Philippians 3:19 Description Of The Enemy

Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. Philippians 3:19

The majority of the world live without God. They desire things for themselves with virtually no care or concerns for God or others.

On the outside surface the world appears to be doing well and making it. Everything appears to be going well and that they are successful. Evil men, and those with no regard for God, appear to be able to be in control and are winning the battles.

Paul just mentioned that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Now he describes them has having a goal of destruction, their selves as god, filled with shame, and their mind only upon earthly things.

When Jesus died upon the cross, it was not for selfish reasons but for others. He set an example of how those who follow Him should live their lives. The majority of the world stands against the cross and Jesus, because both stand against selfishness.

The goal of many is selfishness, which will always lead to destruction of others in order to build one’s self up. They feed on what satisfies them physically, while rejecting their spiritual needs. What the world finds as great and good is actually very shameful. Everything about the world is focused upon earthly, temporary things that will die and fade away.

There are some in the church that are living in that same way as an enemy of Jesus and His church, the believer. They strive to tear down believers with false lies and deception, attempting to destroy what God is building.

The true believer will focus on Jesus, God the Father and heavenly things. He will build others up in Christ, refuse to live in sin, and pull others away from sin.

Each day you live, you have a choice as to how you live. You must choose where your focus is. There are two places to put your focus on: the temporary, earthly things or on the eternal things of God and heaven.

If you choose to look at things and live as the world does, you will be an enemy of the cross of Christ. Rather choose to live for God. Live to have eternal life and bring as many others as possible with you into that eternal life with God.

Do not be an enemy of the cross of Christ inside the church.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that your mind will be set upon the things of Christ; that your goal will be to serve God; that your glory will be found in Jesus; and that you will be His witness to all on this earth.

Philippians 2:14 No Grumbling Or Arguing

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, Philippians 2:14

Complaining is one thing that a person will see nearly every where he goes. No matter what is happening there is usually someone who is complaining about it. On every issue, there is nearly always someone that is not happy about it and finds fault.

The other characteristic that is commonly seen is arguing. People are always arguing with each other. Most often it is about who is right or which way to do something is right. Major wars have been started between nations because of arguments.

Paul tells the people to do everything without grumbling or arguing.

Grumbling is a sign of selfishness. One is complaining or grumbling about what is going on or what he has to do. He is not accepting what is happening or what he has to do, because he thinks there should be a better way, which then often leads to arguing.

In the same way as grumbling, arguing is often done out of selfishness. One wants things done his way and fights for it with words of arguing.

Many believers in the church can be seen grumbling and arguing. Complaining about how the service went or changes made in a church. Arguing as to which way something should go in a church service. Outside the church, many grumble about the traffic, the weather, other believers and more.

Everything that Jesus went through and did, He went through and did without grumbling or complaining. Instead of grumbling, He went to His Father in prayer for strength and direction to keep moving forward.

The focus is that the Father is in control and one is to trust Him in everything. As soon as one can fully trust God in everything, he will no longer want to grumble about a situation. He will no longer argue, but just present God’s word for the situation.

You will have times where things do not go as you had planned. Or things will be planned to go in a way that you do not necessarily like.
As you meet these situations, quickly bring them before God to give you wisdom and direction. Do everything that you do as unto God, that way you will have no reason to argue. Allow God’s Holy Spirit to give you the words to speak to keep from senseless, sinful arguing.

As you do these things, you will find joy and contentment in life.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will trust God in every situation; that you will do everything you do for the Lord; that you will not grumble or complain with what God is allowing you to go through; and that you will find joy in serving God with your whole life.

1 Corinthians 14:12 Seek Gifts To Build The Church

So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church. 1 Corinthians 14:12

People always desire the best of everything. They want the things that everyone can see and that make them look good. Things that cannot be seen are often ignored or not desired, since it does not build the individual up himself.

Most often this desire is based on selfish pride. Very few actually desire to help someone else out more than themselves.

Paul had just listed some gifts of speaking in tongues and the interpretation of it in the church. Tongues can be good, but he wants the people to seek gifts to build the church up.

The whole part of man’s fall from God was one of selfishness and trying to build one’s self up. The whole work on Jesus dying upon the cross was one of non-selfishness. It was all about helping or building others up.

After Jesus left the earth, He sent His Holy Spirit to build and guide His followers in doing His work upon the earth. The Holy Spirit works in supernatural ways, giving spiritual gifts to guide His church.

