Senior Pastor’s Devotional
Day 52 Movement Control Order – “Strategic Psalm 91 Watch”
SCRIPTURES TO READ:- PHILIPPIANS 3:1-10.
LESSON TO BE LEARNT: “THE BLESSINGS THAT BRING JOY.”
The “values” that we hold on to in life will affect our decisions and directions.
Many people today are the slaves of ‘things’ and as a result do not experience real Christian joy.
In Paul’s case, the ‘things’ he was living for before he knew Christ seemed to be very good – a righteous life, obedience to the law, the defense of the religion of his fathers. But none of these things satisfied him or gave him acceptance with God.
Like most ‘religious people’ today, Paul had enough morality to keep him out of trouble, but not enough righteousness to get him into heaven!
Paul came to know about this on that day when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.
When he evaluated his ‘wealth’, before knowing Jesus – everything he lived for was only ‘rubbish.’
He explained in this section that there are only two kinds of righteousness- work righteousness and faith righteousness – and only faith righteousness is acceptable to God.
A. WORKS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
1. Read Phil.3:4-6. Paul examined his own life. He became an ‘auditor’ who opened the books to see what wealth he has and discovered that he was bankrupt! What was his background like?
(a) Circumcised on the eight day like all Israelites;
(b) an heir of the tribe of Benjamin;
(c) a Hebrew (or Jew)
(d) zealously persecuted the church, thinking that he was doing God a favor.
As he think back, it was all about doing religious duties rather than experiencing the reality of God.
The same goes for us before we believed in Jesus.
-All that we did was trying to fulfill religious duty; from faithfully offering our joss sticks and sacrifices to observing religious festivities but having no relationship with our God.
B. FAITH RIGHTEOUSNESS.
1. When Paul met Jesus, he realized how futile his good works were and how sinful were his claims of righteousness. Paul ‘lost’ some things but he ‘gained much more than what he had ‘lost’ even when he entered into ‘faith righteousness.’
What were Paul’s ‘gains’?
a. Phil 3:8 – He gained by knowing Christ personally.
b. Phil 3:9 – He gained a righteousness that came from God rather than his own works.
c. Phil 3:10 – He gained further knowledge of Christ and His resurrection and the meaning of Christ’s sufferings.
The ‘gains’ were indeed thrilling for Paul because when he compared his own ‘achievements’ with the knowledge of Christ, all his ‘achievements’ were like rubbish.
He is joyous because now He understands life and the things of life through that relationship with God that is so real!
What do you consider as your ‘gains’ or blessings ever since you have accepted Christ?
Just to name a few – hope through Jesus; eternal life; peace in our hearts; no fear of the future; a God who is alive; a God who hears our prayers; the fellowship of brothers and sisters and so forth. These are the things that cannot be earned by works.
These are the blessings that bring joy to our lives!