Monday, November 20, 2017

“Give my greetings to each of God’s holy people—all who belong to Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send you their greetings.  And all the rest of God’s people send you greetings, too, especially those in Caesar’s household. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” Philippians 4:21-23 (NLT)

It is so easy when reading scripture just to miss the weight of what is being said. Today’s devo is one of those days. 

The Background

Paul is in prison in Rome. As he writes the closing of this letter he addresses the greetings of those with him to the Philippian church. In this greeting is an interesting comment - “All the rest of God’s people send you greetings, too, especially those in Ceasar’s household."

The Surprise

Why would Paul mention believers in Ceasar’s household? And how did those who served Ceasar become believers anyway? And if...

Friday, November 17, 2017

“Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.” Philippians 4:14-18 (ESV)

As true followers of Christ, we can do ALL things through Him and Him alone, as I'm sure we have all heard the verse Philippians 4:13. But also as Christ followers, we are to share one another's burdens and help our fellow brothers and sisters.

This passage tells us that not all Christians are...

Thursday, November 16, 2017

"...for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." Philippians 4:10-13 (NLT)

I wish there were a magic bullet for contentment. You know, just have God make me content. But like most everything involving the spiritual life, growth is a process, and learning contentment is no different. 

Contentment defined is, "Satisfied, ease of mind." Why are our minds so restless and uneasy? It seems satisfaction is slippery. I believe the cause is that we look with our eyes and not through our eyes. 

Looking with our eyes represents our physical passions and lusts. When we let them control us, we are looking with our eyes. O...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.  - Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV)

To me, these verses scream obedience and action. It’s not enough to just accept a passage of scripture and not apply it to our lives. We are to live out the scriptures and to put them into action in our lives. Obedience leads to blessing, and it is pleasing to God when we obey His word.

None of us are perfect, but God is not asking for perfection. He wants a relationship with you, and we show that we care when we obey our heavenly Father. Have you heard a word at church or read a scripture and kne...

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

"Don't worry about anything..." You might say in response, "Thanks, Paul, that's easier said than done." It's so much easier to worry than it is to pray. Prayer takes an intentional move on our part to align our hearts and minds to look past circumstances and probabilities to Jesus and His faithfulness.

Paul doesn't just say pray but gives some simple guidance on prayer. He says no request is too small or unimportant. "Pray about everything." Tell Him your true desires and disappointments. Don't hold back; He can handle it. His love won't change for you no matter what y...

Monday, November 13, 2017

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. - Philippians 4:4-5 (NIV)

Is gentleness evident in your life? Do you live for Christ in such a way that if you were put on trial for being a Christian, would you be considered guilty? If we are truly living for Christ, then people should see Christ-like actions coming from our lives and hear Christ-like words coming from our mouths.

Jesus may not be popular, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't tell the world about Him. Paul makes it clear that we should rejoice in the Lord always, and always means through the good, the bad, and the ugly. We have been made alive for all eternity when we choose Christ and that gives us more than enough reason to rejoice in the Lord. 

Prayer: God my prayer today is that you would be evident in my life. That people would...

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. - Philippians 3:17-21 (NIV)

With compassion and hurt, Paul’s heart breaks for those that are choosing to live for everything but Jesus. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my destiny to be destruction. Paul gives us the key t...

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:12-14. (NLT)

How good are you at forgetting? It’s hard to forget, especially the things we regret. And if we happen to forget, other’s seem to have better memories about our failures than we do and are good at reminding us. 

The passionate and wise Apostle Paul gives us some insight into moving forward and pushing through past failures and letdown. FORGET! Don’t dwell on what you did yesterday,...

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. - Philippians 3:10-11 (NIV)

Just as the Resurrection gives us Christ’s power to live for Him, His crucifixion marks the death of our sinful nature. We can’t fully experience the victory of the Resurrection until we personally apply the crucifixion to our sinful nature. Paul wanting to know Christ meant putting all his evil fleshly desires to death. When Jesus went to the cross He didn’t come down. He went ALL THE WAY. No breathe left, blood poured out, dead weight lowered from the cross, carried to a grave, and rising a new being. 

What is the sin in your life needs to die? It’s time to put it on the cross and let it die. Nail it to the cross to never come down. That m...

Monday, November 6, 2017

"Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ… "Philippians 3:8 (NLT)

As a former “Jersey Shore” boy, focusing on style has been a bit of a stumbling block for me. I know, many of you can tell by my current style, that God has radically delivered me from the stronghold of fashion - Lol. 

I have a tendency to still buy clothes on sale racks that I probably don’t need because old habits die hard. So every year I clean out my closet, choosing between shirts, sweaters, pants, and jackets that could be better served in someone else’s closet or simply the garbage. It is a tough decision at times, but it is necessary.

With greater value, going through the closet of our life and ridding ourselves of the unnece...

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We believe the only life worth living is the “uncommon” life that results from having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  We encourage our youth to experience this life through a daily time with Jesus,  worship, ministry, and prayer.

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