Learning contentment

Scripture reading for June 4th: Philippians 4

Key Scriptures: Philippians 4:10-13 “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me.”

Paul was in jail in Rome and had to supply his own needs through the generosity of his friends and the church. The Philippians had sent an offering that helped him and he explained to them how he rejoiced in the gifts and in the fruit that they would enjoy from giving. For his own needs, he explained that he had learned how to be content with God’s provision. Sometimes he was in want and sometimes he had abundance. But in every situation, he knew that he could do all things needed through Christ Jesus Who alone gave him his strength and supplied his needs.

Philippians 4:18 “I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Ephaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, continue to help me learn how to be content with You as the source of all my wants and needs. Help me to be generous with God’s ministers who are in need, giving as You direct and pleasing You, trusting You to supply all my needs!

Philippians 4:29-30 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

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Knowing the Savior!

Scripture reading for June 3rd: Philippians 3

Key Scriptures: Philippians 3:7-11 “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith--that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”

Paul’s letter to the Philippians from jail contains amazingly insight into his own thinking in light of possible death by execution. Paul’s clearly stated desire was to know Jesus Christ in a deeper and fuller way. He had suffered the loss of his freedom and possessions, but desired to obtain that which could not be taken from him. He longed for righteousness that came from faith in Jesus. The righteousness he sought was a gift from God, not obtained by works of the law or human effort. Paul was willing to share in Christ’s sufferings becoming like Him in His death so that, like Jesus, he also would be raised from death. He hadn’t yet laid hold of this, but he was pressing on to know Christ Jesus and by faith trusting Christ’s promise of eternal life!

Philippians 3:13-14 “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what likes behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for revealing Yourself to me and all who know You. Help me to hold the things of this world lightly and to lay hold of that for which You have laid hold of me. I stretch my heart towards knowing You and the fellowship of Your sufferings and the prize of eternal life in Your presence. Give me open doors to share this Gospel with the lost.

Philippians 3:20-21 “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.”

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Let God’s light shine!

Scripture reading for June 2nd: Philippians 2

Key Scriptures: Philippians 2:12-16 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God Who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the Word of life. . .”

Paul encouraged the believers, calling them “my beloved” and asking them to continue to obey the Lord no matter what situation or trial they were experiencing. Paul was himself in jail and awaiting his sentence, which could mean death. He knew that his salvation was secure in Jesus but must be worked out and walked out by faith. God by His Holy Spirit was working inside each believer to strengthen them and reveal God’s will and image. Believers are to cheerfully cooperate in obedience and faith, living a holy and blameless life, not grumbling and complaining. In doing so, they would shine with the light of Jesus Christ and draw others to lay hold of God’s promises through the Gospel of eternal life.

Philippians 2:17 “Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, my delight is to live for You and please You. Forgive me for grumbling and fear and help me as I work out my salvation in holy fear and respect of Your great grace and powerful promises. Help me to walk by faith, cheerfully rejoicing and giving thanks to You, shining as a light in this world of grumbling and fear.

Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success,”

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Rejoice! Our life is God’s!

Scripture reading for June 1st: Philippians 1

Key Scriptures: Philippians 1:18-23 “Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Chris this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.”

Paul was writing to his friends and fellow believers at Philippi. He was in jail for preaching the Gospel and uncertain of his fate in the hands of the Roman government. There had been false accusations against him as well as other preachers who preached for gain. But He was rejoicing that he could make a defense of the Gospel before those holding him and in fact the whole Roman guard. He was convinced that God would take care of him, whether he lived or died. His greatest desire and hope was that Christ Jesus would be exalted through his life –or his death! In fact, if he could choose, it would be far better for him to depart and be with Christ!

Philippians 1:9-11 “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Paul’s life and testimony from jail. I rejoice today in Your grace to put me where I am most effective. May my life, trials, and passing to glory bring the exaltation of You and the Gospel.

Philippians 1:29-30 “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believer in Him but also suffer for His sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.”

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Standing firm in victory!

Scripture reading for May 31st: Ephesians 6

Key Scriptures: Ephesians 6:10-13 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against the flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”

Paul is closing his short letter with words of faith and encouragement. Believers are the strongest when they simply allow Christ and His Word to indwell them. Our strength is puny and weak in ourselves, especially when it comes to fighting against the schemes of wicked forces of evil in the heavenly realm. That fight is for God and His power and He has already won! We can stand firm in God’s victory through Christ by spiritually putting on the “whole armor of God”. Each piece of armor is a reminder of Jesus Christ and the finished work He provided on the cross to defeat Satan and the hosts of evil. After clothing ourselves with Christ, our armor is complete and all we do is stand in His total victory.

Romans 13:12 “The night is far gone; the day is at hand, So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my full armor! You are the Truth, my righteousness, the Gospel of peace for my feet, the Author and Finisher of my faith, my Helmet of salvation, and the Word of God made flesh, full of Spirit and life eternal. Give me grace to honor You as I stand secure in Christ’s finished work.

Ephesians 6:23-24 “Peace to the brothers and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.”

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No inheritance?

