“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:3-6 NLT
The Apostle Paul had a special bond with the church at Philippi. He saw his relationship with them as a partnership. A partnership forms in relationships when individuals work together for a common goal and purpose. Paul says, “you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.”
Paul understood the importance of the church being a partnership centered around sharing with others about what Christ is doing in their lives. As a result, it means ...
Paul shared with the body of believers at Ephesus that the church is made full and complete by Christ.
“God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.” Ephesians 1:22-23 NLT
Philippians 1:1-11, Ephesians 1:15-23, 2 Peter 1:2-8
Lord, thank you for my partners in the faith...my church. I praise you Father for what you are doing in us and through us. Please continue blessing us as we continue growing together in service to you. Amen
When reading God’s Word do you read as a spectator or as a participant? Do you place yourself in the events and activities…responding to the interaction as you are reading?
When we participate in the Word of God, instead of simply observing as we read, our perspective is very different. We move from the outside looking in to the inside where we find personal application for our lives.
We are reminded in Hebrews 4:12 that “the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
As we read about the life of Jesus, we find that in His interactions with individual people, He was consistently asking them questions. When we participate in God’s Word, we discover that those questions were not just intended for those to whom He was speaking directly, but for us as well. Although Jesus already knew the answers to the questions He asked, He still asked because He wanted those to whom He was speaking to think about what He was asking and in the process hopefully recognize the truth of who they were and the truth of who he is. The same is true for us today.
One example is found in John 18:3-7: “The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. Now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove. Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” he asked. “Jesus the Nazarene,” they replied. “I Am he,” Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.) As Jesus said, “I Am he,” they all drew back and fell to the ground! Once more he asked them, “Who are you looking for?” And again they replied, “Jesus the Nazarene.”’
They had a name and address: “Jesus the Nazarene.” They were looking for Jesus, the carpenter from Nazareth.
Who are YOU looking for? Jesus the teacher…Jesus the Son of Man…Jesus the healer…Jesus the Savior of the World…Jesus the Prince of Peace…Jesus the Messiah…Jesus the King of Kings?
Or just maybe you’re reading this today and your response to Him is…”I’m looking for you…Jesus my Lord.”
In Jeremiah 29:13 God said, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I’m looking for you…my Lord…my savior…my King. Thank you for revealing yourself to me. Amen
Have you ever experienced God’s favor? If you are a born again believer in Jesus Christ, the answer to that question is unequivocally…YES!
Paul said: “But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace…” Galatians 1:15 NLT
Because you have been chosen by God, you are experiencing His marvelous grace. The word grace is often defined as unmerited favor. The word marvelous means: superb, excellent, great, and incredible. When we combine the meanings, we understand God’s marvelous grace to be the superb, excellent, great, incredible favor of God for which we have done absolutely nothing to deserve.
It makes no sense to the world. “He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 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 1:10-13
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 NLT
That is what’s so marvelous about God’s grace. It truly is grace that is greater than all our sin. Read the words to the song penned by Julia Johnston in 1910.
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt,
yonder on Calvary's mount out-poured,
there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.
Grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that is greater than all our sin.
“God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:20-21
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your grace that is far greater than anything I could dream or imagine. Jesus, you are all I need. Amen
What does it mean to experience revival?
Revival is more than just attending services. It’s more than simply being inspired; while inspiration is good and needed…it’s more. Revival is an encounter with God…a powerful spiritual experience that may include:
A powerful spiritual experience will bring about change in your life. So, what now? If you have genuinely experienced renewal, how do you avoid going back to the same old way of living life?
Paul writes to the church at Galatia: “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions… But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:16-17, 22-25
A changed life is a moment by moment, day by day surrender of living by the Spirit’s power, not your own. There is freedom in surrendering totally and completely to Christ.
Walk in the Spirit.
Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:1-26
Prayer: Lord, thank you for revealing yourself to me…thank you for drawing me into a closer walk with you…thank you for empowering me to do so through your Spirit…thank you for setting me free through Jesus Christ. Amen
Bro. Joe Metts