What and Who Do We Live For?

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – reading through the Bible at savouring pace. Philippians 1:19-26 NIV   Philippians 1:19-26 NLT 

A short summary from writings and sermon by Moises Silva and John Martin.

600 Birds Etc 15 April 2018-07

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 13.01.09

FOR ME TO LIVE IS…………

BuckUnknown

  • This hobby, that dream, travel, my friendships, kids, my sport, my work, books, spouse, career.
  • All good gifts, but…..to totally live for?

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 11.00.37

HOW, IN OUR MODERN LIVES, CAN CHRIST BE OUR LIFE, AND HOW CAN  DEATH BE OUR GAIN? 

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 01.26.12

For Paul to live is Christ, and to die, gain.

IS FOR US, TO REALLY LIVE, CHRIST?

  • “Without fellowship with Him. I feel empty.”
  • “He is my life, He is everything to me.  Christ is the sum and substance of my life.”
What are we living for?  Our answer to the question will determine the direction of our lives.
Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 01.25.38
  • In the context of our lives…..if Jesus Christ is not our life, we’ll be inevitably swept along by the culture of the time – or just start to drift. 
  • Living for myself and Christ-less pursuits, even the good things. will be frustrated by our inevitable death:  a 100% loss with terrifying results.  
  • Paul lived for Christ – which took eternity into account.

To die in Christ will be the greatest gain that we could ever possibly imagine!

HOW ON EARTH CAN TERRIBLE DEATH BE GAIN AND ADVANTAGE?
Think of the burdensome things we are going to leave behind!
  • Frustrating labour, afflictions, betrayals, criticisms, needs, temptations – no more sin, tears, pain, and no more death!
  • Free forever. Perfect soul, perfect body, no more Satan, no more old nature; all evil walled out, all good walled in.

Think of the beautiful things, the great gain of death for God’s children for whom to live is Christ. 

  • Even in the very act of dying,  we can  experience and be a testimony of Christ’s all-sufficient grace.
  • Dying brings us right into the presence of Christ, forever!

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 13.08.30

THE GAIN OF DEATH FOR THOSE FOR WHOM TO LIVE IS CHRIST.

  • We are going to see Him face to face without fear!
  • Everything will make sense.
  • Everyone will be lovable, flawless, blameless, our personalities and characters will perfectly redeemed.
  • Total agreement, security and freedom – not only heavenly, but the reality of heaven.

If Christ is not our life, not our love and our longing, then our death is not going to be gain, but eternal destruction and disaster.

  • Without Christ, our death will mean, we are forever shut out of God’s favour and all that is good.
  • We’ll be forever in that place where all evil is walled in and all good is walled out.

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 13.21.23

Paul is torn between being with Christ and living for His glory and to help others grow and experience the joy of their faith.

gtow Untitled-1

SHALL WE PONDER AND GET PRACTICAL?

600 14 April 2018-13

In the context of Philippians 1, and in our own contexts. how do we help our families, our friends, anybody in our sphere, to grow and experience the joy of their faith in Jesus?

 live-1
 
 
Advertisements

All About Jesus.

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – reading through the Bible at savouring pace. Philippians 1:12-18

A short summary from writings and sermon by Moises Silva and John Martin.

600 Birds Etc 15 April 2018-22

Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 23.19.10

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO PAUL – SERVED TO ADVANCE THE GOSPEL

  1.  Paul was under arrest and every 6 hours another soldier was tied to him. For him, “main thing was the advance of the saving news of Jesus.”
  2. Wow – sceptics and traditionalists were converted, and Christians grew in confidence to dare to proclaim and spread God’s Word – fearlessly.

PAUL BELIEVED AND LIVED FOR  JESUS AND….. THE REAL ROMAN BOYS, THE CRACK SOLDIERS GOT SAVED.

No wonder Paul is rejoicing!

  • It wasn’t as if  Paul was the eternal optimist and passionate believer in positive thinking.
  • The gospel is like a stick of dynamite – the best piece of news anyone can hear and lives can change.

600 14 April 2018-30

Is the gospel so important to us, that those in our spheres of influence, at home, at work, everywhere, are touched by how Jesus saves and changes lives?

RATHER THAN BEING SPOOKED OR INTIMIDATED INTO HIDING BECAUSE OF PAUL’S SUFFERING…… many Christians became bold to speak God’s Word fearlessly.

  • “Wow, there’s Paul in chains, if he spoke the gospel then we too could dare to speak God’s Word right where we are.”
  •  Paul’s chains unleashed their courage to live like Christians in the world.

