Paul’s Prayer for the Philippians

Philippians 1:9-11 says, “I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.”

Paul’s prayer contained some great things for the Philippians…

1. That their love will overflow more and more.
2. That they would keep growing in knowledge and understanding of God.
3. That they would really understand what really matters in life
4. That they would live pure and blameless lives until Jesus comes back
5. That they would be filled with righteous character

What would the result of all these things be? Bring much glory and praise to God.

A great prayer which would bring a great result!

God Bless,
Dave

How to succeed at being yourself

I read this article this morning from Joyce Meyer. It is titled “How to succeed at being yourself”. It contains many of the things that I talk about on this blog.

If you struggle with self esteem, self love, or self acceptance please read on….

How to succeed at being yourself
By Joyce Meyer

It’s tough to enjoy life when you don’t like yourself. People who haven’t learned to accept and get along with themselves tend to have more difficulty accepting and getting along with others. Yet, the Bible repeatedly tells us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” I personally spent years having a hard time getting along with people, until I finally realized through the Word of God how my difficulty with other people was actually “rooted” in my difficulties with myself.

The Bible says a good tree will bear good fruit, and a rotten tree will bear rotten fruit. Likewise, the “fruit” of our lives comes from the “root” within us. If you’re rooted in shame, guilt, inferiority, rejection, lack of love and acceptance, etc., the fruit of your relationships will suffer. However, once you have a revelation of God’s unconditional love for you and begin to accept yourself and others, eventually these new roots will produce good fruit, and your relationships will thrive.

Here are a few tips I believe will help you succeed at being yourself.

1. Never say or think negative things about yourself, such as, “I never do anything right.” “I’ll never change.” “I’m ugly.” “I look terrible.” “I’m dumb.” “Who could ever love me?” Matthew 12:37 says, …by your words you will be justified…, and by your words you will be condemned…. Proverbs 23:7 says, …as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he. In other words, the way we talk and think about ourselves reveals how we feel about ourselves.

2. Speak good things about yourself (as private confessions) in line with what the Word says about you. For example: “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.” “I am made acceptable in the Beloved.” “God created me and formed me with His own hands, and God doesn’t make mistakes.” I like starting the day making good confessions. Perhaps you can do this while you’re driving to work or cleaning house. I also encourage you to look in the mirror and say out loud, “God loves and accepts you, and so do I.” You may even try hugging yourself. This is beneficial to people who have lacked love and acceptance in their lives.

3. Never compare yourself with other people. God must love variety or He wouldn’t have created us all differently—even down to our fingerprints. You’ll never succeed at being yourself if you’re trying to be like someone else. Other people can be a good example to you, but duplicating even their good traits will manifest differently through your individual personality.

4. Focus on your potential instead of your limitations. Actress Helen Hayes was told early in her career that if she were four inches taller she’d be the greatest actress of her time. Her coaches tried various methods of stretching her, but nothing increased her height. She refused to concentrate on the supposed limitation of being five feet tall and decided to concentrate on her potential. As a result, she was eventually cast as Mary, Queen of Scotland—one of the tallest queens who ever lived.

5. Find something you like to do that you do well, and do it over and over. If you spend your time doing things you’re not good at, it’ll frustrate you and cause you to feel defeated and unsuccessful.

6. Have the courage to be different and deal with criticism. Be a God-pleaser, not a man-pleaser (see Galatians 1:10). If you dare to be different, you’ll have to expect some criticism. Going along with the crowd—when you know in your heart God’s leading you a different way—is one reason people don’t succeed at being themselves. You won’t like yourself very much if you go against your own convictions.

7. Don’t let the way another person treats you determine your worth.

8. Keep your flaws in perspective. People with a high level of confidence have just as many weaknesses as people without confidence, but they concentrate on their strengths—not their flaws or weaknesses.

In conclusion, let me remind you of my opening statement: It’s tough to enjoy life when you don’t like yourself. When you learn to succeed at being yourself, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying life more fully.

God’s promise to keep working on you

I was reading Philippians 1:1-11 just now. It is the introduction to Paul’s letter to the Philippians church. This section is titled “Thanksgiving and prayer”.

