Keep on keeping on

This morning I was reading the later section of Philippians 2. In this part, Paul is telling the Philippians how much he rejoices over them.

Philippians 2:12-13 NIV says,

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

No matter what people say or do, you should do what is right in the eyes of the Lord whether in another persons sight or not. Not everyone can see your good deeds. Remember that our treasures come from the Lord, not from the work of our own hands or from other people. Our treasure is a gift from God. But we must be careful as to what treasures we receive and who they come from.

My husband and I often enjoy watching tv episodes on Discovery and History Channel. On these channels, there are shows like Gold Rush. On these type of shows, you can conclude that gold mining is work; it is a job. You can also conclude that this is a way to pay bill’s and such to take care of your family, that it is an honest income. But while watching these shows, we often look at each other and say, “He caught the fever.” It is gold fever I am referring to. This is when these men are willing to give up life and limb for the shiny yellow stuff that’s been paying out around $1500 an ounce.

These guys leave their families for months at a time, and they spend millions to be able to mine a piece of ground that may not ever produce a return. No doubt, it is a risky business. In watching the show, you can see who is cut out for it and who is not. This is not to say that gold mining is wrong, but it is not for everyone.

In anything we do, we must keep our witts about us. We should be self-controled and not let anything cause us lose sight of what is really important. In this case, it is the yellow stuff – gold.

Gold is only one thing that can be a stumbling block; there are many. As Philippians 2:12 NIV tells us,

… – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

We must be careful as to what we allow into our lives and how it affects us. If it goes against Gods good purpose, it just may be something set in our path to cause us to stumble. This is why we should “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” In other words, it is not something to take lightly.

I finish with Philippians 2:14-15 NIV:

Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in while you shine like stars in the universe,

We should continue to work out our salvation by reading Gods Word and seeking him for wisdom. We should ask God to keep us vigilant so that we make wise decisions and not let the devil get a foothold causing us to stumble.

This is one of the most important acts of worship that we can perform. God delights in it, because you are drawing closer to him; it is his desire to have a relationship with you.

The question I have for you today is this: when was the last time you truly reached out to God, arms wide open, as if you were a little kid wanting to be held by you mommy or daddy and asked for wisdom? He is waiting.

Go forth and be blessed my friend.

A calling of humility

This morning, I am reading from Philipians 2, and, to be honest, it can be a bit hard to swallow if you don’t take the time to pray about what is being said.

Verses 5 through 8 says,

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus; who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!

This passage is not saying that we are to be slaves, but we are to consider ourselves slaves worthy as servants in the kingdom of God. When we consider ourselves better than others, we have exalted ourselves above others, even God. This is not about position, but, rather, about who we worship.

We will always have authority to be accountable to, but how must we respond? The earthly realm might seek to force us to be slaves, but we are servants to God. As children of God, we belong to God. It is God that we worship, not man. It is the difference between our flesh and our soul. For Jesus, man took his flesh on the cross, but they couldn’t take his spirit. Our spirit is the one thing that the devil cannot take without our permission. It is with our spirits that we wage war and become victorious.

Verse 3 and 4 says,

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

This does not mean that you aren’t good at anything or that you are not worthy of anything. This is a state of mind that you set for yourself so that you don’t cross the line and begin to worship something that is not God the Almighty.

Sometimes it will be necessary to place someone else above yourself, but it should never be all about you. This is about balancing our hearts between loving ourselves and loving others. Ultimately, God has other children, and God wants us to love them just as much. If we are always focused on ourselves, we completely disobey Gods command to love others. We don’t always get the choice on who we get to love. We must be open to who that might be, because, ultimately, we are servants of God through Christ Jesus.

I want to challenge you to read Philipians 2 on your own as it is a chapter that I cannot fully do it justice. Ask God what his message is for you.

Go forth and be blessed, my friend.