TWO GROUPS OF CHRISTIANS.

Screen Shot 2018-04-18 at 00.28.39THE FIRST GROUP preached Christ out of love and good motives. They were not into self-promotion, nor aggravating Paul’s suffering.

THE SECOND GROUP preached the gospel driven by envy, self-promotion, competition, strife, selfish ambition. Oh, how they deliberately (!) made Paul’s chains chafe. Their doctrine was true, but their hearts wrong.

FOR PAUL, IT WAS ALL ABOUT JESUS.

The apostle isn’t merely saying that the gospel had continued to make progress in spite of adversity, rather, the adversity itself had turned out for the advancement of the gospel.

ARE WE THOSE WHO  NEED HAPPINESS LIKE A BABY NEEDS A DUMMY?

600 14 April 2018-13

  • What is it to be truly alive and happy in this world? What fully satisfies us in this life?
  • Can we say, “For me to live is Christ”? – seek first the kingdom, other things will be added?
  • If our comfort is our main goal, we are going to miss true happiness and come up empty.
PAUL WAS A HIGH-FLYER WITH EVERYTHING GOING FOR HIM.
Screen Shot 2018-04-18 at 01.07.40
  • He had position, highest education, influence, success, a relaxing retirement around the corner.
  • But, for Paul it was all about Jesus.
Do we understand the basics of God’s living Word enough to explain the gospel of Jesus’ atoning death and his resurrection and the implicatons to another person?
Screen Shot 2018-04-18 at 01.19.56
WHAT DID THE SOLDIERS SEE IN PAUL?
  • Surely they heard his heartfelt prayers to a God very much alive.
  • When Paul dictated his letters, they listened to how God wants people to live, have their sins forgiven and get right with God.

 THE GOSPEL IS UNFETTERED. 

Screen Shot 2018-04-18 at 00.22.12
600 14 April 2018-02    PONDER.
 Does this mean we can never enjoy life or improve our circumstances?

 

Prayer About What Really Matters

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – reading through the Bible at savouring pace. Philippians 1:9-11

A short summary from writings and sermons by John Piper and Moises Silva.

 

like b2d050d14c38d299875aa7d466f8e6e8
loveKnowledge-5
loveKnowledge-9
Screen Shot 2018-04-07 at 23.44.42
AS OUR LOVE FOR GOD AND PEOPLE THRIVE MORE AND MORE TOGETHER WITH DISCERNMENT AND KNOWLEDGE, WE WILL:
  • Grow and make progress as Christians in godly living and sanctification.
  • Discover and go after what is best and excellent.
  • Be pure and blameless when Christ returns.
  • Filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ.
  • And God will get the worship and glory that belongs to Him.
OVERFLOW WITH LOVE AND  DISCERNMENT – SO WE MAY FIND OUT AND KNOW WHAT IS EXCELLENT AND BEST.
600 005 men 19april 2017-006
  • So we may decide to go after things worthy of our focus, things of highest value.
  • Paul is talking about a radical re-ordering of our lives: to discern and chase after  what is the best.
  • To love and also know where to focus and spend time, what to ignore, what to prioritise, what are 2nd or 3rd rate issues. 

 

loveKnowledge-7
loveKnowledge-4

OVERFLOW WITH LOVE AND DISCERNMENT – SO WE MAY BE PURE AND BLAMELESS ON THE DAY OF CHRIST

  • These words do not imply perfection, nor sinlessness.
  • To be pure and blameless means to live unmixed lives with integrity, free of hypocrisy, and with a clean conscience before God and people.
  • It means living lives filled with righteousness that comes from Jesus, which is the basis for our salvation and living Christ-like lives – in the light of His coming back.
pray-3
TO THE GLORY AND PRAISE OF GOD.
  • As we abound in discerning love, which leads to godly character and good deeds, God will be exalted in and through us.
  • We cannot have a more excellent goal in life than to glorify God and enjoy Him for ever and love people.
  • God is glorified when HIs people abound in discerning love – and what follows,
WHY DOES PAUL PRAY – WHY OUGHT WE TO BE ON OUR KNEES IN DEEP DEPENDANCE?
  • Paul prays because abounding love, discernment, purity, choosing the excellent, godliness and fruits of righteousness are all ……..supernatural!
  • Fruit of righteousness comes through Jesus Christ – in answer to prayer and to God’s glory.

600 Concepts batch 1 25Dec2016-17

 What a prayer to pray for ourselves, for our families, friends, and every person we know!

