Tuesday, 8 April 2014

08 April 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

Philippians 1:20 - words of exhortation from Paul:
"Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ"

Literally translated this would read "only let your CITIZENSHIP (way of life) be WORTHY of the gospel of Christ".  There is much for us to think about in just these few words, as we go about our daily lives.

Those at Philippi would know all about citizenship and what it meant. Philippi was a Roman colony, so the Citizens of Philippi were automatically citizens of Rome, which came with it the sharing of all the rights and privileges of Roman citizens. Even though most of them would have never been there or seen it.

And as Paul continues, he reminds the Philippians ch3, and us whose citizens we really are:
"...our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ",

Let us always remember, we are fellowcitizens with the saints and the household of God, and ambassadors of Christ. What a great privilege, as we see the abundance of signs in the nations around us, to prepare us for the coming of our Lord.
08 April 2014

Numbers 26
Proverbs 18
Philippians 1; 2

"NOT MY WILL BUT THINE BE DONE"

The real "us" is our minds! Oh yes, we have bodies of all shapes and sizes! But in a sense that does not count; the real 'you' and the real 'me' is what goes on inside our heads! Now this is the point that Paul is making in writing to the Philippians. If groups of believers who meet together to serve the Lord Jesus, having "the same mind" [Philippians 2:2] is very important. Note what he then goes on to write! He states that Jesus Christ set the example of the kind of mind we should have! How did he do that? What kind of mind is that?

We read that he "did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men … he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death … therefore God has highly exalted him" [Philippians 2:6-9]. Jesus set the example of the kind of mind God is looking to see. This is the kind of person we should aim to be.

Some people are confused by the thought that Jesus is the example of this! Why? Because they have been taught that Jesus is a part of God. This is a misunderstanding; he became part of God because of his obedience to God's will. Remember how he prayed, "not my will but thine be done" [Luke 22:42] Now in tomorrow's Philippians reading, we will see how we can become, in a sense, part of God. Paul writes of true believers, that their "citizenship is in heaven and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body …" [Philippians 3:20] and so become "priests of God and of Christ and Christ and they will reign with him … " [Revelation 20:6]

We must aim to "have this mind." Is there any other way to really live? The answer is obviously "No" ­ the only way to live is to recognise the real "us" and as a result focus our minds on eternal ways of thinking and living.
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- DC


Thought for the Day

08 April 2014

"The guiding hand shall not forever guide from a distance. Daniel’s survey of world empires ... did not stop short at four great dominions and a subsequent partition. There was a fifth to come, and it should display the might of God which we have now seen shall speak from Zion. “In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left unto other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” (Daniel 2:44) What was very near in suffering when Jesus came the first time, shall be terribly near in glory when He shall return."

- A.D. Norris
Believing the Bible