Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. – Psalm 127:1
“I think I can! I think I can!” Just keep saying it, right? How many times have we heard a retelling of ‘The Little Engine That Could’? You’ve got this, right? All we need is more will power, right? We can do anything we set our minds to…right? But eventually we are faced with the sobering reality that the Little Engine That Could, CAN’T.
The world may tell us that we can do it on our own, but throughout the Scriptures and even through our own experiences, we’re told, we desperately need God.
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13
Really enjoying this contentment devotional. Here’s an excerpt from Day 8’s reading
“…everything we have comes from God. Do you have a family? They are a gift from the Lord (see Ps. 127). Do you work? The tasks of your day were prepared for you by God (see Eph. 2: 10). Did you eat breakfast today? God supplied your daily food (see Matt. 6: 11). Is your heart beating? It is God who gives you each day of your life (see Ps. 139: 16).
…all our spiritual blessings are from God. While we were sinners and rebels against God, he gave his Son to die on our behalf that we might be reconciled to him (see Rom. 5:8). In Christ, he gives us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (see Eph. 1: 3). What’s more, he dwells in us by his Spirit and cultivates in our hearts the fruit of righteousness (see Gal. 5: 22–26).
A discontented heart denies the graciousness of God, acting as if it had not received everything from God’s hand (1 Cor. 4: 7) and arrogantly demanding from God as if it deserved something better…But, recognizing our dependence on a gracious God, we can pray with the psalmist, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy” (Ps. 103: 2–4).”
-Megan Hill, ‘Contentment: Seeing God’s Goodness’
The struggle behind so many of our struggles, or the thing that is compounding the pain we’re going through, is a low view/understanding of God.
AW Tozer said: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
He’s right! He also said: “Without doubt, the mightiest thought the mind can entertain is the thought of God, and the weightest word in any language is its word for God.”
There are so many ways to raise our view of God, but here a few simple ways to elevate your view of God TONIGHT:
1. Recite/write out your own story of how God brought you to faith in Christ
2. Read Psalm 115 out loud and write down a responsive prayer to God
3. Check out the names of God and their meanings assembled by Tony Evans here: https://tonyevans.org/praying-and-pronouncing-the-names-of-god/
4. Pray out loud, and thank God for every way He has provided for you.
5. Confess your sins. Use Psalm 51 to get you started, then Psalm 32 afterwards.
6. Rewrite Colossians 1:15-20 in your own words
7. Look at one of the beauties of creation that stirs your heart like a sunset, stars, or maybe a family picture, or a child sleeping peacefully. The read Psalm 8 and/or 139.
“All this world’s religions are based on human achievement. Biblical Christianity alone recognizes divine accomplishment—the work of Christ on humankind’s behalf—as the sole basis of salvation. Christ’s death on the cross paid the price of our sin (1 Cor. 15: 3), and His resurrection revealed that He had conquered death (v. 20). Salvation is not a merit system in which people can earn favor with God. No one could ever do enough good works to gain acceptance by God (Rom. 3: 10–18). Even the law of Moses did not make people righteous; it was given to show how sinful and disobedient we really are (v. 20)…God through His grace imputes to believers the righteousness of Christ (vv. 21–24). On that basis alone they can stand before Him.” -John MacArthur, The Gospel According To Jesus
For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21
I feel like I have only begun to scratch the surface of the powerful implications of Paul’s example given to us in this verse! Paul’s singular purpose was God’s glory in Christ Jesus! For Paul, LIVING meant making Jesus Christ known, and that was his JOY. But also, DYING for Christ’s sake, would mean being in the Lord’s presence where there is fullness of JOY for all eternity. If we follow Paul’s example, and let his purpose become ours, then wether we live, or die, we have an unshakable JOY-FILLED outlook on life.
At the end of the service yesterday, I challenged each of you to write out your personal testimony in the back of your Bible. I didn’t give much help on how to do that, so I wanted to share a helpful post on the subject. Click below for some tips on ‘How To Share Your Story.’
Also, here are some pictures from yesterday’s message that might bring to mind some of the teaching.
I hope and pray that you all have a Christ-centered, God-glorifying week!
Hey Church family!
Last Sunday we began a new series ‘Philippians, His Glory, Our Joy.’ I hope and pray you left our worship time encouraged to live for God’s glory in Christ Jesus and experience the true JOY that comes with that. Many of us found this first message in Philippians to be an occasion to repent of our joylessness and trying to find joy in the wrong things. As we said yesterday, JOY IS THE FLAG THAT FLIES ON THE CASTLE OF THE HEART WHEN THE KING IS IN RESIDENCE THERE.
Tomorrow we’ll be looking at Philippians 1:12-26. Please be encouraged to read ahead and note any observations you may have. Maybe the most notable verse in this passage is Philippians 1:21 where Paul says, For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. What a powerful statement!!! We’ll definitely take a close look at that on Sunday!
Also, check out this blogpost that goes right along with our current series on JOY:
Grace and peace,
What’s up church? Sorry to nerd out on y’all like this 😅, but I thought this might interest some of you. As most of y’all know we are staring a series in Philippians this Sunday. If you haven’t seen it before, this little map can help you to better understand where the city of Philippi is located, and also where it is in proximity to some other cities/areas found in the Bible. The bottom right corner is Nazareth, Samaria, Judea, Jerusalem — you recognize those from Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the beginning of Acts. Then you can see names/locations for Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, 1&2 Thessalonians, Romans. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of references to Bible places. Anyway, I thought this might help bring Philippians and some of the Bible to life for some of us. Most Bibles have maps in the back, but we seldom make use them, but they’re there to teach and remind us that the events of the Bible happened in REAL places and time.
Ok, I’m done geeking out. Blessings, roy.