Daily Devotion for March 8, 2017

'Participation in the Good News'

Philippians 1:3-5 NAS
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.

God's Instruction through Paul caught my attention this morning. Specifically, the word “participation” really stood out. If I am called to PARTICIPATE “in the gospel” (which I am), what does that mean? Thankfully, my Study Bible referenced several verses that helped explain“participation in the gospel”...

Reference #1: Acts 2:42 NLT: “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.”
According to this reference, Believers participate “in the gospel” when they are 1) “devoted” to God's Word, 2) when they are “devoted” to “fellowship” with a local body of Believers, 3) when they are “devoted” to “sharing” their lives with other members, 4) when they are “devoted” to participating in and attending church life (“including the Lord's Supper”), and when they are “devoted” to “prayer.”

Reference #2: Philippians 2:12b NLT: “Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.”
According to this reference, Believers participate “in the gospel” when they put into action God's saving work in their lives—and when they are careful in what they believe, in how they believe, and careful to obey the Lord.

Reference #3: Romans 15:26 NLT: “For you see, the believers in Macedonia and Achaia have eagerly taken up an offering for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem.”
According to this reference, Believers participate “in the gospel” when they help to financially meet needs of other Believers in the body.

Reference #4: Philippians 2:22 NLT: “But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News.
According to this reference, Believers participate “in the gospel” when they SERVE (in some capacity!) “in preaching the Good News.”

Reference #5: Philippians 4:3a NLT: “...for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News.”
According to this reference, Believers participate “in the gospel” when they work hard to TELL“OTHERS the Good News.”

Reference #6: Philippians 4:15 NLT: “As you know, you Philippians...gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia...”
According to this reference, Believers participate “in the gospel” when they financially support the spreading of “the Good News”—through financial support of the church (the church which proclaims and teaches the Good News), and through support of missionaries (missionaries who spread the Good News).

Hmm...

Lord Jesus, thank You for making us Believers participators “in the gospel,” and thank You for giving me a better understanding of what “participation in the gospel” means. I now see that “participation” includes serving in “preaching” and “telling others the Good News,” but it also includes so much MORE! Use Your Spirit and Word to convict and change me, so I become the FULL participator You have called me to be. Moreover, I ask this for my church family as well, so we all FULLY PARTICIPATE “in the gospel” (then we glorify You more!)! I ask this in Your name, Lord Jesus...

AMEN!!!

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