Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 31, 2013 … An Eternal View of Life

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 90

Passage of the Day: Philippians 1: 12-13 [in the context of verses 5-8] [NLT] …  
12 And I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including all the soldiers in the palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 
Contextual Study of today’s passage: Philippians, Chapter 1 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Luke 4: 18-19 : [A restatement by Jesus of Isaiah 61: 1-2 – and the fulfillment of the mission statement of Messiah.] …[NKJV] …  
18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for he has appointed Me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors, 19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”

My Journal for Today: Hey, … it happens to be Easter Sunday this morning as I write this; and I know that Os Hillman edited and wrote this devotional at a time when it wasn’t Easter; but no matter, what he wrote today certainly fits to advance the very thing Easter is all about … remembering and perpetuating THE GOSPEL.

Hillman began his entry for today with some very challenging questions, ” Are your life circumstances advancing the gospel? Can you see the Lord's hand in your life in such a way that all of your life experiences, joys, sorrows, hardships, and training have resulted in advancing the gospel?” And then Hillman cited a passage from Paul’s prison epistle to the Philippians in challenging his readers even more. Paul was in prison as we know when he wrote to his beloved Christian friends in Philippi. And Chapter 1 (as you can read by using the link above) of that letter expresses his love for his friends in Philippi; but it also demonstrated just how Paul saw his life mission as eternal; and he knew that other Christians, like those in Philippi, were going to experience trials, tribulations, and temptations, just as he (Paul) was experiencing in prison when he wrote to fellow believers. Paul wanted His Philippian friends to have the same eternal view of their mission in life that he (Paul) had gleaned from the mission of His Savior … and that is the perpetuation of the gospel (what we now know is our Great Commission – see Matt. 28: 19-20).

How about us – you and me? How do we see our mission in life in reflecting on what we do in life? Is what we’re doing or where we’re headed in life directed by the Great Commission? Am I motivated by Christ’s charge for living in Acts 1: 8 … to be His witness wherever I am and whatever I’m doing?

Sometimes, I believe, we Christians float through life without a gospel focus on what we’re doing, or even more importantly WHY we’re doing what we’re doing. Personally, I’ve learned that my mission in life ought to be influenced, not only by the gospel focus of “WHY” in the Great Commission; but I think the “HOW” of what I do ought to be influenced by Christ’s mission in life. And if one is looking for a good way to see how life should be focused, a Christian can go back and see how the life we’re living fits into the life Jesus expressed was His life mission. And that mission statement was a restatement of the prophesy about the life of Messiah stated in Isaiah 61: 1-2 and then restated about 750 years later by Jesus in Luke 4: 18-19.

These words were Christ’s, stating the “WHY” He had come to fulfill God’s gospel plan; and they also outlined His mission statement, giving us real focus on “HOW” we should be living. When Jesus stated that His mission was to preach the gospel, … to proclaim the captives be released, … to give sight to the blind, … and to free the oppressed, … there we have a mission for life which should guide our living as well. Don’t you think we should get our mission in life from Christ’s? If a mission is good enough for Jesus, don’t you think, as Paul was expressing to the Philippians, Christ’s gospel mission should be ours as well.

I think so; and so I charge any who’re reading along with me here today to go back and meditate on Philippians 1, Acts 1: 8, Matt. 28: 19-20, and Luke 4: 18-19 and see if our life focus and mission is, as it was for Paul, on the furtherance of the gospel.

 I don’t know about you; but though God has given me a life ministry/mission which is directed by those gospel truths, I’m still WAY CHALLENGED to make sure that all I’m doing, when I do it, is to confirm to Jesus’ mission in life. And on this Easter day, as we remember all Christ did for us, … I’ll leave it to you to be challenged as well by this charge.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, may all I do conform to Your charge for my life. … Amen

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