Wednesday, 26 November 2014

"And this I pray, that your love may abound.."


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Hey loves, 

A few hours ago I got in from meeting with my Church's small group, our homework for this evening was to read Philippians and after going through just the first chapter I felt so encouraged and inspired and I really wanted to share a bit of why I felt this way.

Read: Philippians 1

Paul's intense encouragement resonates throughout the whole of this chapter, his selflessness and relentless love for his situation, his location, his church, those around him and most importantly for Jesus encourages and motivates the people around him and those that knew him all from prison. From his chains he was able to defend and proclaim the gospel. This selflessness reveals a strong sense of humility within Paul and reveals a strength that could only come from Jesus Christ. At no point in this chapter does he search for sympathy or attention, instead he praises the fact that his time in prison is turning out "for the furtherance of the gospel" so much so that he even impacted the "palace guard". How wonderful a thought to think that we could make the exact same impact and imprint of Jesus in the lives of every single person around us. This selfless life that he is living is always, constantly thanking God and referring back to God, even his "chains are in Christ".

 I really admire his selflessness and humility as it causes me to think of my own life and convicts me into having the same attitude that he did towards life. For me, I haven't ever been in a position like Pauls, I've never been in prison and you can imagine back in Pauls day that the prison conditions probably were as far from prisons that we see nowadays so you can imagine rough living where your faith would be challenged the most. I admire that despite everything that he is going through he chooses Jesus everytime and I love how at peace he appears to be with it all, he has no fear of his outcome, he says that he would like to go and be with Jesus but he feels as if his encouragement would benefit others. Others. We are called to love God and to love one another. We are also called to serve and to help encourage, motivate and pray for one another so that in the trials and tribulations we can get through it by God's strength and God's strength in our friends. 

Paul gives us practical tips to live out our lives as Christians. We are meeting with people everyday, souls, lost souls are in desperate need for something to fill that void in their hearts and all they need is Jesus. Fear holds us back from a lot of things, one in particular is something that I struggle with and that is sharing the Gospel, physically speaking to people about Jesus and starting off a deep, theological debate and turning them off God completely has to be one of my worst nightmares. In all honesty, what have we got to lose? Christians are being martyred for their faith everyday, I don't live in nearly as much conflict as they are, if anything my life is comfort in comparisin and yet I can't even share the gospel without thinking "oh, they won't like me anymore" or "oh, they'll make fun of me" the fear of man has stopped me dead in my tracks one too many times. I believe that as Christians with an Eternal God, an Uncreated Creator, ruler of the heavens and all of the galaxies on our side, we can never truly lose. 

"For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain". - Philippians 1:21

Here are a couple of verses that I highlighted in my Bible maybe you coud meditate on them and pray to the Lord to open up your Spiritual eyes and ask Him for wisdom, knowledge and understanding of His word:

"And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." - Philippians 1:9-11

"the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident...my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear". - Philippians 1:12-14

"that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death". - Philippians 1:20

"Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation and that from God. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me". Philippians - 1:27-30