftermath in the mind and soul of the individual.  November 11th is set aside for the specific remembrance -the 11th month, 11th day at the 11th hour the armistice was signed ending WWI, named the war to end all wars, and yet it did not.  Scripture tells us there will we wars and rumors of wars until the end of time.  Today we remember those who served and those who died in any war or conflict with grateful hearts.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Here are some pictures of the beaches and cemetery at Normandy.  This was a place of great sacrifice during World War II.  Thank you to each Veteran on this Veteran’s Day for your service and the sacrifice of all those who have died to preserve our freedoms.  I am most grateful.

veteran's dayIn John 15:13 Jesus says, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”.  These brave men and women paid the ultimate price, and they did not even know me.  I am humbled by their patriotism and sacrifice on my behalf.

Gratefully,

Linda

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