I have read this a number of times over the years, but today verse 6 jumped out at me.

It says, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

I really love the promise of God to keep working in us until He is finished.

It is normal to sometimes feel as though we aren’t making progress in our spiritual life? But we can be assured that when God starts a project, He completes it!

As with the Philippians, God will help you grow in grace until he has completed his work in your life.

When you are discouraged, remember that God won’t give up on you. He promises to finish the work he has begun.

It is a great promise from the King of the universe. It has a warranty that will never run out as it is eternal. Be encouraged by this today!

God Bless,
Dave

Obedience and applying the Bible

I picked up on of my old Bible College books the other day and began to re-read the chapter on Foundational Principles of Biblical Application. It sounds pretty heavy but it is just about reading the Bible and applying what it says.

As I read I was reminded of the five principles it said were important to applying the Bible to our lives and the process of being obedient to God’s Word. Here are the five points…

1. Application must be focused on pleasing God rather than pleasing others.

2. Every problem a person has is related to his or her concept of God.

3. Attitude is an important as obeying God’s commands.

4. Surrender [to God] is the cornerstone of all application. Refusal to surrender blurs our ability to discover and do God’s will.

5. Application is a process, not a single event.

As the chapter progresses it fleshes out these ideas. I found them a useful reminder and a good lesson when thinking about God’s Word and obediently applying it to my life.

I hope you find them useful. If you are interested in reading more about applying the Bible, you can find the book here at Koorong Bookstore.

God Bless,

Dave

Living water from Jesus

This morning my wife and I were reading the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. It is found in John 4:1-14.

As we read the story we see that Jesus asks the lady to draw some water for Him. As the conversation progresses they end up talking about living water.

What did Jesus mean by “living water”? In the Old Testament, many verses speak of thirsting after God as one thirsts for water (Psalm 42:1; Isaiah 55:1; Jeremiah 2:13; Zechariah 13:1).

God is also called the fountain of life (Psalm 36:9) and the fountain of living water (Jeremiah 17:13). The Book of Revelation also has a number of references to living water (Revelation 21:6, 22:17)

In saying he would bring living water that could forever quench a person’s thirst for God, Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah. Only the Messiah could give this gift that satisfies the soul’s desire.

If you are thirsty for God I would encourage you to turn to Jesus today. He will satisfy your soul like He did for me.

God Bless,
Dave

A really nice Fathers Day card

Yesterday my youngest daughter gave me a Fathers Day card. At the time she couldn’t find one she liked so she waited. I am glad she did.

This is what it said on the cover…

Father

Today I thank God for…

Your life
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way (Psalm 37:23)

Your legacy
The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him (Proverbs 20:7)

Your love
The good man brings good things out of the good things stored in his heart (Luke 6:45)

On the inside it said…

For who you are,
and all the ways you’ve
blessed my life,
I celebrate you with
joy in my heart
Happy Father’s Day

It melted my heart because as a daddy these are the things I strive hard to be for my kids. I am a very blessed man.

God Bless,

Dave

Who was Saul attacking?

I was reading Acts chapter 9 this morning. This talks about the Apostle Paul’s conversion. The thing I found interesting is Paul’s question to Jesus and His response.

Here is a snippet…

3?As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. 4?He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”
5?“Who are you, lord?” Saul asked.
And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! 6?Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7?The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! 8?Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. 9?He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink.

As we can see Paul was blinded and a loud voice spoke. Immediately Saul knew that he had had an encounter with God from his response. “Who are you, lord?”

Jesus’ response grabbed my attention today. Jesus said that Saul was persecuting Him when he was attacking the Christians of the region. He was not attacking the “people of the Way”, but Jesus Himself.

Saul thought he was pursuing heretics, but he was persecuting Jesus himself. Anyone who persecutes believers today is also guilty of persecuting Jesus (see Matthew 25:40, 45) because believers are the body of Christ on earth.

As Christians we need to remember that if we are facing persecution because of our faith it is ultimately Jesus whom people are attacking. And in the Bible Jesus promises never to leave us and to never forsake us. He is always with us until the end of this age.

God Bless,
Dave