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About-Him.Com Devotional 08-08-2014
Holding Forth the Word of Life
Last week’s devotional reminded us that every person who has entered this world is destined to bow their knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. We will all acknowledge that His name is The Name Above All Names .
Philippians 2:12a¶ Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only……
The Philippian church was founded in a Roman army garrison town , so naturally the church population was predominately composed of pagan gentiles who had received no prior instruction in the righteousness and holiness that God requires from each and every one of us (He. 12:14). When the apostle Paul established the church, he labored diligently to nurture and teach the new believers in the ways of God. Perhaps he started with The Ten Commandments (Ex. 2:1-17), which are still applicable today. At our new birth, the Holy Spirit inscribed these principles of godly living on our hearts and minds (He. 10:16). However, due to our fleshly natures, we all need constant exhortation on the things that are pleasing to God. For this, God has given us His word.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
At the time of this writing, Paul had been away for some time and was now a prisoner in Rome. He reminds his readers, that when he was present, they readily obeyed his instruction, and he urged them to continue in his absence.
Pastors and teachers are ordained of God for our perfection and we are instructed to obey those who have the rule over us, because they will have to give an account as to how well they have discharged their duties towards us. This goes against our natures, but it is the word of God, anyhow. It is absolutely necessary for those in spiritual authority to neither add to or take away from God’s word. Men’s souls hang in the balance. We can keep people out of the kingdom of God by being too tight as well as from being too loose.
Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
2 Timothy 4:1 ¶ I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Philippians 2:12b …..but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.
14 ¶ Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
God has given His word and godly ministry to help us, but the ultimate responsibility lies with ourselves. God works in us and activates
The Mind of Christ that has been given to us, so that we are without excuse, if we don’t follow His leading. If we miss entrance into the kingdom of God, we’ll have nobody to blame, but ourselves.
Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Yes, we live in a crooked and perverse world, and it is getting more so as the days go by.
2 Timothy 3:1 ¶ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Jesus said that we are like a city that is set on a hill (Mt. 5:14). Men are ever watching to see if we are giving forth the light that comes from Jesus, the Light of the World (Jn. 8:12).
Philippians 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Jesus is the Word of life. We do our best to follow His example as He leads us and to point others to His saving message of salvation. We believe that He, the Almighty God, took upon Himself the penalty that He had prescribed for sin (Ez. 18:4), that we might become alive in Him (Jn. 14:19). The only thing that we have to do is to believe Him and take Him at His word. All of it.
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
Philippians 2:17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
In spite of his severe prison conditions and his impending execution, Paul rejoiced to see that the saints of the church he had founded some years before were continuing on in the gospel of Christ. He could look back over all of his trials and tribulation, and say that it had been more than worth it all.
2 Timothy 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
I trust that we all will have the same testimony when we come to the end of our days.
Song: O Tell Me His Name Again
We Christians must stop apologizing for our moral position and start making our voices heard, exposing sin as the enemy of the human race and setting forth righteousness and true holiness as the only worthy pursuits for moral beings. - A.W. Tozer
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