Friday, March 27, 2015
Submitted by Dana Riker Jackson, Sanctuary Choir
Scripture: Philippians 2:12-18
Today's Devotion: Jesus is the original author of positive affirmations, always believing the best in us. I wonder if we do the same in return? In verse 12 it says “just as you have always obeyed.” I don’t know about you, but something I am keenly aware of is that I am not as obedient as I desire to be. I am constantly praying for God to help me to be more obedient, because it says in the Scriptures that is how you can experience God’s best for you and how you can be—with integrity—the beacon of light to the world He wants us to be.
I used to teach a parenting class called “Parenting Partners.” One of the things I always taught was that parents should set high expectations—“just as you have always obeyed.” Then follow through with the discipline in order to meet those expectations. Just like at the end of verse 12, it says, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” To me this means having the discipline of always being aware of whether my actions and behavior are representing Jesus with honor and humility. The good news is the very next verse: “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Thank God, because I know when I try to go it alone without him, I am not at my best. In fact, the next verse says, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing.” Wow, really? Not easy for me. And then comes what God knows we all need…motivation—verse 15: “so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach (who doesn’t want that?) in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.” That is how I desire to impact the world, do you? And, then in His wondrous way He tells us how—verse 16: “holding fast the word of life” which gives us the strength to endure, to be resilient, and to know that, even if things do not turn out the way we might like, nothing is in vain and there is always hope and reasons to rejoice. I think one way to sum up this devotion is to say…go for the joy, it is from God and everlasting!
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I write this prayer with a grateful heart. I thank you for your life, your love and your mercy and for being the example we have to follow. Help us to be obedient to your will and your word so that we may be the beacon of light you intend God’s children to be to the world. Help us to feel and to share and rejoice in the joy that only belief in you can give. In Jesus’ holy and precious and glorious name we pray. Amen.