Of course we also pray for their and our
circumstances. 🙂

 

 

To Love with Christ’s Love.

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – reading through the Bible at savouring pace. Philippians 1:7-8

A short summary from writings and sermons by Greg Gilbert and Moises Silva.

600 Concepts5thOct2016-47

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 01.04.42

 PAUL LOVED THE PHILIPPIANS AND HAD THEM RIGHT THERE INSIDE HIS HEART
  • They were as close as could be.
  • They shared in God’s grace with Paul – defending and confirming the gospel.

DEFENDING AND AFFIRMING THE FAITH WE CONFESS.

  • Do we go with these lines:
600 False8Dec2016-21
  • Or…..do we intentionally know and get to know the gospel, the truth about Jesus and defend and confirm it with gentleness and respect?
Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 00.32.07
Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 00.36.02
True fellowship Untitled-1
Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 00.37.49
FELLOWSHIP, COMMUNITY, KOINONIA MEANS TO:
  1. Share, participate, contribute, commune, fellowship and associate as anchored people in a church.
  2. Love one another with Christ’s love, defend and confirm the good news of Jesus  in partnership.
  3. Know each other. Get close, stay close, go deep.
  4. Give everything to advance and spread the gospel, the good news of Jesus in our homes, with friends and colleagues.
Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 00.51.11
600 004 men 19april 2017-37
Koinionia-2
THE PHILIPPIANS LOVED AND SUPPORTED PAUL BECAUSE…….THEY SHARED  GOD’S GRACE TOGETHER.
  • In the crucible of Paul’s sufferings for the gospel, they identified and linked arms with him and seen God’s Kingdom advance.

600 Concepts5thOct2016-66

  • Through thick and thin, they stood together and supported Paul in  the defence and confirmation of the gospel.
PAUL REALLY LOVED THESE PHILIPPIANS SO DEEPLY AND INTENSELY – that he even calls God as his witness. 
  • “I have you in my heart.” They were so dear to him! Verse 7.
  • “God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.” Verse 8.
How Paul longs and yearns for them with the love of Jesus, with the same affection that exists in Jesus Himself for His people.
Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 00.55.19
004 Women 6Jan2018-61
  • Do our pulses beat with the pulse of Christ? Do we love one another with Christ’s love?
  • Are we, like Paul, unashamedly emotional in our love – with discernment – for God’s people?
  • How do we fare in our grasp of the gospel as well as the defending and confirming the good news of Jesus in all our relationships – at home, with friends, family – anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

The Good Work God Started, He Will Finish.

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – reading through the Bible at savouring pace. Philippians 1:6.

A short summary from writings and sermons by Greg Gilbert, John Piper and Moises Silva, David Strain, Marshall Segal.

009 Concepts 6Jan2018-006
thank Untitled-1
Paul has multiple reasons for his intense joy, overflowing gratitude, joyful prayers, and  firm confidence that God started a good work in the believing Philippians.

HIS FRIENDS’ SALVATION BY GRACE AND FAITH IN  JESUS CHRIST’S SACRIFICE WAS EVIDENT IN THEIR TRANSFORMED LIVES.

  • They joined Paul, committed to promote the gospel, the good news of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • These converted and godly believers cared for Paul’a needs in prison by their moral and monetary support.
  • When God started a good work of salvation in believers’ lives…..it can be seen.

Paul’s beloved Philippians weren’t perfect, but stood firm in their faith, grew as Christians in love and discernment, choosing what is excellent.

Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 13.24.04
1. God, in His unrivalled love, has also begun the good work of salvation in us, His children, and He will complete the good work of sanctification in us.
2. Now, every believer in Jesus is counted perfect through faith in Jesus. Then, we will be presented perfect: no sin, no shame, no guilt, no doubt, no fear, no blame!

WHAT A STRONG, AND HOPEFUL PROMISE!

  • It’s an unwavering Word from God – when we wonder if we can keep going.

600 003 men 19april 2017-03

  • It’s an inspiring word – when we need motivation to press on in the faith.
  • It’s a humbling truth reminding us that we didn’t start this good work in ourselves.

SALVATION IS OF GOD – HOW ASSURING.

  • It’s not our stamina, ability, giftedness, and determination that are the final measures of whether we’ll finish the race.

600 False8Dec2016-15

  • Mindful breaths aren’t going to count for anything.
  • The fuel for every inch of our race is straight from God.

Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 15.23.17

Philippians 1:6 is a lot more than wait and see how God gets on completing His good work in us.

