Daily Devotion for July 20, 2017

'Paul's Reason to Rejoice'

Philippians 1:18 NAS
Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoiceYes, and I will rejoice...
 
Philippians 1:17-18
But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. You too, I urge yourejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.
 
Philippians 3:1
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.
 
Philippians 3:4
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, REJOICE!
 
Paul was an apostle who seemed to be constantly inundated with hardships (beatings, angry mobs, shipwrecks, incarcerations, etc.)—yet he was so full of JOY! Either something was seriously wrong with this disciple, or he had discovered that “happiness depends on happenings, but joy depends on Christ” (NLT Life Application Bible). Yes: the apostle Paul was able to rejoice in every circumstance because he saw life correctly: he constantly saw life from God's point of view...
 
He knew he had the quiet, confident assurance of God's love and work in his life (you do too!),
 
He knew God was with him no matter what (you know this as well!),
 
He found real joy as he focused ALL his attention and energy on knowing Christ and obeying Him (what gets your attention and energy?),
 
He knew he could “do everything” Christ had called him to do because Jesus gave Him “the strength” he needed (are you “doing” God's will in Christ's strength and enabling?),
 
He realized “the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus,” so He strove to know Him better and better (what do you strive for?),
 
He had dedicated himself to finding joy in Christ, and sharing the joy of the Good News with others (what are you dedicated to? Are you sharing the joy of the Good News?),
 
He was focused on what God wanted him to doNOT on what he felt (how's your focus?),
 
Folks: Paul's focus on Christ and his correct priorities (seeking first “God's Kingdom”) caused this apostle to be grateful for everything God had done and given him. As a result, the guy had joy—BIG joy—all the time!
 
Heavenly Father, we Believers ask today that you increasingly make us a people who rejoice—no matter what! To do that, we need Your Spirit and Word to correctly focus us on Christ and on Your point of view. We ask this because what we have in You is AMAZING! May our “rejoicing” cause others to see how good and wonderful You are!
 
AMEN!!!

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