Me Myself And I

Philippians 2: 3, 4

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

In the midst of their persecution Paul encourages the Philippians to be humble and to live a life like that of Christ, who was the perfect
example of humility. Self – centeredness and arrogance are not acceptable behavior patterns and have no place in the believer’s life. Watch a two-year old at play and see how irritating the “It’s mine” attitude is! Yet how often do we” Mature” adults confine ourselves to a small box called “self?” How often do we crawl in, close the door and
have to have it “my” way or no way? How often do we turn everyone’s world upside down because things aren’t right for us? Selfish, childish behavior does not have any interest, any sensitivity, or any compassion for another. Arrogance and jealousy tears apart and has no word of encouragement for one who has done well, or for one who needs a confidence boost. What a sorry sight “self” is and what destruction selfish ambition causes in a ministry, a church, a life, a family or a friendship. If the shoe fits lets wear it and cease from playing games with ourselves, or preying on the successes or failures of others to get ahead.

Paul’s advice is good advice for us to follow. Let’s be challenged to focus on Christ’s humility as we strive for unity among ourselves and yes within ourselves.
Enjoy a sweet and blessed day my friends.

Overflowing With Hope?

Roman’s 15:13

“But I pray that God the source of Hope will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Before elaborating on the Good news to the Romans, Paul set out the dark backdrop of universal, human sinfulness thereby making the Good news necessary for their hopeless situation. Their hopelessness had a remedy found only in God who was their source of Hope and is our only source of Hope and confidence even today. Imagine a cup of cool, refreshing water overflowing its brim; flowing in constant motion, like a fountain that circulates an ongoing supply, never running out, never running dry, never stopping, never getting to its end.

As we Trust God, imagine God, who IS our source of Hope completely filling us with His ongoing joy and peace. A joy and peace that ushers in Hope that in like fashion circulates continually, overflowing within us, never running out, running dry or reaching its end. Imagine Hope or “confident expectation for good,” springing eternal within us, even in the dark, the bleak, the wilderness, the dry seasons and those oh so down times.

Paul’s prayer was for the people of Rome, his hearers, to overflow with this kind of Hope of glory and Hope eternal. It’s his prayer for us as well!!
Are you overflowing with Hope today?

Letting Go Of ‘Me’

Ephesians 5:1-2

“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

To love others the way Christ loved is to offer ourselves as a sacrifice of worship, in the way we live, work, think, speak and act. Then, it’s not about me, and what’s good for me, or how I can benefit or make myself comfortable is it? It becomes a giving thing, so that the thing I really desire fades into the background and pales in comparison to another’s needs or desires.

Do we live that? It’s a very difficult thing to live a sacrificial life and it’s way too easy to crawl off the altar of sacrifice and dedication to the Lord! Christ has set a huge example of love for us to measure ourselves up against. Although we can never attain His perfect measure, while living here on this earth, we are required to strive towards attaining unconditional love towards each and every one in our circles of influence. Forgiveness needs to become a part or an element of life as we extend grace to our offenders on a daily basis. Christ loved unconditionally and lived unselfishly before His Father and before others and He went all the way to the cross for us to prove it! His life lived, and His sacrifice of death depicts a fragrant offering to God and one that pleased His heavenly Father. Let’s be challenged to “excellence” in our living, striving to live holy lives, set apart from the call of the world! Let’s say with Paul, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1: 21 Let’s offer ourselves humbly before our Heavenly Father as we guard our motives, our actions, our speech and our attitudes, offering ourselves and our unconditional love as a fragrant offering, pleasing to our Heavenly Father, our Creator, our Redeemer, our Savior, our Lord and our King.. He deserves our best!

Peace Wins Every Time

Colossians 3: 15

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

“Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must cloth yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Make allowance for each others faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember the Lord forgave you so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love which
binds us all together in perfect harmony and let the peace which comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace and always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all it’s richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives.. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3: 12 – 17

Paul speaks of the supremacy of Christ in Chapter 1 and how, through Him, God created everything 1: 16. Christ is also head of the church 1:18 and our Allegiance to Jesus as Lord must transcend differences. A “true” allegiance to our Savior will result in peaceful, harmonious relationships within the body of Christ and His church. It just will!! If we struggle with it then it calls for a true” evaluation of where we stand in our faith. We must clothe ourselves in love and forgive our offenders as Christ forgave us.

Peace is our inheritance and we are asked to enter into it by believing His words and trusting Him through our difficulties.

I so love the concept and very nature of peace. It’s a gentle resting and trusting in the Lord. Actually, as ironic as it sounds, peace is an aggressive method of warfare for quickly defeating the enemy. Generally our first reaction when someone or something upsets us is to feel hurt, disappointment, frustration, anger, jealousy or bitterness. All of the above are things that open the door to strife giving the enemy a foothold and a ticket into the intricacies of our life. Our warfare? Revenge? No, absolutely not!! When does revenge bring peace? The best defense for trouble is pure simple trust in the sovereign God, the righteous judge!! The One who says “Fear not, I am with you, be not dismayed, I am Your God, and I will strengthen you and uphold you with my victorious right hand of righteousness and justice. The enemy can’t handle us when the peace of Christ rules us. The peace of Christ reigning and ruling within is reason enough to rejoice and be thankful!