Scripture reading for May 28th: Ephesians 5

Key Scriptures: Ephesians 5:3-6 “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Immorality and idolatry go hand in hand in the world of the sinner but should have no part in the life of a follower of Christ Jesus. Paul wrote the believers in Ephesus a clear warning against continuing in past personal sins of immorality and in the culture of immorality in the land. Repentance means a change of mind, heart, and direction away from the culture of sinners to that of Christ. Immorality includes filthy talk and crude jokes. It includes watching lewd movies and pornography. It also includes homosexuality, adultery and fornication–any sex outside of marriage of a man and a woman. It includes incest and bestiality or coveting another’s body in lust. Beware, no one practicing such things will inherit the unsearchable riches of Christ Jesus! Believers must reflect the light of truth in Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:7-8 “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not be partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, give me discernment and grace to avoid all the temptations of the culture of immorality and idolatry in my assigned mission field. Keep me from deceptive words and the allure of the flesh. Remind me often that I am light in the Lord to my family and church. Help me to use the limited time left in my life in wisdom and fruitfulness,

Ephesians 5:15 “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”

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Growing up in Christ

Scripture reading for May 27th: Ephesians 4

Key Scriptures: Ephesians 4:15-20 “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him Who is the Head, into Christ, from Whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ–. .”

As it is natural for a child to grow as they age, so it is God’s plan that believers grow up in their emotions, attitudes, and actions. This growth takes place from allowing Christ Jesus full access to our heart and opening our minds to transformation through the Word of God. Taking in God’s Word leads to ever-increasing knowledge of God and God’s life flourishing in us. We offer our bodies to Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to use us and His gifts to equip the body of Christ. We renew our minds and soften our hearts allowing God’s love to build up Christ’s body. We leave the old life behind, putting it off, and embrace new life in Christ Jesus, choosing to put it on.

Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, growing up into Christ Jesus requires Your grace and the Holy Spirit. Help me to take the place You have assigned to me in Your Church and to function in the gifts and graces You have provided that the Church might grow numerically and to be like Jesus.

Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

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Christ’s unsearchable riches

Scripture reading for May 26th: Ephesians 3

Key Scriptures: Ephesians 3:7-10 “Of this Gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of His power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God Who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”

Jesus Christ coming to earth as the Son of Man and Son of God to give His life for the sins of the whole world was the mystery that had been hidden in God but was now revealed. Paul had received revelation of that mystery as he was persecuting followers of Jesus Christ and putting them in prison and even death. God’s power encounter with Paul initially blinded him, but ultimately opened his eyes and flooded him with light and revelation of Who Jesus really was. He became a believer in Jesus Christ and His Church. He now understood that through the Church, the preaching of the unsearchable riches of Christ would bring the manifold (many-sided) wisdom of God to lost people and free them from the satanic rulers that had bound them in sin and under the curse of death. God’s wisdom is unsearchable!

Romans 11:33 “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, Your riches of grace and salvation to me, and to the Jew and Gentile alike, are amazing. Thank You for revealing these riches through Your Church and the preaching of the Gospel. I freely give myself to You to preach Your Gospel and tear down satanic strongholds, bringing liberty to captives. Fill me with the power of Your Holy Spirit and love for the lost.

Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to Him Who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power a work within us, to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

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By grace alone–through faith

Scripture reading for May 25th: Ephesians 2

Key Scriptures: Ephesians 2:4-9 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved–and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Boasting is the result of pride in our own ability or accomplishment. We may have reason to boast in some things, but never in relation to our salvation from the penalty of sin and our adoption into God’s family. Salvation is a gift given by a generous and loving Father God through the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. The only thing we can do is receive the gift by faith and say “thank You”. Those who receive with show forth God’s amazing grace and goodness throughout eternity. Our only boast is in our Lord’s amazing grace gift to us who are undeserved sinners. To Him be all glory, honor and praise, now and forever and ever!

Ephesians 2:18-19 “For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, . . .”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the gift of salvation and eternal life. We boast in Your great love and mercy and are so thankful to be adopted into the household of God. Let Your love flow through me to others that they might also enjoy salvation and boast in You forever and ever.

Ephesians 2:22 “In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”

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God’s extravagant grace!

Scripture reading for May 24th: Ephesians 1

Key Scriptures: Ephesians 1:7-11 “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight, making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him Who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory.”

God does all things extravagantly because He is loaded with riches! He doesn’t lack anything. He needs nothing. He has an abundant supply of everything that His children might need and is a loving Father Who provides. Paul states that our redemption through Christ’s blood came from the riches of God’s grace. He has all wisdom and insight and He lavishes that upon us unmerited favor as the way all can be saved by simple faith in His Son. He reveals to us the mystery of His will to unite as one in Christ and in the fullness of time to bring all things together in heaven and earth. Through Christ He lavishes upon His children an inheritance that will be to the eternal praise of God’s glory! Amen!

Ephesians 1:16-17 “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,”

Faith confession and prayer: Thank You Father God and Lord Jesus for our amazing and lavish inheritance and gifts through Your love and mercy in taking our place on Calvary’s cross. Grant me a fresh infilling of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ that I might be conformed to His image and share the Good News of Your lavish riches found in Jesus Christ and His shed blood.

Colossians 2:2-3 “. .that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in who are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

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