Truth for Today

FRUITFUL LABOR 

If I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor.
~ PHILIPPIANS 1:22

The apostle Paul considered that being alive in the physical world is synonymous with fruitful labor for Christ. His use of “labor” refers to his spiritual work for the Lord, which yields spiritual fruit. Spiritual fruit May be seen in people, deeds, and words— whatever is of eternal value. That kind of fruit comes from good hard work, which is the natural activity of the godly on earth.

Paul had a strong desire to bear fruit. He wanted the Philippians to be confident in Christ and strengthened for evangelism (Phil. 1:26–27). He is reminiscent of the psalmist who said, “O God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come” (Ps. 71:17–18). That elderly man wanted to live long enough to declare God’s strength and power to the next generation. May God grant you that same privilege.

Truth for Today


DELIVERANCE FROM TEMPORARY DISTRESS

I know this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 
~ PHILIPPIANS 1:19

Today’s verse shows the value of confident trust in God. Paul knew his current distress was only temporary and that he would be delivered from it.

Why was Paul convinced of his deliverance? His statement, “I know this will turn out for my deliverance” is a quote of the Greek version of Job 13:16. Job was a righteous man who suffered greatly, yet he was delivered because God always delivers the righteous. Job said, “After my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God” (Job 19:26). He knew that either temporally or eternally God would deliver him.

Paul knew he could trust God to deliver him just as God had delivered Job. He was confident his circumstances would work out for good, whether he was released from prison, vindicated at his trial, and delivered from execution or passed into glory as a martyr. You May not face the same trials as Paul, but whatever your circumstances, the same confident trust is available to you.

Truth for Today

THE GUARDIANSHIP OF PEACE

The peace of God . . . will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
~ PHILIPPIANS 4:7

Today’s verse speaks of God’s peace guarding our hearts and minds. “Will guard” is a military term meaning, “to keep watch over.” The Philippian believers lived in a garrison town where Roman soldiers were stationed to guard the interests of the empire in that part of the world. In the same way, God’s peace guards us from anxiety, doubt, fear, and distress.

The believer who doesn’t live in the confidence of God’s sovereignty will lack His peace and be left to the chaos of a troubled heart. But our confident trust in the Lord will allow us to thank Him in the midst of trials because we have God’s peace on duty to protect our hearts and minds.

When Paul refers to our hearts and minds, he isn’t making a distinction between the two—it’s a comprehensive statement that describes the whole inner person. Because of our union with Christ, He guards our entire being with His peace. And that’s what helps us be spiritually stable.

Truth For Today

A GOOD SOLDIER

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
~ 2 TIMOTHY 2:3

Courage, conviction, and integrity are respectable qualities from a secular viewpoint, yet it is essential that they be manifested in the life of every Christian. That’s because the name “Christian” identifies us with Christ, who never compromised or deviated from the truth. He is the perfect example of courageous integrity.

It stands to reason, then, that we are called to be stable and steadfast like Christ and not waver (James 1:6). Injunctions to stand firm (Eph. 6:11, 13–14) and be strong (1 Cor. 16:13; 2 Tim. 2:1) affirm that we are to be bold and uncompromising in living for Jesus Christ.

Most of us earnestly desire to stand firm and not stumble in our Christian walk. None of us wants to be crushed under the weight of life’s trials or be defeated by the onslaught from the world, the flesh, and the devil. But we must realize that standing firm and being strong isn’t easy because we are engaged in spiritual warfare (2 Tim. 2:3–4). We have to be prepared to “endure hardship” along the way—as a “good soldier” of faith.

Truth for Today

TRIAL OR TEMPTATION?

Do not lead us into temptation.
~ MATTHEW 6:13

Temptation is a common experience of every human being, Christian or not. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that temptations are “common to man.” How we deal with the battle of temptation is a mark of the genuineness of our faith or our lack of it.

The trials that the Lord allows into our lives to strengthen us can also become temptations. They can be solicitations to evil rather than a means to spiritual growth. Every difficult thing that comes into my life either strengthens me because I obey God and stay confident in His care and power, or leads me to doubt God and disobey His Word.

Every trial has the potential to become a temptation. The difference is how you respond to it.

Truth for Today

We ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body, for we were saved in this hope. 
~ ROMANS 8 : 23 – 24

Trials in a believer’s life increase his anticipation for heaven. Just as trials create a growing disinterest in the passing world, they also create a greater desire, for example, to be reunited with a loved one who has gone to be with the Lord. If the most beloved people in your life have entered into the presence of our precious Savior, and if you have invested your time and money in eternal things, then you won’t have much tying you to this passing world.

Beyond this life of suffering is a glorious future for the believer that makes us all the more desirous for the fulfillment of salvation. Thus trials give us a greater affection for that which is eternal—they help us long for the eternal city of heaven.

Truth for Today

THERE IS AN OPEN ROAD AHEAD OF YOU ~ all the way to heaven.

The challenge before you is to stop focusing on your problems and limitations—and to believe that the way ahead really is an open road, in spite of how it looks. When you are struggling, simply take the next step and thank Me for clearing the way.

We walk by faith, not by sight.
~ 2 CORINTHIANS 5:7 [NKJV]

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
~ PSALM 16:11
 

Also read: 1 CORINTHIANS 10:13; JOHN 14:6 NKJV

I endured what I did to open up the path of

Life for you. Now have faith to believe that

I am the Way to the Father in heaven.