- When things in life seem difficult, do you feel like giving up? Or give in?
- Sometimes, I can wake up and not sure what to do. How am I going to live the 24 hours that God gave me?
- How can I face whatever happened that day without regrets or worry?
- In the midst of my challenges or difficulties, God taught me some things that kept me going.
Today, I want to share with you some personal lessons that I learnt during these time through the Book of Philippians.
(Background)Paul and the people of Philippi were not having an easy life. Paul was in prison and the Philippians were facing persecutions. Every day, they were having problems with each other & the church.
Let’s look at the Book of Philippians and discover how we can have Jesus as the Center of our life in all situations.
- Know God. v.3 – 11
Paul knows that because God’s commitment to the Philippians, and their desire to know Him. That God who begun a GOOD WORK in their lives will bring it to completion.
Because the Philippians has been daily and regularly seeking and obeying God. They seek to live a life like Christ. Here we can see and learn that their spiritual growth is rooted in what God has done, is doing, and will do.
They have confidence that God who has saved them will never let them go, and that they will inherit their eternal reward. They know that ‘Because God NEVER changes, their future is secure & eternal’
There are 2 things that I learnt and it is in Paul’s prayer in v.9, 10.
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,
- Love: Love one another.
There is Genuine love among them. Love can be tough, too. How can we show love to people around us? Not just to the people that we like, but, to people we care for. And, to show love to people whom we have difficulties with…
This is something that I am constantly learning. As I have to work with people from different countries and different personalities. And, I have to depend on God for the strength to love.
1 Thes 3:12; and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you,
- Knowledge: Know God deeper. (NOT just know about God.)
Col 3:10; Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.
In the past few months, I have a lot more free time since I stepped down from my leadership role. I began reading the Bible more & read more books. Recently I was sharing with Victor Eby that I was reading the Book of Psalms. I was discovering so much that when I reach Psalms 30, … I want to read Psalms chapter 1 again. There is so much things that we can discover in God’s word…. We just need to take time & read.
As you and I go through each day & each situation in life, I encourage you with one very simple thing to do, that is to spend time with Him daily & every moment, think of God’s word. Once, we keep thinking of God and His Word, He will enable us to live the moment with the supernatural power to love people and do the challenges of the day. He will never leave us or forsake us. Let’s remember:
‘Because God NEVER changes, our future is secure & eternal’
- Know who we are and who we are living for. v 20-26
No matter what happened to Paul, he kept his focus and thoughts on Christ. His life might be controlled by the Roman soldiers, but, his heart, his thoughts and focus is on Him. That enables him still to have joy and kept sharing God’s word with those Roman soldiers that are punishing him.
But, in the midst of all the torture, how can he still have joy? How can he still want to live for Christ?(If he stops telling people about God or stop doing the things like preaching, he might not be in jail.)
v.21: When Paul has what he wanted most – even if he doesn’t have other smaller “wants”, he has JOY. Paul wanted Christ; he wanted to have that closeness with Christ. So, whatever happened to him, whenever & wherever he was, Paul found joy in Christ. Christ is Paul’s hope and joy in his daily life. Paul has that ONE thing & it is enough.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20
Every day, I can choose to look at the negatives in my life or choose to know and believe that I am a child of God and live every moment for God.
Do we want the ‘lesser’ or second ‘best’ and give up on the very best in life?
We, too, can have the same joy and hope in our relationship with Christ. Every moment, we just need to set our hope on Him, and God will bring you and me His Joy even in the midst of challenges & hardship.
Paul and the Philippians know their identity in Christ and that enable them to keep focusing on the ONE thing. i.e. living for Christ. They know who they are & what they have being in Christ. We need to know our identity in Christ, too. You are God’s masterpiece. That means that you are God’s greatest work!
As we take the Holy communion, as we prepare for the Passion week(next week), and, as we live each day, let us know that these statements that we are going to read is true and real about you!
I Am Accepted
John 1:12 — I am a child of God.
John 15:15 — I am Christ’s friend.
Romans 5:1– I have been justified.
1 Corinthians 6:17 — I am united with the Lord, and I am one spirit with Him.
1 Corinthians 6:19,20 — I have been bought with a price. I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:2 7 — I am a member of Christ’s body.
Ephesians 1:1 — I am a saint.
Ephesians 1:5 — I have been adopted as God’s child.
Ephesians 2:18 — I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit.
Colossians 1:14 — I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:10 — I am complete in Christ.
Let’s remember that ‘Because God NEVER changes, our future is secure & eternal’. We can live a life of joy knowing our identity in Christ. We can grow deep in God’s word and have His joy every moment of our life.
- 神を知っている（3 -11節）
コロサイ 3:10; 造り主のかたちに従って新しくされ、真の知識に至る新しき人を着たのである。
- 我々は自分たちが誰であるか知っており、何のために生きているか知っている 。
1コリント12時02 7 -私は、キリストの体の一部です。