Immanuel Voices
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July 11, 2019, 4:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Philippians 1:21, 24


Philippians 1:21 & 24

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 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.

 

Thought for Today

What would it take for you to say what Paul says today? Most of us spend our time doing things to avoid dying. We exercise and eat healthy-ish to prolong our years. Jesus said that we should store up treasure in heaven, for where your treasure is there your heart will be also (Matt. 6:20). This is what Paul had been doing for years. He had so much invested in heaven that he longed to be there with his Lord. He knows that the work he still has to do is important, but he is tired from the heavy burden and ready for his reward. Paul is not being morbid or romanticizing death. He is demonstrating that he really believes what he has been teaching. Christ died to assure us a place in paradise with Him. It is a place with no more tears or mourning or crying or pain. He knows that the work God may still have for him is important and he will press into it with all his might, but in his heart he is torn. Does your theology shape the way you see the world and the things you long for? Do you long for the joys of heaven and a face to face relationship with Jesus? Or does that seem unreal? Maybe this is something to ponder today.

 

Prayer

Lord, help me to grow in my faith to that point that, like Paul, I believe more firmly in what You have said than what I see. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now...Come further up, come further in! ― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

 

Quote of the Day

Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in. ― Mark Twain

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July 10, 2019, 4:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Philippians 1:9


Philippians 1:9

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment…

 

Thought for Today

There seem to be two primary camps in Christianity today, the love camp and the knowledge camp. The love camp says that it is our duty to love, period. The knowledge camp says that it is our duty to know all that we can about God. The problem with the love no matter what camp is that, in the name of love, they will uplift as good all manner of attitude and action that God has clearly said is not good. They believe that love trumps what God has said. The problem with the knowledge camp is that it often becomes a heartless faith. They know what God has commanded, to love one another and serve our neighbor, and they cannot wait to learn more about what God means by that as long as they don’t actually have to love or serve. Paul takes an entirely different tact. His prayer is that their love would be tempered with knowledge and discernment. He prays that they would genuinely and actively love God and their neighbor, but not a mindless love without standards or boundaries. Rather, His prayer is that as they are actively loving they would continue to learn about God’s great love and what He has declared is right and good. Then, through mature discernment, empowered by the Holy Spirit, they would apply what they have learned in meaningful ways to their friends, neighbors and enemies. Love is much more powerful when it is applied with knowledge and insight. To be in either of the other camps is to deny true discipleship.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, teach me what it means to really love others in an understanding way. This is what Jesus did and my heart’s desire is to be like Him. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Bertrand Russell

 

Quote of the Day

The key to coaching is love. It's not knowledge; it's not discipline. If you love 'em, you can discipline them. If you love 'em, you can yell at them and laugh about it later. Dabo Swinney, Head Football Coach of the Clemson Tigers



Comments

07-10-2019 at 9:59 AM
Judy Winecke
This is a powerful and truthful expression of the reason so many people give up the faith I think. They only find half. It also is so hard to keep committed to both sides of this as a person of faith who has the blessing of attempting to follow Paul's example. So powerful. So challenging.
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July 9, 2019, 4:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Philippians 1:6


Philippians 1:6

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

 

Thought for Today

Ever feel like you can’t get things done because they have to be perfectly? Maybe you can’t move on to a new project, mission, or ministry because there is still more to do in your present assignment? This is a great verse for people who struggle with perfectionism. God does not say that you have to get it all done perfectly. His calling on your life is to move your assignment forward faithfully. God is the one who is working through you, so He gets to say when it is enough. I think Paul struggled with perfectionism early in his church planting career. He wanted everyone in a city to come to know Christ before he felt ready to move on. It didn’t take him long to discover that this was not his calling. His calling was to gather those who would hear the Good News and get them started in a community called the church. God would take it from there. God would finish the work that He started through Paul. On the Last Day, when Jesus returns, Paul will get to see God’s finished work. Until them it would always feel incomplete. This is true in your life as well. God started the work in and through you, but it is His work to complete not yours. So relax. Listen and follow God. If He tells you to move on or start something new but you feel like the work isn’t finished yet, don’t resist Him. You feel that way because the work isn’t finished. God won’t be through with it until the last trumpet sounds. Marvel at what God has done so far and follow Him.

 

Prayer

Holy Spirit, help me remember that I have been invited into Your work, not the other way around. Help me to follow You faithfully doing whatever You declare my part to be. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

It essentially turns out that whatever thing a flawed and imperfect human eye once thought was amazing begins to appear quite wretched. This is why, eternally, God cannot be impressed by mere talents or by mortal achievements. To perfect eyes, I imagine that great is not really that great; rather, humility is ultimately a human being's true greatness. ― Criss Jami

 

Quote of the Day

For small structures may be finished by their first architects; grand ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity. God keep me from ever completing anything. This whole book is but a draught—nay, but the draught of a draught. ― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick



Comments

07-09-2019 at 1:37 PM
doris houghtaling
thank you, Just what I needed today
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