Many believers want the gift of tongues, thinking that it is something amazing. While it can be amazing, it only builds self up and does nothing for others. The real help is found in the translation of the tongues.

God uses the interpretation of tongues to build His church up. God uses spoken words that the local people can understand to build them up, not just tongues that edifies or build’s up the individual.

Every believer should be seeking the greatest joy in being a witness and building others in the church up in Christ Jesus. In order to do that, he must seek the gifts God has given that others can tangibly see God’s hand working in their lives.

God is willing to use you in many different ways. He is willing to give you gifts of the Holy Spirit to help you in the work He has for you to do. Allow the Holy Spirit to use you in the gifts He has for you.

Seek those gifts that will help build the church up first and foremost. As you build the church up, God will build you up and meet all of your needs.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be filled with God’s Holy Spirit; that you will use the gifts God has for you; that you seek to build others up before yourself; and that God will remove selfish pride in your life.

Zechariah 7:5 Why Do You Do It?

Pencil and question mark

Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?’ Zechariah 7:5 

It is very common for people to do things for reasons that do not show up on the surface of their lives. Many people give a lot of money to different charities that appear to look like they are trying to help the poor or helpless, however, often the purpose is for a tax write-off, not out of love and true care.

This can also be seen in the work place. People work for a paycheck only, not as a service to others or for their employer. Then they do as little as possible to get that check, or they work hard, only to get a promotion.

God asks the people what was their real purpose in fasting over the previous seventy years while they were in captivity.

Believers can often be just like the world in reasons why they do things. It is common for some to do services in the church only for the reason to look good before God and others. They are trying to win points with God by doing certain things. Their hearts are far from God’s heart.

It is not only in believers doing things, but also in not doing some things. Some will not sin in certain ways, just to look good before God and others. Many will still do the sin in their heart or behind closed doors where they are not sin.

Actions like this are about pride and self. Every believer must ask himself why he is doing or not doing something. It must be determined if it is what God wants and if it is being done out of love for God and others.

Examine the things that you do or don’t do. Now ask yourself why you do or don’t do those things.

Your greatest motivation for doing or not doing something should be out of love for God. It should be because God has asked these things of you.

Your goal in life should be to live like Jesus did, not to look good or escape hell, but because of what Jesus has done for you. Do what you do out of gratefulness for the life Jesus has given you. Any other reason is selfish and is worthless before God.

I pray today that you will know what God desires of you; that you will love God with all of your heart; that you will do things out of love for God and others; and that you will love as Jesus loved. 

Ezekiel 8:5 Idols Of Jealousy

REd sports car

Then he said to me, “Son of man, look toward the north.” So I looked, and in the entrance north of the gate of the altar I saw this idol of jealousy. Ezekiel 8:5 

Jealousy is the extreme desire to have what someone else has. It is being upset that the other person has it and one does not have it.

Jealousy can be found nearly everywhere in society and is promoted as a good thing. It is based upon self and greed. One cannot have enough and it is looked at as bad if someone else has more.

God had Ezekiel look at the temple place. As he looked in, he saw an idol of jealousy at the opening gate of the temple. The people of Israel had been worshipping jealousy and promoting it as a good thing.

The church still has the same problem with worshipping jealousy. People inside the church are often as jealous as those in the world.

Talk is often heard of people complaining that some people have billions of dollars, while they are fighting to make a living off of a few thousand dollars. People are jealous of others driving new fancy cars, while they drive an older car that they don’t know if it will even start today.

All jealousy comes down to greed, pride and self. It is all about what self does not have and wants.

Believers are to be content with what God has blessed them with. They are to trust that God is giving them just what they need, nothing more and nothing less. They are to trust God for everything that they need.

When the believer’s eyes are turned towards God for provision and blessing, the eyes of jealousy will be closed. It will then be a blessing to see someone who has more, not a curse.

There are things that others have that you would love to have. Do not allow yourself to be jealous and fight for what God has chosen not to give you or allow you to have. God is the only one who has a right to be jealous, because He owns it all and it belongs to Him.

Rather than bowing to worship jealousy, give praise that God has blessed someone else with what you see as a blessing. You are to be filled with God’s love for other people, which is never jealous.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that you will see God’s blessings in your life; that you will be content with what God has given you; and that you will praise God for the blessings others have.