  • From experience we know that believers in Christ, are flawed “works in progress”.
  • Motivated by God’s powerful promise, we press on and don’t lose heart or give up.

cropped-tumblr_mcri02whrp1r2uikf.jpg

  • Motivated by the liberating truth that it is God Who started a good work of salvation in us, we love and enjoy Him, follow and serve our living God with everything in us.
  • And, by His Spirit, we aim to grow in loving people like Jesus loved us.

Our God will infallibly and graciously keep us to the day of Christ and finally bring us home.

Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 18.42.36004 Women 6Jan2018-04

 

The Secret of Overflowing Gratitude in a Jail.

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – reading through the Bible at savouring pace – Philippians 1:3-5.
A summary from writings and sermons by Greg Gilbert, John Piper and Moises Silva

 

Paul writes a thank you letter to the Philippians from his Roman cell.

paul-in-chains

Instead of saying, “thanks a mill, Philippians” he writes:

thank Untitled-1

Every time Paul thought of them – he turned the memory into joyful prayers of gratitude to God.
Mmmmmmm……..what kind of memories do others have of us?
blog-1-1
“IN ALL OF MY PRAYERS FOR ALL OF YOU, I ALWAYS PRAY WITH JOY”
600 Concepts batch 1 25Dec2016-17
Prayer is absolutely necessary for the humanly impossible.
  • How else will we be able to magnify Christ, and be content in Him in life and death, experience the unity of love in our relationships, be fearless before our adversaries and  humbly counting others more significant than ourselves?
  • We need supernatural help and grace from God, His divine power which gives us everything we need for life and godliness.

THINGS HAVE CHANGED DRAMATICALLY FOR PAUL 

  • He is in a Roman jail, awaiting probable execution for preaching salvation through Jesus the Messiah.
  • Paul needs sooo much more than a smiley face and a giggle.

thumbs-up-emoticon-vector-design-showing-73992493

600 False8Dec2016-19 

  • Paul is grateful and joyful and that is not because he is the upbeat, can-do and positive personality type.

blog-1-4

Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 11.00.14

  • Paul  is in chains because he is spreading the good news of Jesus who saves and changes lives:  the Philippians’ lives, our lives. So people will not perish.
  • He absolutely overflows with gratitude to God and  prays for them with a song in his heart because he can see they have believed in Jesus and are growing as Christians.
  • He thanks God for their changed lives, their loving kindness, solidarity in his trials and their partnership in the gospel.
  • The Philippians were deeply troubled by Paul’s suffering for the gospel and sent him monetary support and their key leader to comfort and encourage him.
  • He, in turn, wants to set them at ease, assuring them of his genuine personal contentment in sufferings, his gratitude, prayers and joy over what God was doing in them.

bblog-1

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 20.57.36

  • Has our sense of appreciation died in old ruts of routine-grumblings or suffocated by faithless despair?
  • Have our sorrows, our boredom, or our over-rushed schedules, our ambition for comfort, obscured even killed off our joy and gratitude to our God for Him and others?
  • Do we love enough to stick out our necks, to share the good news of Jesus in words and action?
 blog-1-5

Grace and Peace – Philippians 1:1-2

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – reading through the Bible at savouring pace – Philippians 1:1-2

A summary from writings and sermons by Greg Gilbert, John Piper and Moises Silva

cropped-tumblr_mcri02whrp1r2uikf.jpg

Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 16.01.11

Philippians is a joy-filled book.

THE BACK STORY.

  • In AD 51 Paul set sail for Europe. His first stop was the Roman colony of Phiippi, an important city in the ancient world.
  • So it was that the Philippians were the first church planted and Lydia, whose eyes God opened, was one of the first European believers in Jesus.
  • Timothy was actively involved and they were all very attached to one another in a warm relationship.

PAUL’S GREETINGS IN HIS THANK YOU LETTER TO THE PHILIPPIANS. 

  • Paul says hello from himself and Timothy, his fellow-worker, as servants of Jesus Christ.
  • To all the saints, all God’s holy people – everyone who is a believer in and glad follower of Jesus Christ.

Paul scarcely said hello to all God’s people in Philippi before he starts to pray a blessing of grace and peace down on them.

004 Women 6Jan2018-04

Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 16.23.13

FROM GOD OUR FATHER AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

Grace and peace are not throw-away cliches or tacked on as after-thoughts from him to them.

Grace

Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 16.24.56
Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 16.30.36
Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 16.28.08

Peace

Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 16.43.48

Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 16.45.24

Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 16.46.59