Immanuel Voices
July 12, 2019, 4:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Philippians 1:27


Philippians 1:27

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel

 

Thought for Today

I love Paul’s picture of unity in the church. Like a proud parent he wants to hear that God’s people in Philippi are sticking together through thick and thin. They should be standing firm in one spirit, having one mind, striving side by side for the faith of the gospel. We let so many little things divide us in the church today. While we share the powerful message of the gospel, that Jesus died for every sinner, we divide over music styles, clothing choices, seating arrangements, political stands, carpet color and so much more. When I think of my children they are very different young ladies. The have different styles, like different foods, play different games, listen to different music. However, they are all Kennaughs. When danger or challenge arises they stand side by side, strengthening, comforting and focusing each other on what is truly important. This is what God longs for from His children. We can have our differing opinions, likes and dislikes, but when it comes to the things we have in common God longs for us to stand side by side in one mind and spirit. Take some time this weekend to consider the things that bother you about your brothers and sisters in Christ and ask if these are based on your preferences or God’s non-negotiables. If it is about you, how should you handle those issues? What does grace I nonessentials look like?

 

Prayer

Holy Spirit, show me how You see my heart. Help me to discover the places I have drawn lines that are not Yours. Teach me of grace in these things. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

It strikes me as unChristian that we often have more charitable attitudes toward ideological allies than we do toward brothers and sisters in Christ with whom we disagree on matters of politics.m― David Kinnaman

 

Quote of the Day

Together, we form a necessary paradox; not a senseless contradiction. ― Criss Jami

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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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